Hi Guys!! I hope you all are doing good.
I am back with another Hearty Interview for you guys. I am really really enjoying this series and hope you are doing it as well.. Today I have interviewed Mrs. Madhurima Ramakrishna from Aroma Essentials which is one of my most favorite skincare brand.
Aroma Essentials was started by her almost 17 years ago. Armed with a degree/diploma in Cosmetology and Aesthetics, she set out to make homemade cosmetics and skin products to treat her own acne condition. The positive results led her to start researching about solutions for skin and hair conditions for the womenfolk at large.
What started as an individual’s passion is now slowly being transformed into a beauty revolution, using natural and hand made products. Aroma Essentials provides completely natural solutions for skin and hair care, so that you do not have to worry about any side effects. Their products are a combination of Aromatherapy and Botanical extracts.
Their products are composed of natural essential and vegetable oils, natural butters and emollients that are safe to use and are non-comedogenic and non-irritant. This ensures that these products give your skin and hair a complete nourishing, refreshing and revitalizing experience.
So now without wasting any further time, let’s quickly ask her some questions and get to know her and her brand better.
When did Aroma Essentials start?
Ans. The seed was planted around the year 2000 . Even before that I was making simple products –using ingredients from kitchen and Ayurvedic herbs.
What are your main responsibilities in your office?
Ans. I am primarily responsible for conceptualisation of new products, researching and creating the products. I also am totally responsible for providing consultation to customers on which products would be suitable to them as per skin type, their medical history, lifestyle and so on.
I also provide inputs on the raw material inputs, inventory requirements and costing of the products.
How did you choose your brand’s name?
Ans. Interestingly, the name just happened. We had intended to name our brand Essentials and with a mention of Aroma – however, destiny had its own plans and the Printers who were printing our catalogue etc, printed it as Aroma Essentials. The name has stuck with us since then.
How many products does your range have or what categories do you have in general?
Ans. We have close to 70+ products that are regularly ordered by our patrons. The products range from facewashes, sunscreens, scrubs, masks, oils, moisturisers to soaps
In addition, we also make customised products for people with specific conditions, which don’t necessarily form part of our published Catalogue.
Broadly we could classify our products into 3 categories:
1. Skin care
2. Hair Care
3. Baby care
4. Pet care
What is your personal favorite product from your range?
Ans. is like asking someone to pick who their favorite child is.
Which brand is your biggest competitor at the moment?
Ans. Frankly speaking, I hardly get time to check who our competitors are. We try to create products in the most natural way possible and also aim to cater to the needs of our patrons. Our satisfaction lies in this and not in numbers or competition
How fairly priced your products are according to you?
Ans. Our aim is to make the most reasonable products and make them available in quantities that could cater to the requirements of customers in every strata of society. However, in some cases, our products might seem pricier, due to the sheer expensive nature of the ingredients that go into them. We make every effort not to compromise on the quality or quantity of the essential oils and other ingredients that go into our products.
Why are your products not available on different e-commerce websites like Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal etc and just on direct contact with you?
Ans. Though we make products that could cater to folks at large, we ensure that we talk to our prospective and existing customers and understand their exact requirements, consider any pre-existing conditions etc. before suggesting the best products for them. This would not be possible if we listed our products on e-commerce websites.
How do you respond when someone says something negative about your brand or a particular product?
Ans. How would someone respond to criticism about their children? It’s the same when it comes to criticism of my products or brand because these are not just commercial products, these are hand-made creations of my passion to make a difference to people and their daily lives.
I do listen to constructive criticism or feedback as it helps me improve the quality and effectiveness of my products. However, some people tend to criticise us or our products for factors other than the quality of our products – like for eg. Delays in courier delivery.
These are factors that are beyond our control and we can only help facilitate follow-ups to ensure delivery. Also, there are a few people who in their eagerness to get and use our products, expect ‘instant’ delivery of products and tend to get disappointed when we take time to make fresh batches of their products and subsequently despatch (though we inform them about the tentative time taken for despatch) and resort to venting their frustration in the form of criticism of our products.
How attractive is your products’ packaging according to you?
Ans. As I have mentioned earlier, our aim is to make products available to customers in every strata of society, we have voluntarily not put too much of focus on the packaging of our products, which I feel is basic and functional.
Personally, I pay more attention to the efficacy of the inner contents of a package than the package per se. Probably this is what reflects in the packaging of our products
When do you plan to avail your products to the consumers locally in the market and not just online?
Ans. In today’s world, global is local. However, to answer your question, we are working on the feasibility of introducing exclusive Aroma Essentials experience centers in a couple of metros and are hopeful of starting the first one by mid of 2018
Would you rather lose all your customers or Rs. 1,00,000?
Ans. This is a no-brainer for me… Take all the money in the world but give me a handful of satisfied and loyal customers… They are family to me…
When things need to be done and everything is in chaos, what do you do?
Ans. I just switch off, listen to devotional music or watch horror movies…
What is the biggest challenge your brand has faced till now?
Ans. My response might seem clichéd but every new day and every new customer is a challenge. But thankfully to the divine presence and blessings, we are able to thrive on these challenges and emerging victorious.
However, it is never easy to cater to each and every person’s requirement due to the sheer diversity of nature’s creations. To be able to cater to such a plethora of requirements, is the biggest challenge.
What would you do if you inherited 1 million dollars tomorrow?
Ans. I would obviously rejoice for a couple of days and when the euphoria dies down, get back to what I like the most… Create new or improved recipes and products…
What are your top three guiding principles in life?
Ans. i) Follow your dreams
ii) Work hard – there is no substitute for hard work
iii) Take criticism in your stride but don’t let it hinder your creativity or dampen your dreams
So that’s it for today guys. I really loved interviewing Mrs. Madhurima. I love her vision and her dedication towards her brand. I hope you enjoyed reading this interview just like I did. Don’t forget to like Aroma Essentials’ Facebook page. You can also connect with Mrs. Madhurima on Whatsapp (07760988272) for any kind of support.