An accidental entrepreneur -- Samrath Bedi – quit his banking job and came back to India in 2001 to help his mother Mira Kulkarni in her luxury Ayurveda personal care products venture—Forest Essentials.
Without any market research or consumer studies, Bedi simply followed his gut instinct and led this brand towards success. Forest Essentials currently retails at 70 stores across India and an online business exporting to over 120 countries.
In an interview with CNBC-TV18’s Nithya Balakrishnan, Samrath Bedi spoke about the brand’s conception and his vision for its future. Edited excerpts:
Balakrishnan: What was the idea behind the inception of Forest Essentials?
Bedi: At a time when the market was dominated by mass appeal brands with questionable ingredients, my mother had set out to find a high quality product which represented India and its traditions. She recognised a gap in the market that needed to be filled. And since she had a long history with Rishikesh, she went back there to find out if it was possible to make a product with natural, high quality ingredients that would deliver on their promise. That’s where this idea was conceptualised.
Balakrishnan: India has been synonymous with Ayurveda for centuries now, but it was your brand that created a segment for luxury Ayurveda; a segment that didn’t exist before. How did that come about?
Bedi: Today, luxury Ayurveda is an overused term as many brands claim to offer that. We started building this concept because we knew Ayurveda is effective and has a proven science behind it, but it was a tough and age-old process that hadn’t changed or developed in the way it was being used. The idea behind calling Forest Essentials luxury Ayurveda was to say it is luxurious for Ayurveda. The key was to maintain the efficacy and age-old traditions of Ayurveda, and make it available to today’s modern consumer because Ayurveda is a lifestyle and not just a product.
Balakrishnan: One of the most crucial things about the product is its pure, organic ingredients. Where does the manufacturing take place?
Bedi: We are what we like to call ‘farm to bottle’. We source our own ingredients, we have our own formulations, and we manufacture the products and sell it to consumers; which is quite unique among brands as not everyone has end-to-end solutions. This allows us to maintain our product quality.
Watch the complete episode here
to find out more about Forest Essentials interesting journey as CNBC-TV18’s Disruptors.