Starting from their kitchens, how these mompreneurs built D2C brand Rooting Back
Aditi Singh and Karishma Jasra were always worried about their children’s health. They would discuss different products -- from detergents to soaps -- that could harm their children.
Karishma says, “I’ve experienced hormonal imbalance throughout my life, which had to be tackled not just by working on the outer appearance, but also what goes into the body. A study shows that even the deodorant and detergent we use can cause eczema and irritation to our skin. The expert courses that I have undertaken have encouraged me to think beyond the spectrum of just skincare.”
Aditi and Karishma
Karishma adds that this motivated the duo, who both come with a background in nutrition, to explore further to develop safe products, which can be ingested and applied by adults as well as children.
Aditi and Karishma, who met due to their children, decided to launchin 2019 to offer all-natural and organic products. The Mumbai-based startup offers an entire range of skincare and gut health fixes.
The mompreneurs claim they are hand holding their clients in their transformation and healing journey.
Look beyond the basics
Aditi says, “The aim was to divert people from resorting to expensive skincare products and medical treatments like botox, fillers, etc., and retain natural beauty by using the right combination of ingredients for their skin and holistic health.”
What we consume always reflects on our skin, hair, nails, and affects our overall gut health as well, she says. Rooting Back products aim to solve these concerns with a single multipurpose solution, which will keep all of these in check.
“We realised that solving the problem from the source is the only way to eradicate it completely. One of the challenges we faced was closing on the lab testing to authenticate our products and make it safe for consumption. The pandemic made it twice as difficult to source the correct lab for the kind of testing and certifications we required, which really slowed our process down. However, we finally managed to jump that hurdle, and obtained FSSAI for our edibles range.”
“We use what’s available in our kitchens to formulate and create products that are naturally absorbed by the skin, hair, nails, and the gut. And the results we have got till now are truly miraculous,” says Aditi.
While Rooting Back was started in 2019, the work had started much earlier. They held a workshop on anti-ageing in 2018, and soon they got an opportunity to be part of the Mrs India Universe Panel in 2019.
“We organised a talk on nutrition and skin health for the contestants, and some contestants also opted to do private consulting with us thereafter. We still have some of them as loyal clients till today,” says Karishma, who is currently pursuing her culinary nutrition course from Toronto, Canada.
The duo started off with a few consultations in the beginning amid their own social circle, and built on this by conducting workshops, which led them to launch their products.
The first year was mainly used for product line growth, to setup the website, and word of mouth communication. It was in the second year that they started using online marketing channels to reach out to new customers.
The co-founders add that Covid was a time that elevated small businesses, and it gave them the time to work on extending the product line, taking up more online consultations.
“Also, when immunity concerns came to the forefront due to the growing number of Covid cases, people started accepting our products, which have natural immunising ingredients,” says Karishma.
The market and differentiator
An Avendus report says the country’s D2C business is going to be worth $100 billion in the next five years. India has as many as 600 D2C brands – a number that will significantly grow in the next five years, and it has more than 16 brands with an annual turnover of more than $60 million. Some of the other startups operating in the segment include Juicy Chemistry, Mamaearth, Piligrim, Plum, etc.
According to Aditi and Karishma, the core differentiator of Rooting Back is that it doesn’t believe in bulk factory made production. Karishma says they believe that once something is factory made and produced in bulk, it takes away the authenticity of the product and formulation in the natural way which we aim to maintain.
They customise products to each skin type and the consults are also customised to each one’s lifestyle.
“We do not keep our products ready beforehand, as every combination does not work for each person’s individual concerns,” she says.
Adding to this, Aditi says, every product they formulate is practically edible, and they don’t outsource any raw materials or products.
“Each product is treated like a case study – we study and research on the clients’ lifestyle, gut related issues, climatic conditions in which they stay, etc. We take time in curating these products for each one’s different needs, and we don’t aspire to be the run-of-the-mill products that you typically find off the shelf. We ensure to carefully craft and develop our range of edibles + skincare first-hand to ensure complete authenticity and assurance,” adds Aditi.
Revenue and future
The average ticket size of the food products is Rs 1,200, and for beauty it is between R,s 1,500 and Rs 2,000. The co-founders say the cost of setting up the business was between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 8 lakh, and it took around four to six months to setup the business.
Speaking about the future, Aditi says, they want to grow their team and delegate departments like inventory control, distribution, etc., so we can focus on each case study and consultation to develop the best quality products and see concrete results.
Initially, they kept the profit margins low to increase customer base and awareness. Currently at around 20 percent, they plan to increase it to around 50 percent with increased volumes.
“We want to empower people to make a change in their lifestyle and not depend on coaches like us for a life time. We also want to venture into markets outside of Mumbai soon. We have a new beauty/makeup line in the pipeline, which will be more focussed on “mindful beauty”, keeping the Rooting Back authenticity intact,” says Karishma.
Advising women entrepreneurs Aditi says, “Be true to yourself and believe in what you do. Or else you will not be able to convince and educate others to believe in your endeavours.”
Adding to this, Karishma says, “All businesses need some trial and error, so don’t be afraid to try. If a decision doesn’t work out the way you expected, learn from it. You will find that your own skills grow with your business. In general, be patient, steadfast in your principles, and trust yourself.”
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