She was only 22 when Sargam Dhawan caught on to an idea that would soon be something big around the world and in India. It was the latest hair-straightening technology developed by an Israeli electrical engineering and physics expert, Sharon Rabi, who has since been recognized as one of the world’s leading inventors.
Sargam saw the potential in the product, and joined hands with Sharon to distribute it in India. Today, the Dafni hair straightening brush is a must-have tool in the beauty industry and in the luxurious homes of jetsetting Indian women, especially those with unruly hair. And Sargam manages it all from Dehradun, a bustling town in Uttarakhand far from the centres of fashion and glamour in Delhi and Mumbai.
Now 24, Sargam credits her school and US education for bringing out the entrepreneurial bug in her. “At Welham Girls School in Dehradun, we are taught how to tackle any kind of situation life throws at us. At the same time, we were taught to always choose the harder right than the easier wrong! This has given me the confidence to always believe in myself,” she says.
Sargam went on to do her Bachelor’s in communication and filmmaking from University at Buffalo, New York. “Moving from the guarded walls of a boarding school to the big bad world was a learning experience in itself and being so far away from home taught me independence,” she shares.
Born into a family of entrepreneurs – her family owns Planet Herbs Life Sciences, with a focus on wellbeing products – Sargam first came across the Dafni hair straightening brush when her father went to Israel in 2016 and bought one for her to try. “Needless to say, it was love at first sight,” laughs Sargam, who now uses it every morning.
Meeting Sharon was an inspirational experience for the young girl: “What I’ve learnt from her is that when you can dream it, you can do it! She is not just a successful entrepreneur, but a wonderful person and I am so glad to have met and known someone like her.”
Sargam launched her company Tressmart to distribute Dafni in India, and soon added a makeup brush cleanser and dryer called StylPro to her repertoire. “The idea is to add more such products that make our day-to-day lives easier,” she explains.
Today, Dafni is sold across various online and offline channels from e-commerce fashion and beauty biggies like Nykaa, Myntra and Jabong to spas such as Jean Claude Biguine and the Silhouette Salon. It is also available on e-retail platforms like Amazon and Beauty Source.
“Our customers are women who are passionate about beauty and actively seeking revolutionary beauty products,” explains Sargam, adding that maximum orders come from Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. She has recently launched Dafni Allure, the cordless version of the hair brush, priced at Rs 14,999.
The best part about operating from her hometown, according to Sargam, is that it’s a familiar and comfortable surrounding that helps her utilise her maximum potential. Of course, the obvious challenge is competing with metropolitan cities where opportunities are greater.
But then, Sargam isn’t one to flinch: “It’s not going to be easy, but always put in your best and learn to believe in yourself!”
First published in the Jan-Feb 2019 issue of eShe magazine