Kalyani, a natural product enthusiast from childhood, quit her successful career in the IT industry to start Srinivasa Industrial and Agro Products in the end of 2009. The company manufactures essential oils and herbal products under the brand name of Ancient Living.
Talking about business idea, Kalyani says, “I was introduced to essential oils in early childhood. My parents used to grow lemongrass in our own farm. There is an interest towards natural products even while I was in the IT industry. The main aim of the company is to bring the ancient and natural products to the public, who are carried away with the chemical-based products.
“These are 100 per cent natural oils taken from different plant extracts like lavender, lemongrass, Tulsi. When we inhale an essential oil, the smell stimulates the brain’s limbic system which triggers feeling and affects our moods. This can be natural alternative for room freshener which is made of nothing but chemicals. The business started with around `5-6 lakh investment after researching and setting up a machinery for a year. Many of the people said, ‘Who has the time to use products like soap nut powder and oils which take long process in application.’ I did not know whether it will work or not at that time. However, today I can confidently say that my idea is accepted,” she says.
Entrepreneurship is prone to ups and downs. The company had faced difficulties in early years. “Every day is not a good day but the commitment of 20 employees drives me to continue the business.
“Listening to customer has also helped us to grow. Earlier, we used to sell Amla, Brahmi in separate packs. Where in, the customer used to mix these powders to make it a paste and apply. They requested us to bring in the Mix products to the market. We brought the Mix in to the market which was instant success,” she says.
“The business needs time to become a brand as we are not following conventional marketing and distribution practices. There is no marketing, we just dependent on word of mouth of our customers. We don’t do the distribution in a traditional way because the high costs involved in the process. The price of the product has to be raised or the quality has to be deteriorated by giving margins to distributor, dealer, sub-dealer and retailer. By selling directly to the customer, we could provide quality product at low costs. The distribution and retailing happens through exhibitions, online stores, and organic stores like Hyderabad Goes Green. We also have 20 people who do franchise distribution without any investments by displaying our products in different parts of the state,” she says.
The company had invested over Rs.20 lakh over time to build the infrastructure. It has 55 natural products and also wants to bring massage oils very soon.
Initial Investment: Around Rs.5 lakh
Breakeven: December 2011
Total Investments: Over Rs.20 lakh
Revenues in last fiscal: Around Rs.30 lakh