This woman entrepreneur is giving a new spin to Ayurvedic skincare with her personal care brand
When approached diligently, even seemingly minor problems can pave the way for bigger things. In 2015, when Caroleen Gomez experienced massive hairfall and skin issues, she tried everything from DIY solutions to high-end luxury products but nothing worked beyond a few days. Working her way to find a sustainable solution led her to entrepreneurship.
Today, her Delhi-based skincare brand Revees Clive is claiming a stake in the fast-growing cosmetic market that is poised to reach $ 20 billion by 2025.
Armed with an engineering degree from Chhattisgarh Institute of Management and Technology and a master’s in finance and financial management services from Lancaster University, Caroleen worked as a stock trader and financial analyst before taking the entrepreneurial plunge with ayurvedic skincare.
She also signed up for entrepreneurship programmes in Mumbai and launched the startup after nearly a year of learning and researching on properties of ayurvedic skincare through training at research and development labs with ayurvedic doctors.
Caroleen’s network of friends and family have played huge roles in her entrepreneurial journey. After completing formulations for face, hair, and body oils, she prepared small batches and sent them to a few friends and incorporated changes based on their feedback. Revees Clives was launched commercially in 2018.
However, when the business faced minor hiccups during the lockdown due to logistics and transportation issues, Caroleen focussed on research and development and decided to formulate new product ranges by leveraging biotechnology and encapsulation technology – an area she has been interested in since 2019.
In a major move from traditional to modern tech practices in skincare, Caroleen explains the startup uses active biotechnologically-sourced ingredients like microalgae and seaweed that has scientifically increased efficiency.
With most of its ingredients naturally derived and eco-certified, the startup plans on launching a range of products like shampoo, body wash, and hair oil soon.
Priced between Rs 889 and Rs 1200, its products are available on ecommerce platforms like Amazon, Shopclues, and Flipkart, besides its own website.
“Other than sales dipping slightly during the lockdown period – which has picked up since August – the cosmetic industry hardly saw any ups and downs during the pandemic,” Caroleen says.
Entrepreneurship was a big step for Caroleen as she did not have any business background to speak of. It also meant continuing a day job till she was confident in her business.
She travelled daily from Delhi to Gurugram for an afternoon shift of 1pm to 10pm and dedicated the first half of the day towards building her business. Caroleen recalls that there were days when she would be up as early as four in the morning to design and test various formulations.
“A major concern was that no one has ever started a business in my family. And if I was to be the first, leaving a job instantly was a bad idea even though it meant a tedious travelling routine,” she says.
Finding a good manufacturer was another challenge because most of them were are interested in production of small batches when her business was in the product testing phase. “Somehow, I managed by personally visiting as many units as possible although negotiating was difficult.”
At present, Revees Clives owns a research and development lab and outsources manufacturing-related work to third-party units in Haridwar and Noida. Notably, her startup with a team of eight has received angel investments from friends and family who believed in the efficacy of her products.
Started with an initial investment of Rs 5 lakh, Caroleen raised Rs 10 lakh and Rs 70 lakh in 2019 and 2020, respectively. The entrepreneur is confident about the startup’s growth and is looking to enter the offline market once the pandemic settles.
Edited by Rekha Balakrishnan