In a four-part feature titled ‘Leading the New Age of Indian Beauty’, eShe puts the spotlight on women entrepreneurs who are reinventing the beauty landscape in India and offering the luxury consumer a whole new world of natural beauty.
Rajni Ohri, Ohria Ayurveda
Rajni Ohri started making beauty products from home as a hobby while she was still a homemaker raising two children. And then, a year ago, at age 40, she set up her own company Ohria to sell natural beauty brands and, like her friends would say, “went commercial”.
Her plunge into the $950 million Indian beauty market that grows at 15–20 percent a year wasn’t an impulsive decision. Rajni, who studied design from National Institute of Fashion Technology and prior to that English literature, had long been obsessed with the miracles that Ayurveda offered.
At a much younger age, she had travelled to Rishikesh to master traditional Ayurveda from an acharya there considered holy by the Hindus. Notably, Rajni was only 12 when she experimented with making a skin cream. Though it did not turn out to be perfect, she loved the whole process of making it since it was a 100 percent natural product, she recalls.
“My love for nature made me inquisitive to learn Ayurveda as my parents used to visit Rishikesh every year for their religious trips,” narrates Rajni. The more she learnt, the more she felt drawn towards Ayurveda. “Under the acharya’s guidance, I learned about the preparation of hair oils, butters and salves, pishti, bhasms, and so on, and acquired holistic knowledge of Ayurveda.”
For Rajni, making beauty products is akin to being close to nature. She feels that the most important part of making authentic natural beauty products, like the ones her company makes, is sourcing from the right place and from the right people. Ohria Ayurveda sources all sacred and potent herbs as well as plants that are to be used as ingredients in her products from the Himalayas and other reliable sources. And she also uses “secret formulations” that she had inherited from her teacher.
“I have used the knowledge I have gained from my teacher in nurturing and developing each and every product with love and passion,” she says.
The final product is a luxurious Ayurvedic formulation crafted in a bottle, she affirms. “Each product has a preparation process from its oils, butters, salves, plants and herbs, and mantras are chanted at an appropriate time before sunrise,” she says.
The product portfolio of Ohria ranges from bathing bars, mists, moisturisers, serums, facial cleansers to body lotions, hydrating gels, shower wash, shower oils, body butter and much more. Ohria also offers customised gifts.
The spiritually inclined Rajni pays utmost attention to balancing Panchamahabhutas (the five basic elements) in her products. A London-trained aromatherapist, she says Ohria products are a superfood for skin and hair. She herself leads an Ayurvedic lifestyle and chants mantras regularly.
The piece of advice from her master that she treats like gold dust is: “to be insanely clear about your goal and to be insanely patient in pursuing it and insanely persistent till you achieve what you set out for”. The outcome, she insists, is that success will kneel at your feet.
This is the first of a four-part series ‘Leading the New Age of Indian Beauty’ published in the Jan-Feb 2019 issue of eShe.
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