By IANSlife Features
September 9, 2019 (IANSlife) Vivek Sahni, Founder & CEO, Kama Ayurveda brings the incredible ancient science of Ayurveda to the fore.
Ayurveda is India's traditional knowledge, which was forgotten for some time. Has Kama Ayurveda put it back on the pedestal?
VS: We have been sitting on the incredible ancient science of Ayurveda for years, but our country did not recognise its potential. It was our belief in the power of Ayurveda that drove four of us in 2002 to start Kama Ayurveda to use its authentic and time tested formulations for beauty and wellness.
Korean and Japanese skincare brands are all the rage now. Do you think Indian skincare brands like Kama Ayurveda can tackle the competition?
VS: Across the globe, there is a rising consciousness for balanced, natural, and pure practices, influencing the growth of beauty and wellness brands. The global wellness economy is estimated to be $4.2 trillion today, with precautionary beauty becoming the fastest growing category in the wellness spectrum.
The consumer today is well aware of what ingredients are used in products they use on their skin. Despite extensive ranges of Korean and Japanese skincare brands, the consumer acknowledges the good, long-lasting benefits of Ayurvedic formulations. It is that the science of Ayurveda has a growing stake, in this space. Therefore, there arises the need for authentic Ayurvedic prescriptions. It is in this very sense that Kama Ayurveda is able to create a market for Ayurvedic beauty, by offering pure, holistic treatments for beauty and wellness based on the teachings of Ayurveda.
There has been funding to the tune of 100 CR. By PUIG a Spanish perfume brand; how do you intend to grow the brand?
VS: It gives us immense pride to know a homegrown beauty brand like ours was able to catch the interest of a large, luxury conglomerate, such as PUIG. The stake affirms strong growth and expansion opportunities in the Indian as well as global markets. The investment will allow upscaling the brand, and improving ongoing operations to increase our retails footprint.
Where do you stand on animal testing and sustainability? How do Kama facilities deal with environmental pollutants that may be a by-product of manufacturing?
VS: At no other time in recent history has the environment, and its sustainability been more important. The effects of Global Warming as a phenomenon, are especially impactful on a company like ours, which is based on the use of natural plant-based ingredients. We constantly work towards an improved packaging mechanism, that ensures minimum wastage and a reduced carbon footprint.
In keeping with the same, it is important for us, as a brand, to be transparent to our consumers about the sustainability of our practice. We use 100 percent natural vegetarian products, and all our organic products are internationally certified by COSMOS & USDA.
We do not conduct practices of testing our products on animals, and have recently been certified by PETA India as an animal cruelty free organization.
How do you feel you have contributed and revolutionised the Indian skincare industry?
VS: Kama Ayurveda uses the 5,000 year old wisdom based on plants, flowers and natural resources to revolutionise the Indian skincare industry. The fact that we use traditional Ayurvedic prescriptions- adjusting, modifying and reworking them-for the current market to use, has allowed us to bring about a change. Our research and development has enabled us to create formulations, including an all-natural sun protection with SPF 21, foaming cleansers for sensitive skin and acne, using completely Ayurvedic ingredients.
Which NGOs does Kama Ayurveda support and how far does your CSR outreach go beyond just donations?
VS: Every year on the festival of Holi, Kama Ayurveda works with Delhi based NGO, Prabhat, by sourcing handmade colours through the Avacayam program- an income generating platform for people with disabilities and environmental conservation. Kama Ayurveda also donates its products to New Delhi based NGO-Ila Trust, that provides free mobile clinics, medicines and health check-ups for the underprivileged.
We also work with the All India Artisans & Craftworkers Welfare Association to support the handcrafts sector in India. Its aim is to develop crafts as a discipline and create commercial models of livelihood via crafts and handloom.
Additionally, Kama Ayurveda works very closely with smaller artistic communities, to empower and support them. The intricate wicker baskets used in our store are sourced women artisans in Manipur. The quintessential Dhanwantaram idols placed in our store are also created exclusively for Kama Ayurveda by master craftsmen in Swami Malai, Tamil Nadu. We also celebrated the occasion of Diwali, 2017 by sourcing diyas (small lamps) from the tribal community of Orissa.
Kama Ayurveda has managed to maintain a calculated distant from paid partnerships. How do you pick and choose social media influencers?
VS: We are lucky to have a digital community, who love and support the brand. Bloggers have immense reach, and the channel has proven to be extremely effective. Our collaborations with bloggers and influencers, across India on various campaigns through the year, have been well received. The diversity in their content with each passing festival, occasion or launch present a fresh outlook on varying products.
Your favourite product from your range?
VS: I regularly use the Shaving foam and day cream for men.
Additionally, our flagship products are Bringadi Intensive Hair Treatment and Kumkumadi Miraculous Beauty Fluid – both these products are signature Kama treatments for hair and skin, respectively.
Bringadi Intensive Hair Treatment is an all-in-one treatment for hair loss, premature graying, dandruff that restores and nurtures damaged hair back to health. The earthy scent of the oil has a calming, meditative effect that soothes frayed nerves, uplifts mood and aids in a good night's rest.
Kumkumadi Miraculous Beauty Fluid is an Ayurvedic night serum made with the legendary Kumkumadi oil recipe prescribed for dull, pigmented, damaged and aging skin. This unique blend of oils and herbs is formulated to help skin look young and healthy.
Additionally, I regularly use the Anti shaving foam and Skin Brightening Night Cream for Men.
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