These women-founded startups will help you keep up with your skincare routine

From natural homemade soap to branded cosmetics, these four women entrepreneurs are cashing in on Indian beauty and personal products.
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With more Indians pampering themselves to good skincare products, the bathroom shelves are now lined with toners, facemasks, and even homemade soaps. 

A report by Redseer states that the Indian beauty and personal care market is expected to grow at 9 percent CAGR. Valued at $14-15 billion in 2017, the market is likely to grow to around $22-23 billion in 2022. It cites an increase in disposable income from 35 percent to 45 percent between 2012 and 2017.

Entrepreneurs too are cashing in to tap the opportunity and how. Beauty products from both small-scale industries and international brands have gained huge prominence over the years. It has fuelled the makeup influencer market, and many are setting up online marketplaces for these products, following the suit of Mumbai-based unicorn Nykaa

As skincare accessories make their way into the lives of the Indian consumer, HerStory presents four women entrepreneurs who are adding colour and glitter to the industry’s growth.

(L to R Clockwise) Sahee Wasan, Founder of Mooibox; Pritika Singh, Founder of Tvakh; Bindu Chopra, Founder of Ahad; Neeta Adappa, Founder of Prakriti Herbals

Sahee Wasan, Mooibox 

Sahee Wasan was all set to join her family business in Jalandhar, Punjab, after completing her Master’s in Business and Marketing from Singapore. After returning to India, she began missing monthly subscription of beauty and grooming products from Birchbox. 

As such services did not exist in India, Sahee and her mother Ekta Wasan started MooiBox, a beauty and skincare company, in October 2018. 

Bootstrapped with an initial investment of Rs 5 lakh, the startup offers subscription boxes and individual skincare and cosmetic products like face wash, body wash, face gel, lipsticks, and lip balms, starting at Rs 995. 

Mooibox sources products directly from brands like Raw Nature, SeaSoul Australia, Balmain Hair, Wet n Wild makeup, Revolution London Makeup, Pee Safe, and Just Herbs, among others.

Before subscribing, users are required to answer a few questions about their skin or hair type for more customised service. The startup is now looking to expand its range of organic products. 

Bindu Chopra, Ahad 

At 54, Bindu Chopra took the entrepreneurial plunge with Rs 8,000 and little support. She converted two rooms at home into a studio and started Ahad in 2015 to make natural skincare products affordable. 

Based in Delhi-NCR, it offers a range of products including 30 varieties of soaps, 13 creams, four shampoos, face washes, and uptans. While soaps of 100-125 gram cost Rs 235, the price for creams start from Rs 250.

Despite her family members convinced that the business would not take off, the one-woman army has gained a loyal customer base. Ahad’s first ten customers spread the word and helped gain 210 regular clients she caters to.  

Bindu learnt soap-making in Africa when her husband landed a lucrative job there. A hustler at heart, she earlier studied for four years to become a clinical hypnotherapist specialising in aura and chakra healing, and set up a clinic. 

Prakriti Herbals 

Neeta Adappa started Prakriti Herbals in 1995 after she gave up a stable job, and at a time when pursuing entrepreneurship was not considered wise or a popular thing to do. 

Started with an initial investment of Rs 10,000 from her garage, along with Anisha Desai, they spent a year researching and formulating skin and hair care products. 

Beginning with manufacturing products for beauty salons, Prakriti Herbals went on to cater to the likes of Goldman Sachs Spa, The Park Hotel, Manipal Hospital, and Royal Orchid Hotels across India. 

After receiving mentorship and training from the ISB Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Entrepreneur Programme, Neeta entered the retail space in 2011.

Priced between Rs 180 and Rs 300, Prakriti Herbals’ products such as natural face masks, aloe vera gels, cleansers and face scrubs, hair masks, hair oils, shampoos, and conditioners are available on the startup’s website, Amazon, and Flipkart

Neeta also engages with regular customers across India and abroad via WhatsApp. 

Pritika Singh, Tvakh

Founded by Pritika Singh in 2016, Tvakh offers natural hair and skincare products priced between Rs 350 and Rs 1,200. Pritika decided to formulate her own natural products when she came to know that most skincare products in the market are laden with toxic chemicals. 

She learnt this while pursuing a Master's in Biotechnology at the Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology in Punjab, and later as part of the cosmetic research and development team at corporate companies. 

Her startup operates on both B2B and B2C models, and counts on clients like Biopharmecia, Aurel Biolife, Mascon Healthcare, and Dr Sajja’s in the former category. The products are also available on Amazon and its website.

Started with an initial investment of Rs 6 lakh, Tvakh hit Rs 1 crore revenue mark in the financial year 2017-2018 and hopes to clock Rs 10 crore turnover this year. 

Edited by Kanishk Singh