Ramdas Shenoyy in conversation with Anita on the Aromatic industry, the challenges of being an entrepreneur, and future opportunities.
The aroma sector has shown impressive growth in India at an estimated rate of 10 to 11 per cent annually. There are various benefits of aroma on human health and environment and underline the need for exploring new sources and applications of essential oils other than the conventional ones. Fragrance industry has a key role in women empowerment in the country by providing livelihood and income opportunities to rural as well as urban women. Anita Golani, Founder of Anita’s Aromatics is a testimony for the same.
The Aromatic Journey
After completing her Graduation in Commerce from N M College Mumbai, she did what most girls from a similar background do-‘get married and settled down’. A burning ambition, strong passion and a desire to ‘make it on her own’ is what drove her to venture out and find her calling.
The field of ‘Beauty’ is what always caught her attention and interest and a little newspaper clipping drove her to decide ‘Aromatherapy’. Where most young mothers choose to forgo their ambition, she took the bold step to follow her passion, but never compromised on her family duties. She was blessed with a strong support system with her husband and family and pursued a full-fledged course in ‘Aromatherapy’ and further a course in ‘Cosmetology & Formulations’ from Vaze College, Mumbai.
A career in this field was not as easy as it appears today, 18 years ago it was quite nascent and the ‘Beauty Industry’ was just showing its teeth in India. With limited opportunities she started her own line of products. What started with a few assignments for service and products has today blossomed into a full-fledged business venture with the brand name ‘Anita’s’ being well known and widely used in a large number of salons & spa
Role of aroma in life- necessity or a desire
In her years of business, Anita realized that people get attached or get fond of certain aromas. These aromas ring a bell in their head, arouse certain memories & remind them of their unfilled desires. These aromas invigorate their senses & stay with you for a lifetime. These aromas are so naturally ingrained in our DNA, that an unpleasant aroma can ruin your day, cause a headache & leave you feeling under the weather. But on the flip side, there are aromas that perk you up, make you happy, remind you of someone you love, bring a smile to your face. For her aromatherapy has taught her to look at the essence, at the heart of every experience to achieve happiness, serenity & balance.
Go to market strategy
At Anita’s Aromatics consumer is central for the product lifecycle because their demands change swiftly with new market trends. In order to meet these ever-changing demands, the key to success is constantly experiment & innovate, delving deep into use of rich & organic raw materials. The focus is on building relationships with clients & develop exclusive ranges. The mantra for success is innovation, value for money & client relationships at the core.
International & ayurvedic brands and Anita’s Aromatics
With people in India beginning to prioritize the quality of life, the importance of wellness & hence aromatherapy has gained mammoth proportions. There is an immense scope for aromatherapy products that truly deliver on the promises made to the demanding & enlightened Indian consumer. With constant innovation & continuously reinventing themselves they have managed to create a niche market. In the online space soon they will be seen launching “BeLive”. “With BeLive we will be bringing to the end consumer a range that will effortlessly fit into their lives so that they don’t have to choose between chasing their contemporary life goals & wellness”, said Anita.
Challenges of being an entrepreneur
Anita is a hands-on entrepreneur. As per Anita “An entrepreneur in a company like mine has to overview many aspects in the company. From cash flow management, hiring staff who are aligned with your goals, maintaining a work life balance, delegating tasks, deciding on the marketing & product strategies & growing your business etc.”. “So multitasking all of the above efficiently & still being able to maintain your sanity is a challenge that we all have to live upto’, she added.
Anita Roddick & her belief in ethical consumerism, Mary Kay & her belief to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Her grand mother who ran her own business in the 1950s & single handedly raised her kids .
Dare to dream . Believe in yourself & give it your best shot, leave the rest to God. In order to be successful you have to be resilient . You have to gather yourself after every punch & come back stronger & wiser.
Her advice to an aspirant who wants to join the industry
Anita feels she was lucky to have entered the market when it was not so saturated. Her advice to women entering now would be to ensure that they have some trait that sets them apart – a clear differentiator. Keen introspection & progressive mastery of the knowledge in one’s field of choice are the key factors to gain positive momentum in one’s field.
Her plans to combat the post covid biz scenario
As PM Narendra Modi said in his latest communication on India looking at opportunities in times of adversities, post-Covid the focus for Anita Aromatics will be more on incorporating sanitization related products into the spas & salons. Besides hygiene, sanitization will be the new normal. Onus on online marketing in BeLive range of products & more investment in technology for systems.