From a kitchen recipe to becoming a Rs 200 Cr turnover personal care brand: the story of Medimix
Launched in 1969 with a black and red packaging which was unheard of for an Ayurvedic brand, Medimix saw the light of the day in VP Sidhan’s kitchen. Finding its place in this vast soap industry, the brand stood firm against each challenge thrown at it and now exports to more than 30 countries.
Long before organic soaps flooded the market, synthetic skin cleansers held a supreme place in the Indian consumer household. Many personal care brands inveigled the customers with their advertisements, putting forward chemicals and SLS-based products.
However, about 50 years ago, when technology was up-and-coming and there was apprehension for Ayurveda, Medimix was born.
The birth of Medimix dates back to the time when the Cholayil family used viprathi oil as a cure for skin ailments. The year 1969 proved pivotal to the family legacy, as Late VP Sidhan combined a timeless tradition with his sharp business acumen, to develop a green bar soap that could both nourish and protect the skin.
Introducing the Ayurvedic soap bar
Launched in 1969 with a vintage black and red packaging which was unheard of for an Ayurvedic brand, Medimix saw the light of the day in Sidhan’s kitchen, who worked as an allopathic doctor for the Indian Railways during that period. His profession meant treating sanitation workers who repeatedly suffered from multiple skin problems and weren’t regular with the prescribed treatment. Coming from a lineage of skilled Ayurvedic practitioners, Dr Sidhan decided to find a solution in Ayurveda for these problems and invented a concoction of 18 herbs and natural oils, using which, Medimix was produced.
Strongly rooted in Ayurveda, this amalgamation of 18 herbs and natural oils continues to become a sought after brand.
This legacy, rich with nature’s secrets and preserving the ethos of time-tested study, has been carefully handed down through generations and has resulted in the development of various products and remedies that have the potency to heal the natural way.
Today, 50 years down the lane, Medimix has become one of the leading Ayurvedic brands in the personal care space, growing on the back of quality products, and raising no investments so far.
The company records a turnover of more than Rs 200 crore and offers personal care products in soap, face wash, body wash, moisturiser, shampoo, and hygiene wash, and is looking at expanding the range into new categories.
In an exclusive interaction with SMBStory, Pradeep Cholayil, Managing Director of Cholayil Pvt. Ltd. (the parent company of Medimix), says,
“We are manned by scientists and Ayurvedic experts who are testing various formulations. Our state-of-the-art research and development centre keeps on developing herbal and natural products in the personal care space. We identify key consumer needs and bring Ayurvedic offering for it after thorough research, development, and testing.”
Pradeep took over the reins of Cholayil Pvt Ltd after Dr VP Sidhan passed away in 2011.
In recent years, Medimix also launched two other brands- Cuticura (talc, soap, and deodorant range) and Krishna Thulsi, a regional soap brand, under its umbrella.
Surviving in Rs 13,000 crore size industry
In the personal care space, soap and face wash markets are highly competitive. It is difficult to compete with various other brands, media spends, and other marketing inputs says Pradeep. Though people believe in using herbal and organic products, they often get sceptical wiping out the demand for fancy body care products.
To rise high in this highly cluttered market, Medimix has differentiated offerings for its customers.
“Being a brand, we took a task to offer something which clearly differentiates us from other brands. During our discussions with consumers, we found that people perceive old Indian practices like Ayurveda and homeopathy to be slow. If we go back thousands of years, we are reminded of Sanjeevini Booti (mentioned in the mythological epic, 'Ramayana'), which saved Lakshman’s life. Today as well, people use neem washes to cure skin infections and aloe vera to hydrate the skin. People still go for Besan (gram flour) for instant oil removal and Haldi (turmeric) for instant glow during wedding seasons. Tell me if Ayurvedic ingredients are fast then how can Ayurveda be slow?”
Medimix products contain such fast-acting Ayurvedic ingredients like the culmination of 18 herbs in the soap, which gives a clear, acne-free, and odour-free skin. The brand is known for its efficacy and quality, Pradeep claims. It is a brand that offers paraben and cruelty-free (not tested on animals) products and is one of the highest-rated soaps on Amazon.
Medimix is a pioneer in the Ayurveda space and with the aim to contemporise the brand and connect with a younger audience, the brand has positioned itself on the platform of ‘Get skin fit with fast-acting Ayurveda’. To amplify this message, Medimix brought actor Parineeti Chopra on board to drive a greater connect with the youth, and to give the brand a new impetus. The same positioning platform will be carried forward in the subsequent campaigns.
Emerging from a kitchen to reaching worldwide
Finding its place in this vast industry, Medimix stood firm against each challenge thrown towards it. Not only it differentiated itself from other brands but, it also promoted Ayurveda that people appreciate sporadically.
Over 50 years down the line, Medimix now supplies to all over India, sans the south Indian market, as per the brand’s arrangement with the AVA group. Apart from that, the brand exports to more than 30 countries including the US, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and many more.
The way forward
Cholayil Pvt. Ltd. wants to continuously work on new product development and wants to become the largest Ayurveda brand, with all types of Ayurveda personal care solutions. The company has a slew of launches planned in the coming six to seven months.
(Edited by Suman Singh)
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