Bringing back the tradition
Guntur-based woman entrepreneur Gopi Lavanya decided to fall back on tradition and the goodness of Indian herbs to make wellness products and market them under the name ‘Perfect Herbal Products’
Hailing from Guntur and settled in Hyderabad,Gopi Lavanya Misra, a 32-year-old woman makes her way into the herbal cosmetic industry giving it a homely touch.
Following the age-old traditions of body care methods, she began her own brand 'Perfect Herbal Products', and using her qualification and experience, she wishes to create awareness among people, who use commercial beauty products for their body.
Being awarded for her works and gearing up to reach new heights, she shares her story on starting this business and her journey in a freewheeling chat.
Tell us about yourself
I have completed my B.SC and after that I have done a PG Diploma in Cosmetolog. I have also studied astrology in which I am pursuing my Doctorate. My husband is a software employee and I have a son who is in 10th standard.
How did you get the idea of manufacturing herbal products?
Our family members faced a problem of dandruff. Since I have studied cosmetology and my grandmother, who lives in Kerala too helped me in giving out ayurvedic medicines, we made a few products to deal with the problem and experimented on ourselves.
It was successful and then slowly, I started launching them one by one as shampoos, hair oil and other products.
How many years of research have gone into manufacturing these products?
It took me approximately one year. I made products using chemicals at first, but then I started getting side effects like foot cracks, which is when I thought using herbal products is the only way.
What are the various herbal products available on your brand name and what ingredients go into this?
Herbal products like shampoo have ingredients that our grandmothers used, like kunkudukai, sikakai, menthulu, alovera gel. For few of them who have white hair we make bhringraj oil with menthulu, guntagargaakku, usirikaya, etc. We also make face wash and walnut scrub.
How many employees work under you?
There are 29 ladies and one man, who work in my manufacturing unit.We are located at Boduppal. We have started the unit in 2011 and we have named our products as 'Mallow' and 'Glow and Grow'. We also do contract works.
How do customers reach you?
We have a manufacturing unit and so we put up stall in exhibitions where we explain about our products and they get in touch with us to buy them.
We exhibit our products every year at Nampally exhibition and then we even target private exhibitions and also participate in the Dwakra group exhibitions.
What were the challenges that came to you?
Marketing was the biggest challenge as it is very risky job, and then it was about the awareness. People treat the rich and poor differently and keep criticising work that a woman does.
I too faced the same challenge. There were people in my society, who questioned me and my work, but then I took them positively and moved on with the work that I was doing.
I take every negative aspect as a challenge and try to overcome it by achieving things on a higher level. If a woman is coming out to work and be independent there would definitely be problems, but one should have the zeal and guts to overcome them.
How supportive was your family?
My family has always given me huge support, be it my husband, my in-laws; they are all very encouraging and serve as a backbone to me. If I am still studying it is all because of my husband.
What would be the future of your products?
We do not have machinery currently. We use the usual stove to make the products, to store the products we use drums and to label the products we use roti makers; it is all done manually.
We wish to acquire some automation. We are also planning to come up with different products like body gel, herbal gel.