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In Conversation with Mr. Rakesh Patni, Entrepreneur, Investor & Co-Founder of Naturma

Business2business had a personal and an insightful interview with Mr. Rakesh Patni, the co- founder of Naturma. He enlightens us with his journey till now and also with his idea of empowering rural women and marketing products that are made by small manufacturing units and NGOs to help them scale and hire more workers in the local regions. Do check out the interview below :-

When did you think of starting your own brand and and what was your reason for starting up? 

We thought of starting our own brand after we moved from London 3 years ago.   It was based on a simple ideal - to do business that would be sustainable, eco, with minimum carbon footprint, empowering rural women and marketing products that are made by small manufacturing units and NGOs to help them scale and hire more workers in the local regions.

What's your Mission?

Our mission at Naturma is to provide transparency and quality to our consumers.   We make natural and organic skincare products using high quality raw ingredients, in small batches sizes to keep them clean and fresh but also to increase its efficacy and potency.   Our mission is also to be transparent so that the customer truly understands what he is purchasing and trust the quality, efficacy and worth of what they are investing in for themselves.  The ingredients on the packaging are written in plain English making it very easy for consumers to understand what they’re buying and we clearly mention which ingredients are organic.   We also, do not claim anything that we are not.   We have mentioned that all our products are natural and vegan - except the Lip Balms which have cruelty-free Bees Wax. 

To what do you attribute your success?

I would have to attribute our success to a number of things.   Firstly, it would be our manufacturing partners who have worked with us tirelessly in creating formulations that work for our brand.   They have had to source higher quality ingredients at times for us when the product was not at a level we wanted.   We have had numerous modifications to get the product to smell and feel the way we wanted.   We would also not have been able to do it without our branding partners who have worked very closely with us in designing our logo, motifs and packaging to create a contemporary brand identity that we wanted. 

What are the bottlenecks you have been facing and where do you see your organisation five years down the lane?

One of the biggest challenges a small company like Naturma faces is reaching new customers.  India is a vast country and distribution can be quite challenging and the cost of acquiring new customers is relatively high.

What would be one piece of advice to someone just starting out?

I would highly recommend you do your market research and make sure that the product you launch is solving a problem for your consumers.  There needs to be a strong market product fit.  Do not try to start something and hope that customers like it, do your research first. If there is a market for it or you are genuinely solving a problem, you will be swimming on the wave and not fighting the current.  Finally, don’t be afraid to pivot – if something doesn’t get traction despite all your efforts then move onto something else.

If you weren't an entrepreneur, what would you be doing? 

If I were not an entrepreneur, running Naturma, I would probably be working for a corporate or perhaps an NGO.  Another option, perhaps a little far fetched – would be writing a book and helping others maximize their potential.

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