How this Start-up is Winning with Sustainable Beauty Solutions?

Kruthika Kumaran's label came following an intensely personal experience- the loss of her mother to a complication from a skin-related problem. In an exclusive interaction, Kruthika herself sheds light more details about her start-up which makes sustainta
Vilvah
Kruthika Kumaran

Kindly shed light on your entrepreneurial journey so far. What inspires you to launch Vilvah?
My mother had sensitive skin and suffered from skin problems for more than a decade. The products she used on her skin made it even worse. My late mother is the reason for my path to creating my own natural soaps. It was her wish for me to use safe products that inspired me to learn and do what I do today.
I got married to a textile business family soon after my wedding and had absolutely no work experience untill I started Vilvah.  After completing my diploma in natural cosmetology, I started experimenting with Goatmilk soaps since I come from an agricultural background and my daughter had eczema, a condition with dry skin.  After many experiments, we perfected a recipe which we originally created for our family and that is what we sell to our customers. We started out with 2 or 3 goats on our farm and now there are countless herds of goats from whom the fresh goat milk is obtained and different goatmilk products are made. Even though we have introduced different skincare products over time, the classic Goat milk soap will always remain close to my heart.
I have always dreamed about creating a clean and sustainable skincare range and vilvah is a complete family project of me. My husband Mr.Kumaran and my 8-year-old daughter (yes, she loves working in vilvah apart from her school time) are a constant source of support. According to me, the skin is the largest organ of the body and feeding one's skin with what you consider edible is as important as feeding oneself.

Tell us about your Farm to Face concept? How this is different from organic/herbal product ranges which have started rulling retail shelves these days?
Using the freshest ingredients and sourced from our local farmers is what we’re all about. We are committed to supporting our organic family of farmers and are proud to create beauty from the ground up. Our products are handmade with only the finest and freshest ingredients. Our concoction consists of natural and organic agricultural produce, carrier oils, essential oils and butter. Some of the ingredients like Goatmilk and other ingredients which are native to South India are grown in our own Vilvah Farm.

Kindly shed light on your current distribution in the online as well as offline space? Going forward are the plans to scale up the distribution so far?
Vilvah has seen only Organic growth so far and we have never pushed our limits apart from what is needed for the hour and we plan our work and growth with the current resources, infrastructure that we have. We would like to open more physical outlets in major South Indian cities and planning to build a production space in 30000 square feet with state of the art facility and more advanced R&D facilities.

Is this venture bootstrape or you have raised any funds so far? Or plan to?
This venture is started with merely 10000/- and started in our home kitchen. Already lot of investors started approaching us for funding and we are interested in collobarating with right investors for future growth.

According to you, what would be tentative market size of substantial beauty market in India. According to you, what are the factors propelling growth in this segment? Also, what are the challenges?
According to reports the industry will touch 20 billion dollars by 2025 with 15-20% of annual growth.
Today awareness of beauty products and treatments is at an all-time high in India. Consumers have much greater level of awareness of the ingredients in products and make choices based on their knowledge and preferences. There is a high demand for products based on natural, organic, anti-ageing and anti-pollution trends. It is also noticed that women are now spending more on beauty products as they are actively earning and spending more on themselves.
The challenges would be shelf life in the natural and organic sector and sourcing out pure ingredients.

 At last, kindly highlight your growth plans?
As I have mentioned earlier, our focus now is to build right kind of infrastructure to meet our demands and invest our time and energy on building the same.

 

Kruthika Kumaran
 
 
 
 
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