Started with Rs 5 lakh, this Vadodara-based startup is all set to clock Rs 1 Cr turnover in its first year

Launched in September 2019 by Swati Sutaria Vakharia, Nabhi Sutra produces belly button oils for brain development, acne, hair care, skincare, menstrual pain relief and joint pain relief.

In the initial stages of their lives, children come into contact with a lot of viruses, germs, and other organisms thus causing them to combat various infections and diseases. Cold and flu are the common recurring problems faced by children.

Taking this into account, healthcare startup Nabhi Sutra has come up with a number of solutions for niggling issues like cough and cold, and also claims to aid in immunity building, brain development, and more.

Launched in September 2019, Nabhi Sutra is the pioneer of “wellness through belly button oils” in India. Its range comprises solutions for brain development, acne, hair care, skincare, menstrual pain relief and joint pain relief. The startup is also set to launch a few more types of oils for eye care, daily digestion, and immunity among others. 

Swati Sutaria Vakharia, Founder of Nabhi Sutra

According to Ayurveda, it is believed that our complete consciousness rests in our umbilicus (Navel). The navel contains DNA of the soul and hence to open the path of transformation and healing, it is important to regain your consciousness through the roots.

“Due to an unhealthy lifestyle, our body produces a lot of toxins. Nabhi has the power to fortify and activate the body's inner power to heal and recover the internal harmony lost due to toxins accumulated in the body,” says Swati Sutaria Vakharia, Founder of Nabhi Sutra.

She adds, “I have used this technique personally and have seen great results. To witness the results, all you have to do is apply 2-3 drops of required Nabhi Sutra oil in your belly button before going to bed and allow it to penetrate the navel by massaging it in a circular clockwise motion. You will be able to spot the difference in a period of 21 days by using it on a continuous basis. Ayurveda depicts our belly button as the source of our complete consciousness. Puranas title our navel as our second brain.”

The journey

“During my phase of motherhood and breastfeeding, I faced a few health issues, a major one being hair fall.  While I was in the process of treating it, I was introduced to the concept of Ayurvedic treatment. Since I have always been a believer in home remedies and opted for natural products over others, I was amazed to see the benefits of Ayurveda. To my surprise, it was quite interesting and magical,” Swati says.

“My cousin, an Ayurveda Doctor, Dr Nikunj Mewada offered me an in-depth knowledge of the concept and helped build formulae for different oils. I started off by making some oils at home for my daughter and the results never failed to amaze me, thus giving birth to the idea of Nabhi Sutra,” adds 35-year-old Swati.

Nabhi Sutra took off in the market with the ditty, “three drops in your belly button before you sleep can heal your body.” 

Swati also runs a charitable trust, Women Planet Foundation whose campaign Muskaan Ek Pahel, is specifically designed for women in rural areas and menstrual hygiene education. She also owns an IT firm, Black iD Solutions, and has been working in digital marketing for over 14 years now.

“With Nabhi Sutra, I wish to re-introduce the exotic, natural and pure Ayurvedic practices that the world may have forgotten and can benefit from,” Swati says.

Nabhi Sutra’s products are available through its own website and via third party platforms like Amazon, Flipkart, Seniority, 1MG, Snapdeal, Etsy, and LimeRoad among others. 

It is an online retail model for now and with time the startup is planning to enter the offline mode through physical stores.

Nabhi Sutra has served more than 15,000 customers in India so far. Started with an initial investment of Rs 5 lakh, the firm aims to cross Rs 1 crore in turnover in its very first year, without any third party funding.  The startup aims to add investors in its second phase of business.  

Looking forward

Nabhi Sutra’s expansion plans include new markets like the US, Australia and the UAE among others. 

“We are getting decent traffic on our website from the US due to heavy demand for Ayurvedic products,” says Swati.

The startup hopes to clock Rs 2-3 crore of revenue from overseas markets next year, hopefully, after the coronavirus crisis diminishes.  

“We are planning to launch 10+ products and one new brand named “Nuskha” made products from Granny’s Diary, the ancient way of dealing with wellness,” Swati adds. 

Nabhi Sutra is also looking forward to raising Rs 5 crore as funding to scale up. 

“Still we are on our way to make people aware of our brand. We want to reach more people with more funding,” shares Swati.

Challenges and growth factor

“With 14 years of experience in digital marketing, I was aware that being a pioneer in the industry will  require a solid business plan, and a lot of hard work in making people aware of the benefits of the products. Also, the mother in me was not ready for loans/funding from the market. I wanted to have a work-life balance, without interference from investors. I planned the entire strategy with a minimum budget and funds,” Swati tells HerStory.

The other challenge for Swati was to get high quality raw material from the market. 

“With a lot of research and studies we could find the right raw material suppliers. With time we started growing our own raw material such as Castor seeds. We are planning to grow more ingredients in our farms to improve the quality over time,” Swati adds.

From selling 10 bottles a day during its launch to now about 100-120 bottles a day, Nabhi Sutra has seen a leap in business. 

Talking about Nabhi Sutra’s clientele, Swati says, “Starting from brain development for children to joint pain for senior citizens, we cover different age groups. We also have skin care solutions for anti-ageing, and hair care solutions for both men and women.”

Edited by Rekha Balakrishnan


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