This startup is using age-old home remedies to make affordable, chemical-free products

In 2019, Akshit Goel and Shivangi Goel launched personal care startup TNW - The Natural Wash to provide both cost-effective and chemical-free products.
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Akshit Goel and Shivangi Goel had just graduated when they decided to brainstorm career ideas. Both were aspiring entrepreneurs, with a shared inkling towards all things natural and rooted in India. 

“We both had seen our elders using natural products like multani mitti (Fuller’s earth) and turmeric for their skincare on a regular basis. It was fascinating to see that they maintained their skin so beautifully with only natural products,” says Akshit, Co-founder and Director at TNW - The Natural Wash.

Taking this as a foundational idea, the duo decided to launch TNW - The Natural Wash in September 2019.

The Journey

The goal was to introduce consumers to products that are cost-effective, chemical-free and handy. Many of TNW - The Natural Wash’s products are blends of age-old recipes that have come together from everyday essential ingredients, be it the Beetroot Lip Balm or the Potato Rice Soap.

The duo, who were only 22 when they launched their company, also wanted to increase consumer awareness and shift buying behaviour towards more organic and chemical-free products.  

TNW- The Natural Wash Co-founders: Shivangi Goel (CEO) and Akshit Goel (Director)

“We initially started small with just some handmade soaps,” recalls Shivangi, Co-founder and CEO at TNW - The Natural Wash. Charcoal soaps and potato rice soap for oily skin, oats and honey soap, and soaps made of neem and ubtan were all tried out. 

“While many of our family and friends liked the products, many others had constructive criticism to pass on too. We didn’t give up, all that feedback spurred us on. And we are glad we won our first paycheque thanks to our dear ones,” reminisces Shivangi.

The startup is a self-funded one, claims Akshit.

“We invested Rs 2 lakh as initial investment in the business. Growth came from reinvestment of earnings. Every rupee that we have earned was reinvested in the business only,” says Akshit.

Taking their business relationship a step further, the duo got married in January 2021.

USP in a crowded market 

According to the founders, most of the chemical-free and Ayurvedic products available in the market are way too expensive for a large section of the population. 

To ensure products have the maximum reach, and that high costs do not spur people to switch to cheaper chemical-based products, TNW - The Natural Wash’s products are priced comparatively lower. The brand offers a wide range of products such as toners, serums, face washes, hair masks, conditioner, hair cleanser, creams, lotions and various other skin and hair kits and more.

Product range by TNW- The Natural Wash

“Our motto is to earn customer satisfaction, not profit,” claims Akshit.

The startup is also conscious about TNW products' effects on the environment.

“The way human actions are leading to pollution is bizarre. This is a cause which is very close to our hearts, so we try to provide maximum recyclable packaging for our products. Also, all our products are based on a low lather formula. Low lather means low pollution to our water bodies,” notes Akshit. 

Started as a five-member team, the startup has now grown to 50 employees in less than two years. 

Business model 

TNW - The Natural Wash’s business is currently based on the business-to-consumer (B2C) model, even as the direct-to-consumer (D2C) route has played a vital role. 

The company claims to have approx 50 SKUs, out of which around 40 SKUs are live. 

Besides its own website, TNW - The Natural Wash’s products are available pan India through several ecommerce platforms like Nykaa, Amazon, Purplle, Flipkart, FirstCry, and Tata Cliq.

“We have clocked in over Rs 10 crore in revenue in our first financial year. For FY’22, we have a minimum target of Rs 40 crore in revenue,” says Akshit.

Image Credits: YS Design Team

Challenges faced and the road ahead

A few months after TNW - The Natural Wash was launched, COVID-19 hit the country. Speaking about his experience, Akshit says, 

“We started from scratch, not once, but twice. Setting up a brand, then facing a lockdown right at the initial stage and then restarting all over again was not easy. But, we have come a long way now and looking back at our journey feels wonderful. There’s still a long way to go.” 

The personal care industry has grown significantly after the advent of ecommerce platforms. According to Statista.com, the personal care industry is worth $26 billion in India, and is growing rapidly at 8 percent annually, and expected to surpass $38 billion by 2026.

This has led to healthy competition between brands, forcing every player to deliver what’s best for the consumers. 

Going forward, Akshit says, “We plan to launch fifty to sixty new products in the current year. The new range of products will range from healthcare, baby care, and men’s range.”

He adds that the startup also plans to enter the B2B market and foray into international markets by next year.

Edited by Anju Narayanan

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