Nandhini Priya N.: A UNYEILDING PERSONA WITH UNPARALLELED QUALITIES
“I don’t believe in failure. It is not a failure if you enjoyed the process”, Oprah Winfrey.
The above statement undoubtedly explains the incredible zeal an entrepreneur carries to succeed. With the flow of time, the prominence of a woman in society has seen a paradigm shift. In the last decade, women have become more self-aware and have come out of their comfort zone to achieve feats that were deemed impossible. Nandhini Priya N. is one such woman, who stepped out of the conventional zone and created a prolific foundation that empowers women, especially homemakers to be strong self-sufficient.
Nandhini was fundamentally driven by, the thirst to be a changemaker in the society. Whether it’s her profession as an advocate, repeated failures in cracking the Indian Civil Services or the struggle to get her products on the shelves, Nadhini has been “A force to reckon with”. Her robust motivation has always been a benefactor in turning challenges to opportunities. Her brainchild AEKA Herbal Cosmetics Pvt. Ltd. is an epitome of remarkable quality and is pioneering the national market with natural cosmetic products.
Brought under the spotlight in 2017, AEKA is an innovative business; floating on an online platform and is run by a team of women. As mentioned before, AEKA was established with Nandhini’s focus to bring transition in people’s lives. Nandhini endeavoured a stint of 10 years in cracking the Indian Civil Services examination; but, always faced a simultaneous failure. However, this stretch gave her extensive knowledge and experience to conceptualize a revolutionary platform.
Nandhini was very enlightened with the significance of self-care & skincare. Being a potential buyer of cosmetic products, she introspected that skincare products were mostly chemical dumped and wasn’t able to procure satisfying results even for simple anomalies like pimples/acne. Adding to this, the few natural/herbal products available in the market are not very affordable; this is why AEKA came into the picture! By combining the goodness of nature and an urge to create something wholesome, Nadhini established AEKA Herbal Cosmetics Pvt. Ltd. AEKA is a manufacturer of natural and reasonable cosmetic products under the brand – YEKA. The brand focuses on two aesthetic features of women’s health – Skincare and Haircare.
A ONE-OF-A-KIND ORGANISATION
The salient feature of AEKA is built upon its comprehensive business model. The brand is accommodated, with adept professionals who are fabulous housewives and homemakers, as well. Apart from this, the entire business is run on a virtual platform. Further to stay connected, the team utilizes contemporary applications like WhatsApp, Instagram, Team Viewer, Asana among the others. The Company at present has a team of 10-12 professionals, working from different corners of the country; most of them are new mothers. The Company’s Co-Founder Poorani. R is a new mother and leads a team of women through the tech-powered platform. Recalling her business model, Nandhini asserts, “Being Women ourselves, we wanted to give women an opportunity to explore themselves.” As of now, AEKA has accommodated 35 employees out of which 15 is working online as they are new mothers and couldn’t go for regular work due to family commitments. The innovative framework has helped AEKA create a substantial presence in the market.
UNYIELDING TO CHALLENGES
Since its inception, AEKA was baffled, with sequential challenges of the market. Starting from the top, finding the right ingredients and curating the adept product was a challenge. After a meticulous R&D, AEKA was able to procure reasonable products by, blending technology with nature. Next, it faced the most daunting challenge – Marketing. Since retailers generally looked for popular brands; getting AEKA’s products on the shelves was an uphill task. Still, Nandhini and her team showed their dedication and placed their products across 20 stores in Chennai, but then seeking potential customers became a concern.
From the above experiences, Nandhini concluded that physical marketing required investment in stores, campaigns, sales teams, etc. and despite all the efforts, output was still meagre. This was the turning point of AEKA. Shifting from the traditional approaches, the Company invested in the social media platform, which helped to reach out to customers directly. From there on, 90% of AEKA’s business has been on Instagram & Facebook. They have around 20,000 Customers across India & it is increasing rapidly.
HANDCRAFTED WITH NATURE
Cosmetics made out of chemicals or foreign ingredients are widely consumed by, Indian customers. AEKA focuses on changing these practices and emphasizes the profound benefits of native herbs such as Avarampoo, Liquorice, Moringa, Lotus, Hibiscus, Virgin Coconut Oil and so on. Blending these herbs with adept technology, AEKA crafts customized products that match the customer’s requirements. Two of their renowned products are:
- YEKA Hair Oil: By blending the often ignored, but powerful – Moringa leaves with 5 other fresh greens, AEKA crafts its YEKA Moringa & Green Magic Herbal Hair Oil. The brand proudly shares its capability to blend – 6 varieties of herbs with 20 key ingredients, for the hair oil. Customers testify this product as satisfying, for having their hair regrown, even in their bald areas.
- YEKA Golden Glow Skin Oil: Made with the combination of Virgin Coconut Oil & Fresh Damascus Rose Petals, the YEKA Golden Glow Skin Oil is often termed as a Miracle Oil, by customers. From body care to glowing face to lip care, foot care, stretch marks removal, tan removal, anti-pigmentation, this Oil is a one-stop solution, for all the problems.
ACHIEVEMENTS ACCOMMODATED SO FAR
Within a short stretch, AEKA has become a renowned brand in Chennai. For the brand’s outstanding products, Nandhini has become a widely acknowledged and valued leader in the market. She has been a guest speaker in ‘Magalir Thiruvizha’ Women Empowerment Programme, organized by ‘THE HINDU’ newspaper. AEKA’s products are accommodated, by popular Celebrities in the region. Furthermore, Nandhini has been a guest speaker in many talk shows, sharing her vision and inspiration to empower aspiring individuals.
SETTING THE STAGE FOR WOMEN ENTREPRENEURSHIP
The cornerstone of AEKA is women empowerment and emphasizing on it, AEKA has been able to bring change in the life of many homemakers and new mothers. In addition to AEKA, Nandhini has founded PeNPassionates – A women entrepreneur association; focused on empowering homepreneurs and women who wish to grow and do something good with life. Aspiring women are facilitated with periodical training, mentoring sessions and exchange of ideas and experiences too. They have also conducted digital marketing workshops to empower these women and their business.
FOR BUDDING ENTREPRENEURS
“Do Business On Paper First! Before starting any business, we need to plan every minute part as well. Try foreseeing problems that may arise and come up with a solution, accordingly. Also, try to find a good mentor and discuss your plan and take calculated risks if required. Furthermore, be aware of finances, accounting, people management, logistics, administration, etc. along with, product development. Above all, Don’t get demotivated by failures, treat them as lessons and don’t give up till the end”, concludes Nandhini.