Three sisters, Radhika, Jagriti and Deepika driven by a common passion start SkinYoga
Very rarely do we see three sisters get together and start up – for there are bound to be differences in opinion, but not so in the case of Radhika, Jagriti and Deepika Choudhary, siblings and co-founders of SkinYoga, a company that has emerged as a popular brand in natural products.
Started in 2013, the sister trio started research on their products five years ago; and with each coming from a different background, it helped when they got together for their venture.
We were always clear about what we wanted – creating a brand of organic and natural products and taking it to the right people. The response we have got has been great – it has indeed reached the right audience, and with more intense marketing that we are looking at in the coming days, we are certain to reach out to more people,
says Deepika, the youngest of the three sisters.
Deepika has done a course in Photography from the Speos Institute of Photography in Paris; and her role is to give an aesthetic touch to SkinYoga. Radhika is a fashion designer from Central Saint Martin’s College of Arts in London, and has worked with the likes of Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood and Burberry. The third sister, Jagriti, attended courses in Babson College, London School of Economics and Harvard University and is well-versed in the ‘business’ side of things.
There is not much difference in opinion; just that we have different perspectives on one issue; but in the end, that contributes productively to the growth of business.
With all three of them handling different portfolios within the company, it becomes imperative that they discuss matters pertaining to the company together, before taking the final call.
All three travel round the year, and as Deepika says, they are very rarely in the same city at any given point in time.
The early years
Born in Kolkata, the three sisters have done their schooling from various schools in Kolkata, and Gujarat – where their parents shifted base a few years after they were born. Their parents have a business connected to the coal industry, and they shifted base to Gujarat for the same.
In Gujarat, they grew up on a 20 acre farmland, where they grew their own vegetables and milked cows to meet their daily dairy requirements. That experience exposed them to a yogic lifestyle, and they never could thereafter withdraw themselves from the charm of natural products.
So deep was the influence that they created their own brand, a ‘Make in India’ product, and launched SkinYoga. Though their source their raw materials from across the globe, their manufacturing units are in India. They have two manufacturing units – one in Ahmedabad and another in West Bengal. Though, essentially an online venture, SkinYoga does retail its products through select boutiques.
Entrepreneurs to the core
The sister trio come from a family that boasts of a successful business empire for over 160 years. Started in the year 1850, by Seth Hukumchand Choudhary (a zamindar), the family-governed business group is one of the most well known business families in India. Hence, the entrepreneurial spirit comes naturally to them. It also helped that all three of them returned to India at almost the same time after completing their education and research studies. “It was then a choice for each one of us to pursue our dreams individually, or combine our passions in a common venture,” says Deepika. It all worked out well when they decided to get together and embark on the entrepreneurial journey together.
Having lived in different geographies across the world, they agreed to the fact that a business in natural products was bound to flourish. Closely interacting with people from across the globe gave them the confidence that they could market the products internationally.
SkinYoga’s brand is targeted at individuals who want to experience purity and luxury in its minutest form. As a brand, it aims to create products inspired from ancient times and adapted to our present lifestyles. The brand is also intended to create solutions for people who want to embrace a yogic lifestyle.
Challenges in their journey
Once into the luxury skincare market, it was very difficult initially for the sisters to get real users of their product – simply because people were skeptical about investing money in a new brand. They decided to convert that challenge into a business opportunity. Right into the second month of their launch, they decided to come out with miniature samples – to give their prospective users a feel of what the products were like. This proved to be an excellent marketing idea for their venture. Distributing free samples, and getting honest feedback and testimonials from real people, helped build a strong foundation and trust for the brand. New customers were added organically, say the co-founders.
Working together – three sisters running one venture
All three of us have different temperaments, different backgrounds, and hence, different visions. To simplify the complexities and come across as a team, is something we work towards constantly. But fortunately for us, since we all have been brought up with the same values, at the core we are driven by a common passion,