Shubhika Jain is just 24 years old but has already laid the foundations of a global luxury wellness brand based on sustainable foundations in the heart of India. Her company RAS Luxury Oils (pronounced ‘ruh-us’) produces products for skincare and hair care meant for an international clientele, and is already well respected amongst the beauty community in India.
Shubhika learnt the ropes about making natural beauty concoctions from her mother who had a natural obsession with gardening, and who also experimented with plant products. For instance, she made beauty lotions from flowers, herbs and other natural ingredients based on formulas passed on through generations.
“This practice is what first inspired me to inculcate a natural beauty regimen,” says the daughter, who animates all conversations with her characteristic passion and warmth. She was joined by her mother Sangeeta and sister Suramya in putting her new brand together.
Shubhika benefited from her illustrious Raipur-based business family in more ways than one. With their farms spread over hundreds of acres in the Chhattisgarhi capital, she grew up as a true daughter of the soil, and is still as comfortable in the fields and even in the family’s dairy farm as she is in the laboratory or luxury retail outlets around India. After joining the family business in the agri-biotech segment, she began handling the company’s essential oils and aromatic crop division.
It was during this period that she realised the potency of the products the company made and supplied to perfumers and others. “It made me believe in our product and its healing properties and that we could give back to society and contribute in a positive way with our expertise in oils, helping people lead a holistic chemical-free life,” notes Shubhika, who studied at her family-owned Kaanger Valley Academy in Raipur before heading to Indus International School in Bengaluru to complete her IB, and then to Lady Shri Ram College in Delhi for a degree in economics.
Her efforts also coincided with a new trend: of Indian customers moving away from over-the-counter beauty products and looking for natural solutions to beauty problems. Shubhika decided to ride the opportunity that lay waiting. “Just like the food you eat affects you, similarly, what you apply on your body is absorbed and slowly starts accumulating in tissues and fatty deposits,” she says, adding that “even small chemical deposits cause major mutations and many of the new diseases have a lot to do with our lifestyle choices”.
The effervescent young entrepreneur goes on: “With the global natural and organic movement, people are becoming more aware of the ingredients that go into the products they use and want to eat better food, wear better clothes, and apply better products on their bodies.”
The RAS Luxury Oils range includes body oils, body polishes, essential oils and face serums. They are 100 percent natural and all ingredients sourced from ethical farmers besides the family’s own farms. The fragrance is pleasant, the oils seep into the skin naturally leaving no sticky sensation, and the overall experience is indeed ‘liquid luxury’ as one of the body oils is called.
The brand retails through various online and offline channels, including five-star hotel spas in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Bengaluru and Chandigarh, and beauty e-commerce major, Nykaa.
Shubhika, meanwhile, points out that working out of a non-Metro city like Raipur offers her many advantages. This is a spot closer to our farmlands and supports farmers as well as our research lab and the manufacturing facility, she explains. “So we are able to maintain high quality and high standards of production from farm to bottle and oversee it ourselves.”
However, the disadvantage is that travelling frequently to big cities for work ends up consuming a lot of time and energy, says Shubhika, whose company sets aside 10 percent of its profits for local NGOs that work towards the uplift of the girl child as well as for animal welfare, both of which are causes close to Shubhika’s heart. Hers is a sustainable business model by which everybody wins.
This is the second of a four-part series ‘Leading the New Age of Indian Beauty’ published in the Jan-Feb 2019 issue of eShe.