Solving complex problems in the healthcare industry and manufacturing cosmetics to celebrate beauty; top SMB stories of the week

This week, SMBStory covered the journeys of Girish Rao and former actress Aashka Goradia, and how they built brands that have carved a niche in the healthcare and beauty industry respectively.
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India’s liberalisation of the insurance sector and the rising popularity of the Internet in the late 90s led to Girish Rao embarking on an entrepreneurial journey.  

Vidal Health Chairman and MD Girish Rao

As someone who was looking to challenge the status quo and solve complex problems, the mechanical engineer started Vidal Health in 2002 in Bengaluru to provide third-party administration (TPA) services in the healthcare space. 

Shankar Bali — a telecom and fintech professional — joined him as the Joint Managing Director. “At that time, Indian insurance opened up for private organisations. I got the license and began Vidal Health with the mission to provide good quality TPA services to health insurance policyholders in India and abroad,” Girish tells SMBStory. 

At present, Vidal — one of India's top health services management companies — operates at over 800 locations in India and partners with over 10,000 empanelled service providers, including hospitals, diagnostics labs, and clinicians.  

Girish claims Vidal processes over one million claims and eight lakh pre-authorisation requests annually. It handles a premium portfolio of Rs 3,000 crore in health insurance.

Read the full story here

Renee Cosmetics

Renee Cosmetics founder Aashka Goradia

Spurred by digitisation, the Indian market for cosmetics products is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 4.23 percent to $20 billion between 2020 and 2025, according to data from Mordor Intelligence and Statista. It is against this backdrop and to celebrate women’s natural beauty that actor-turned-entrepreneur Aashka Goradia realised her dream to manufacture and sell cosmetic products under her own brand, Renee Cosmetics.

The products made by Renee’s manufacturing partners in Gujarat were then sold on its website, as well as on Nykaa, Amazon, Flipkart, and social media channels. Aashka does not disclose the brand’s sales figures but says the strategy has worked, and Renee has grown quickly from a small manufacturing enterprise to a team of 50 employees. 

“Our revenue has risen 30X, and we are now targeting an ARR of Rs 100 crore,” she says, adding, "We have engaged approximately 75,000 consumers in the last three months."

After seeing initial success with her lipstick and eyelash products, Aashka diversified into manufacturing Kohlistic Eye Range, Strobe Queen Highlighters, Check Matte Lipsticks, Brushes Set, Eyebrow Growth Roll-On, and Make-up Removing Balm, among others.

Read the full story here.

Other top stories of the week -

Tata Elxsi

Nitin Pai, Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Strategy Officer, Tata Elxsi

Tata Group’s design and technology services company, Tata Elxsi, has a strong presence in sectors such as automotive, healthcare, media and communications, and transportation, including electric mobility. Some of the company’s notable undertakings include a project with the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, Mumbai. 

The company is also working on providing an integrated transportation system to Kochi Metro Rail Limited. This project will not just integrate metro services, but also bring together bus services, taxi, and other local transport systems. This way, a customer’s journey from home to the final destination is taken care of. 

Additionally, Tata Elxsi is also developing a smart card the customer can use for making one payment for the entire course of the journey. In the OTT space, the company has worked with brands such as Hotstar, Voot, SonyLIV, Discovery+, and Zee5. Last year, Tata Elxsi also launched an artificial intelligence (AI) centre to meet the country’s growing need for intelligent systems.  

The company, which is listed on Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange, recently announced its Q4 results, reporting an 8.7 percent increase in its quarter on quarter revenues (QoQ) to Rs 518 crore. “Technology is ultimately for improving customer experience, and that is where we are uniquely positioned,” says Nitin Pai, Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Strategy Officer of Tata Elxsi, who joined the company in 1996. In a conversation with SMBStory, he speaks about the automotive industry, EVs, SMBs, and much more.

Read the full story here.

Filter Concept 

Mehul Panchal, Founder, Filter Concept

Filter concept — a two-decade-old company — offers complete filtration technology solutions, catering to various filtration requirements of air, gas, and liquid for safe working conditions in the industrial infrastructure.

“When I started Filter Concept in 2002, at that time, the filtration business was confined to merely marketing and product selling to the industries, while application analysis was particularly at their lowest levels. Possessing a technical background, I was doing my own research, and Filter Concept was born,” Mehul tells SMBStory.

A chemical engineer and an MBA by qualification, Mehul started the company in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, by investing Rs 10,000.

According to Mehul, Filter Concept raked in Rs 100 crore turnover in FY20. The company exports to 87 countries and earns 80 percent of its revenue from these exports and 20 percent from PSUs.

Read the full story here.

Edited by Kanishk Singh

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