This woman entrepreneur’s herbal beauty care brand rooted in Ayurveda has an annual turnover of Rs 90 M
The global skincare and beauty market is teeming with a number of brands, some of which are questionable when it comes to quality of ingredients. So how does one distinguish “wholly natural’ products from the rest?
When Pooja Nagdev started Inatur - Ayurveda and Aromatherapy Beauty Store, her aim was to challenge the prevailing practice of fake claims, non-disclosure of ingredients and the use of harsh or banned substances in skin and hair care products.
Pooja believes nature has more to offer than what already exists in products currently available in the market.
She explores natural ingredients that can nurture, nourish, replenish and even repair our skin, hair, body and bring true wellness. This belief drives her to produce body care products using Indian herbs, essential and carrier oils.
Born and raised in Delhi, Pooja is a cosmetologist by profession and a well-known voice in the industry. After completing her MBA in finance, she managed her father’s printing ink factory. Her interest in essential oils and fragrances led her to pursue degrees in Aromatherapy from Beaumont College, Canada followed by a certification in Cosmetology from the UK.
When she decided to start Inatur she noticed, to her dismay, that there were no label laws and hence, companies did not have to disclose the nature of ingredients to customers.
Pooja explains, “There were sunscreen products claiming SPF 30 selling at Rs 40. It’s here, ethical labelling should become mandatory.
With Inatur, Pooja says that her focus is on ethical manufacturing and procuring the benefits of natural ingredients for self-care in a scientific way. She creates products that are made from ethically sourced natural ingredients, which are dermatologically tested. It uses highly recommended organic Ecocert approved ingredients to create a range of gels, emulsions, creams, oils, toners and packs. No animal testing is involved in any process.
Different in every way
“We are different because we have carved our own path,'' says Pooja, adding, “In terms of ethical practices, we believe there is little competition to Inatur as we stand unique with our deliverables and principles.”
Rooted in Ayurveda, the I in Inatur stands for India and Natur for Nature. She combines the knowledge of Ayurveda and natural ingredients with science through its registered trademark manufacturing method - SCINAT (Science and Nature).
Pooja believes that Inatur’s products are solutions made for a purpose. According to her, it extends beyond the products; it’s about guiding and educating consumers about natural care and includes therapies for skin, hair, and beauty.
What sets Inatur apart, says Pooja is its extensive research and development capabilities and strict quality control practices, factors that makes it stand out among other herbal care brands in the market. Another point of difference is its end-to-end manufacturing process - from the raw materials to the finished goods along with the packaging is solely its creation, unlike its competitors. The products are manufactured at the Inatur factory in Noida.
Inatur is not just committed to empowering nature, but also women. Ninety percent of its workforce comprises of women.
Making waves in the market
A self-funded startup, Inatur currently has a turnover of Rs90 million and is growing at 30 percent every year. From Tier I and urban centres in India, the market for Inatur has now expanded to include global territories like the US, Europe, Middle East, and other Asian markets. The products are popular among most age groups and genders as it offers a wide variety of versatile and multi-use products. She credits “very affordable rates and online platforms” as reasons for its growing market share.
Inatur has its flagship stores in New Delhi, Noida, Bengaluru, Pune, and Mumbai. These company-owned stores feature a unique concept called Facials by Inatur, which is India’s first facial only studio where trained therapists provide “facial” to customers.
Apart from these stores and its own website, Inatur products are available on ecommerce platforms like Nykaa, Amazon, Big Basket, Purple, First Cry, and 1mg.
The brand has been growing steadily over the past twelve years mostly through organic reach and engagement. But there have been a few challenges in the path.
"In a male-dominated society, it wasn’t easy to build a niche for myself and for Inatur. Given the competition and the mindsets of the society back then, I knew I had to stay strong and just keep going with focus, says Pooja.
She adds, “There are high and low points in all walks of life. I keep the high points close, and use the points, as an opportunity and move on.”
The response and reviews for Inatur’s products have been encouraging.
“Apart from happy customers, during trade fairsand other exhibitions, people queue up for advice, which makes me feel both happy and accountable. When we started distributing in the Middle East, it gave us immense joy to see Emirati women pick up the product from the counter and go back with a smile. Everyday we get great reviews from our customers and that keeps on our toes - and goads us to do better,” Pooja says.
(Edited by Rekha Balakrishnan)
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