Ayurveda has gained back its lost charm and is now helping hew mothers to embrace motherhood.
Being a mother is not easy and every new mother needs to receive post natal care that helps her body to heal internally and externally. In a conversation with Rekha Babu, Founder, Soothika, she tells us the need for post natal care, the increasing awareness about ayurveda and why they claim to be the fastest growing mother and baby products franchise system.
1. On what factors does the strong foundation of Soothika stand?
The foundation on which Soothika stand is the fact that a woman’s body goes through a lot of changes during pregnancy and we want to cater to them through our post-pregnancy care range of products. Soothika works towards bringing back a woman’s energy, confidence, appearance and many other essentials that get lost after the delivery. Becoming a mother is not easy and there is a lot of mental stress associated with it. In order to stabilise all these points is the base on which Soothika stands. It is needed by every mother to bring back not only her physical appearance but also her mental stability which is very important. Our products provide a restoring process to maintain the mental as well as the physical balance and help a woman’s body in the healing process. So, Soothika is essential for every mother and we aim towards reaching all of them.
2. Kindly share your entrepreneurial journey.
I was involved in an Ayurveda cure and care enterprise and that is where when we did a lot of research, we came to know that a lot of people, especially mothers, were asking us about what to for post-pregnancy care. That is when we realised that there is no set product or any standardised service for post-pregnancy care. We came across the fact that there is a market out there for this issue but no solution is available. So, Soothika is the one and only solution to post-pregnancy care in the world, in terms of a product and service. It’s been more than three years since we started this organisation and just one and a half years ago, our brand got investment by the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation and we are also brand capital partner with The Times of India. We have grown by 300% in the last one year as we garnered a lot of attraction because of the investments. We are across 15 cities in India through our franchising model.
3. How is Ayurveda making a comeback in the Indian consumer market?
I would say that it is not a comeback; it is like that more people have got aware and more awareness has been created as there are many players in the Ayurveda market right now. Earlier, there were only a handful of traditional practitioners in the market and the information that used to go through them was also used to reach very less number of people. There are now a lot many corporates and new companies that are entering the Ayurveda sector. A lot of importance is being given to creating awareness about ayurveda. If we take Soothika, our objective is not only manufacturing and selling but also creating awareness about the need for postnatal care. I think it is a matter of content marketing savvy organisations that are in the ayurveda market who are creating more awareness. New target audiences are also joining in and becoming a part of this ayurveda journey. I would like to say that the number of people that come across ayurveda, maximum number of them become a fan of it as they realise how nature is caring for them.
4. Apart from products, what all services does Soothika provide?
We have postnatal care and newborn baby care services. These are like therapy services. In earlier days, providing postnatal care services was a traditional job. People who were into these services would train their daughters or daughter in laws to carry forward the tradition. Like every other job form, these traditional services are being wiped out. We realised that people who were going to postnatal therapists had no idea what to do as they had no training. We have standardised the process of postnatal care. We are working with NSDC and have provided a complete qualification pack on how a person can be trained in order to become a postnatal care and newborn baby care therapist. NSDC is the process of standardising this and this will become a job profile across India.
5. Why do you claim that your brand is the fastest growing mother and baby products franchise system in India?
We can claim that we are the fastest growing because we are the only mother and baby care product segment in the world. There is no other product in the market that is the ayurvedic mother and baby care ‘prodice’ i.e. which is a product and a service. The success of our franchisees is 100% month on month in terms of achieving targets. Also, our model doesn’t require huge infrastructure and the turnover time for franchises is very high.
6. Tell us about your franchising model.
We have area wise franchises. For example, in Mumbai, we have three franchises as we have divided the areas accordingly. Just like that, we have franchises in Delhi, Ludhiana, Gwalior and these all are area wise franchises. The territorial right is given to one franchise outlet to operate in one particular territory and our franchisees have to work through hospitals as our product model is pharma based. We don’t make our products available in other stores. Gynaecologists are endorsing us because we are the only solution to postnatal care. Because of this, our business model is also focused. Our franchisees grow and have 100% conversions by only focusing on one segment where the audience is captive. We also have channel partners under our franchisees even in the smaller areas.
7. Any expansion plans for the brand to look forward to?
We are immediately looking at the international markets. We are currently looking at Middle-east, Sri Lanka and Singapore. We are covering 15 cities in India at present and in the next six months, our target is to reach 50 franchisees across metro cities in India.