An Uber Pool Ride Led Alka Kapur to an Unexpected Career Detour

Alka Kapur’s beauty label Plantpure offers a unique, natural way to colour hair while nourishing it, and it all started with a shared Uber ride…

Alka Kapur hadn’t planned to go to Gurugram that day, but her friend insisted she come over for lunch. Alka, a former fashion-accessories exporter from Delhi, decided to take an Uber Pool ride. On the way, she was joined by Naoko Inagaki, a Japanese henna expert with 24 years of experience in the business. Little did Alka realise that the inter-city shared cab ride would end up taking her on a professional detour!

The women got chatting and realised they had quite a bit in common. Both were born in 1961 and had a down-to-earth straightforward approach to life and business. “It was a mystic connection; we just instantly trusted one another,” recalls Alka, a mother of two. Naoko offered Alka a henna-colouring treatment for her hair the next day, and Alka agreed.

Naoko plantpure.jpg
Naoko Inagaki

“I never thought I’d get into the beauty business but God is great. Anything can happen any time,” laughs Alka, who was convinced about Naoko’s product after seeing the results on herself.

The two women decided to go into business together, and that’s how their beauty brand Plantpure was born. Naoko continued looking after the Japanese market, while Alka looked at Delhi-NCR to begin with.

Plant pure moringa powder
Plantpure’s Hair Colouring Kit and Moringa Leaf Powder

Keeping Indian customers’ needs in mind, the two developed a unique hair-colouring system using henna, natural indigo powder, and hibiscus oil. They hired a team to go to customers’ homes to apply the products correctly, and to give guidance on making the colour deeper and the hair healthier.

“These days, you’ll find many henna brands offering indigo colour mixed with the henna powder,” says Alka, “but that’s the wrong way to apply it. It harms the hair.”

Plantpure Hair Cleansers

The format they have developed allows your entire hair to benefit from the nutrition of 100 percent natural, herbal henna along with hibiscus oil, while only the greys are treated with indigo powder.

Plantpure expanded its range of products, and now offers hair and scalp cleansers, moringa oil and rose water. “All our ingredients are sourced from ethical farming units in north and south India, and we use traditional Ayurvedic siddha sources for the oils,” says Alka. They retail from their Facebook page (Plantpure), and have tied up with various hair salons in Delhi, Gurugram and Mumbai.

Alka and Naoko.jpg
Alka and Naoko

They not only offer hair colour for women but also for men, and have quite a sizeable customer base of Sikh men looking for natural, safe solutions to colour their beards.  “We’re now looking to export to the Middle East and Canada too,” informs Alka.

For orders or a demo of their hair-colour treatment, call +91 98109 99976.

First published in eShe’s March 2019 issue

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