How a single incident helped these individuals to pursue entrepreneurship, impacting several lives

This week, SMBStory covered the stories of Guru Manish Ji and Kirti Poonia, who pursued the path of entrepreneurship after a single incident changed their lives.

How a single incident helped these individuals to pursue entrepreneurship, impacting several lives

Sunday May 09, 2021,

5 min Read

It is often said that life is full of surprises. This week, SMBStory covered the stories of entrepreneurs whose lives changed after a single incident — Guru Manish Ji, Founder of an Ayurveda brand, and Kirti Poonia, who heads an NGO-turned ecommerce business.

Shuddhi Ayurveda 

Shuddhi Ayurveda

Guru Manish Ji, Founder, Shuddhi Ayurveda

Guru Manish Ji was 16-years-old when he got prone to fever, cough, and cold. Sometimes, the fever could get severe enough to detect jaundice, and for around two years, he stayed unwell.

“I went to every doctor, knocked the doors of astrologers, and adopted every possible prescription and remedy they gave me, but all in vain,” he shares.


In 1995, during a summer holiday, he went to his aunt’s house in Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan, where his uncle was running an Ayurvedic clinic. He gave him Ayurvedic concoctions and medicines, and to his surprise, he started recovering. 

“At that point, I realised that allopathic medicines suppress the symptoms of a health problem and do not give a cure. This made me more curious to study this alternative medicine, and I divulged my interest in studying Ayurveda,” Guru Manish Ji says. 

He studied Charak Samhita written by Charak Rishi — the encyclopedia of Ayurveda — and other books to get a deep understanding of this ages-old holistic science.

“By the 2000s, I had started working with various Ayurvedic practitioners to get a know-how of the industry. By 2013, I decided to make Ayurvedic medicines known to the public and established a brand,” he adds.


Guru Manish Ji started his brand by the name “Divya Upchar.” However, he had to rename it to Shuddhi Ayurveda in 2019 due to trademark issues.

Shuddhi Ayurveda has 160 clinics across India with 250 Ayurvedic doctors, 15 dieticians, and 15 BHMS doctors to diagnose patients. He claims that on average, Shuddhi Ayurveda’s clinics treat about 11,000 patients in a month pan-India.

According to the Registrar of Companies (RoC) filings, the company clocked Rs 95 crore turnover in FY20.

Read the full story here.



Kirti Poonia, Head of Okhai

Kirti Poonia always believed that travelling can teach a person much more than any college degree or educational institute. This prompted her to enroll herself for Jagriti Yatra in 2010, a 15-18 days train journey.


When the odyssey was near its end, the last stopover was Mithapur, a small district in Gujarat where Kirti encountered a bunch of women artisans making handicraft clothes and accessories. 


Kirti reminisces that at the time, she was young and naive, and did not really appreciate that experience fully. “I was more interested in going to the beach at that time,” she says.


But, lady luck smiled and decided to give Kirti an opportunity that would change her life. 


Kirti had been working with the Tata Group since 2007. She later got selected for the company’s leadership programme — Tata Administrative Services or TAS. As part of the programme, in the serendipity of sorts, Kirti was once again pulled towards Mithapur, which happened to be the birthplace of Tata Chemicals. 


The Tata Chemicals Society for Rural Development (TCSRD) had launched the Okhai Centre for Empowerment in 2008 to support rural women artisans. 

When Kirti came across the artisan women again, she underwent a moment of epiphany. “These women were amazingly talented. I realised that their products were so exotic that the world had to see them,” she says.

Kirti launched the Okhai website in 2015. Gradually, the products started getting listed on Tata Cliq, Amazon, Nykaa, and several others platforms.


The company has continued to grow and scale. The business saw its turnover increase by 67 percent in FY21 from FY20.


Read the full story here.

Other top stories of the week:


archit gupta, founder cleartax

Cleartax Founder and CEO Archit Gupta

ClearTax, a provider of GST filing software, believes that ‘ClearOne’ — its new GST-compliant billing and e-invoicing product — can meet these requirements.


In April 2021, it launched ClearOne and said it is an “easy to set up and easy to use invoicing product, which enables SMEs to generate professional invoices for their business.”

Using the product, SMEs can make bills/invoices, customise them as per requirements, raise and monitor their invoices on the go, and be fully compliant with regulatory requirements. 

In an interview with SMBStory, Archit Gupta, Founder and CEO of ClearTax, describes how ClearOne was built and explains how SMEs can use it.

Read the full story here.

Rage Coffee 

Rage Coffee

Bharat Sethi, Founder and CEO, Rage Coffee

According to IBEF, India is the third-largest producer and exporter of coffee in Asia. In fact, it is the sixth-largest producer and fifth-largest exporter of coffee in the world. 


Besides, of the total coffee produced in India, only 30 percent is consumed domestically while 70 percent is exported. 

Seeing this trend, Bharat Sethi decided to launch Rage Coffee — a Delhi-based coffee brand — which he calls a “digitally native FMCG company.” 

The direct-to-consumer brand manufactures and sells innovative coffee products through its online and offline channels. 


Recently, it raised an undisclosed amount as part of its pre-Series A funding from a slew of investors led by Refex Capital.


Bharat claims that the business reported an ARR of Rs 10 crore for the calendar year December 2020. He also claims the brand has grown 5X during the pandemic. 


Read the full story here.

Edited by Suman Singh