Everyone likes to look presentable and take proper care of the body. It is a common fact of using various types of beauty and personal care products for refreshing, protecting, beautifying, and nourishing the body. However, a large variety of products available in the market are based on artificial elements and chemicals that could not suit many people, probably causing irritation and other side effects.
With the growing awareness of eco-friendly approaches towards environmental conservation, many people are shifting towards clean, organic, and eco-friendly beauty and personal care products that are made from natural ingredients only. Natural products are non-invasive and free from harmful chemicals, hence are becoming the preferred products.
Developed from the personal need of using natural treatment, Vishisht Lifestyle was formed to manufacture good quality, pure, and completely organic personal care products. An innovative and inquisitive entrepreneur, Namrata Agarwal, Founder, and Managing Director, identified the necessity of using organic products and prepared a few herself. On getting positive feedback from various people around her relatives and social circles, Namrata chose to venture into larger-scale production, thereby founding Vishisht Lifestyle.
Through an intriguing interview with the CIOLOOK India team, Namrata expressed enthusiastically unfolded her professional journey of starting her business, the inspirations that drove her to make decisions, the challenges faced and tackled her advice, and her vision for the future.
Please brief our audience about Vishisht Lifestyle, its USPs, and how you are currently positioned as one of the best eco-friendly and sustainable companies.
Vishisht is an eco-friendly brand offering natural skincare products. Being eco-friendly is a journey. I believe we are not perfect, but we try to get better every day. To meet our goals of sustainability, we have
- food-grade glass jars for our products. Glass jars work better with skincare products and offer a great shelf life.
- use paper-based and 100% recyclable product labels.
- pack the products in paper-based cushion paper.
- use paper tape and corrugated boxes in our packaging.
- use a single corrugated box and pack the products based on the order. We avoid a primary box and then a secondary outer box. It helps us to avoid excess packaging.
- offer a Jar-return policy. The customers can return their used jars and packaging and avail of a discount for the next purchase.
- use seed paper packaging inserts. For example, business cards, next purchase offers, etc.
- offset 100% of CO2 emissions by contributing to green projects.
We aim to learn from our experiences regularly. We aspire to do everything we can to be a truly sustainable brand. We are trying to make our office fully solar-powered. We always try to work with limited resources. The products offered are limited range, and the SKUs include must-have skincare products. It helps avoid excess consumerism. We aim to provide only what the customers need. Sustainability is at the core of our business. We try to make every decision keeping our planet in mind.
Tell us more about Vishisht Lifestyle’s offerings and what aspects make it stand out in the cutthroat competition.
Vishisht offers 100% natural skincare products. All the ingredients are certified, and 95% of them are Organic. The products are handcrafted in small batches every month. We do not test on animals, and 65% of our range is plant-based. Although we are a skincare brand, we aim to offer a holistic experience in wellness. We share blog posts, email newsletters, and posts on social media on topics such as mental health, the benefits of gratitude, and having a healthy night routine. We also interview other brands who are in the wellness industry. We aim to offer exceptional service in every way we can.
There is no denying that many brands are offering eco-friendly skincare products. We try to learn from them and wish the best for them while working on becoming a better version of ourselves.
Please brief us about your journey in the industry and how you have made Vishisht Lifestyle excel in its niche.
Before founding Vishisht Lifestyle, I worked in an accounting firm for four and a half years. I am a Certified Public Accountant. I loved my job, and it paid well too. However, I always had a feeling to start something of my own. Around the same time, I started having skin rashes, and none of the moisturizers worked. I learned that most products contain harmful chemicals which may not suit everyone. I started learning about natural alternatives and came across pure virgin coconut oil, shea butter, pure essential oils, etc. Everything about this new world was fascinating. I learned online how to make natural products by subscribing to newsletters of Ayurveda doctors.
I started creating my formulas and created different products. I gave those products to family, friends, males, females, and people having different skin types to try. I collected their feedback and performed trial and error for more than a year before I arrived at consistent products.
I had no idea how to start or run a business. I googled everything and did all my initial research while still working at my job. Once I felt confident, I quit my job and launched my brand in May 2018. I am a first-generation entrepreneur. I taught myself everything – how to design labels, basic SEO, design website, product photography, etc. With time, as I got busy, I started hiring freelancers and agencies to help me with different tasks. I have made a lot of mistakes and learned from them. It has been a fabulous journey, and I loved every bit of it. If there is one thing this journey taught me, it would be patience. Running a business requires a lot of patience. We win if we have patience.
I try to learn from our customers` feedback. What makes our customers happy provides a roadmap to improve the brand. Being true to our vision and keeping our customers’ priorities in mind helps us excel.
Being an experienced leader, share your opinion on how the adoption of modern technologies like AI and ML is impacting the industry and how is Vishisht adapting to the change.
Being a Direct-to-Customer (D2C) brand, we are about selling tangible products delivered to the customer’s doorstep. Having said that, we heavily rely on tech. The entire business runs on technology. From having an e-commerce website to running paid ads, we are dependent on technology for marketing our products. We look forward to more advancements and seeing how it fits with our business.
Considering the current scenario, what kind of challenges do you face and overcome?
There is a misconception that natural skin care products are expensive, and they are not different from other personal care products. It gets challenging to explain why certain products cost a certain amount when there are brands offering products available at less than 100 rupees. Also, not everyone may find value in the fact that the products are natural. We are overcoming those challenges by explaining what makes us different and why natural products are better and safer choices.
What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into the personal care sector?
My advice to future entrepreneurs would be to create a fantastic product or service. Entrepreneurs need to believe in their products and their capabilities. The next thing is a great marketing strategy. If you have a great product, the only other thing you need is marketing.
How do you envision scaling Vishisht Lifestyle’s operations and offerings in the future?
We aim to add women, people with Special abilities, and all the other underrepresented groups to our workforce. We look forward to expanding our product range in the bath and makeup category. Now, 65% of products are plant-based. Our next big goal is to make the entire range 100% plant-based. We are already working on the formulas. Hopefully, our complete product range will be vegan in the next six months.