How Design is Driving Growth for This Ayurvedic Brand

The thought behind the company was creating pure Ayurvedic products according to authentic prescriptions.

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When Kama Ayurveda began, design connoisseur Vivek Sahni made sure that even the oil bottles were designed in a way that it looks elegant. As per Sahni, "Design, therefore, played a key role in our growth story. As they were nicely designed, we were able to put them up at the Park hotels, The Oberoi hotels and such places. The more you see a product present in such places; it comes across as a luxury brand. We wanted to hammer this thought into the customers' mind."

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Sahni further explains, from the physicality of the product, to the physicality of the store, the detailing of the product, design has been at the helm of Kama and has always been done in-house. Even the posters, website, banner are not outsourced to any agency. Sahni, who was running a graphic design company earlier, partnered with Dave Chang, Rajshree Pathy and Vikram Goyal to launch Kama.

Talking about the strengths each partner brings in, Sahni says, "We all got different strengths and talents, and as the CEO, I run it and they all are on board." Rajshree Pathy introduced them to the pharmacy were all the products are now built. The thought behind the company was creating pure Ayurvedic products according to authentic prescriptions.

Launched in 2002, Kama started opening its exclusive stores only in 2012 and has so far set up 24 of them. On why it kept a slow pace in the start, Sahni says, "For all of us, it started as a fun project. We just wanted to make the best cream and the best shampoo. The way we were growing, was because we started exporting."

Only later, they took a conscious step of opening their own stores and distributing in the Indian market. In 2014, they raised an undisclosed amount from Lighthouse Emerging India Investors to focus more on expansion. AT present, Japan happens to be the biggest market for Kama. The next target for them is the US. Attracted to the art of Ayurveda, the positivity in Sahni comes from meditation which he recommends for all.

(This article was first published in the August issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)