Wellness Franchise Opportunities

Personal CareApr, 13 2015

People prefer organic care over expensive cosmetics: SoulTree Founder

SoulTree is India’s first and the only range of certified natural beauty and personal care products developed by Vedicare Ayurveda Pvt Ltd. Vishal Bhandari, Founder & Director of Soul tree shares a few insights of herbal products market and his brand with

By By Odeal D’Souza

Beauty and wellness has been in demand right from ancient days. However, in the recent time, southern India has become a hub of herbal and Ayurveda products. There has been a constant rise in demand for herbal products in the region due to which many brands are investing in this category of market.

One of the entrepreneurs cashing-in on high demand natural ingredient based products is Vishal Bhandari, who has been in the organic and natural space for over 10 years now. As a young man, he envisioned of creating products that truly benefited people as well as the environment, and wished to play his own modest role in this march of goodness and honesty. He decided to create a business enterprise on the principles of sustainable development and thus, from a journey deep in the heart of the Himalayas, he started Vedicare Ayurveda Pvt Ltd, the parent company of SoulTree brand.

There has been a growing demand for herbal products in southern India. What essentially is the reason?
In South India, places like Bangalore and states like Kerala, people have great awareness when it comes to traditional herbs. People would buy herbal oils for hair care rather than taking a hair spa. In many urban households, Naturopathy and Vedic treatments are preferred and they shell out huge lumsome for this kind rather than for a well set spa. There is great response and hence South India is a great market for herbal and Ayurveda beauty care. People here are also tied to their traditional roots. Our ‘Potli bags’ containing oils and herbs is a great hit in down south. It is the first of its kind and novel idea taken from ancient times.

What is the reason this has not caught up in North?
In southern India, people prefer herbal oils for hair care. In north India, I don’t see that much awareness or want for these products. Hence the market here is large. People like to venture into organic care rather than expensive cosmetics.

What was the reason for you to venture into Vedicare?
When my daughter was born, we, as parents were confused on what to apply on her, which oil or herb, this eventually led me to find out more on Vedicare. Further, it enhanced my idea that South India could be a good region to work on organic business. After quitting my job, I worked in organic business and thought that it can be a great market.

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What is Soul Tree about?
SoulTree is India’s first and the only range of certified natural beauty and personal care products developed by Vedicare Ayurveda Pvt. Ltd. The products are crafted from natural origin ingredients, using natural oils and carefully selected Ayurvedic herbs which are grown organically or wild-crafted in the Himalayas. Soul Tree products carry the assurance of German hallmark for natural beauty products.

What is exclusive about Soul Tree?
In addition to the organic Ayurvedic herbs, these natural origin ingredients are derived from natural sources through strictly regulated processes to ensure that synthetic and harmful ingredients do not make their way into the products. No artificial colours, fragrances or harmful preservatives are added. SoulTree products are free of parabens and silicones. Every SoulTree product comes in a recyclable packaging as the brand believes in complete transparency and lists all the ingredients on each product label to allow customers to make an informed decision.

Elaborate on the concept of using ‘Potli bags’ for the product distribution?
In ancient times, people used to keep Potlis of oil with some herbs in it, for head massage. Hence, we have exclusive and novel hair care Potli bags for head massages and hair care. We saw huge demand and tremendous response from the consumers for these Potlis as it has great medicinal properties.

Share more about some of your exclusive products?
Our Kajal is exclusive made out of the residue of the ancient lamps. Soul Tree products contain various herbs known for their beneficial properties such as Amrita, which is an Ayurvedic her for radiant skin, Ananda, an ayurvedic bath care product, Keshava, Ayurveda of healthy lustrous hair, Mohini, Ayurveda for beauty and grooming.

How did you raise seed capital for your business?
I spent from my pocket.

What are your expansion plans?
We plan to move into the entire southern and then capture northern region in the inherent future.

What is the future scope of organic products business in the down south?
There is a great market for organic business down here. I would rather say that beauty is going organic.

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Related: Panasonic forays in easy-to-carry personal care segment

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