On The Verge Of Bankruptcy, The Couple Build A Business With A Turnover Of 25 Million Rupees With Just 5,000 Rupees
Childhood friends became life partners Pritesh Asher and Megha Asher were on the verge of bankruptcy with the launch of a few small businesses, one of which is home skincare products, starting at just Rs 5,000 in 2014, in Coimbatore.
They started in the kitchen of their home with the help of the nursing home, Juicy Chemistry, it has come a long way since its humble beginnings. "Our turnover for 2020-21 is more than 25 million," Pritesh said.
Juicy Chemistry produces over 100 natural products for conditions such as dark circles (under the eyes), acne, hair loss, oily hair, and colored lips.
But the couple's life was not always a flower bed. At the beginning of their marriage, they faced many difficulties and failures. Two years after their 2011 marriage, Pritesh, 26, lost her father to cancer.
His father owned a petroleum products unit, but Pritesh could not continue the business despite his efforts.
“I failed to raise capital 18 times, looking for a partner, to sell some equipment,” he said, looking back on those difficult times.
"It was a difficult time in my life, as well as professionally. I was devastated, and at one time eating my family at the table was difficult for me."
To supplement the family income, Megha accepted Mehendi orders for wedding events and later built a small clothing store under the Megha Asher Design brand.
Pritesh, who sells guest land, properties, and industrial land to pay off bank loans "I need to count 11 bank loans and private loans to get out of business."
Pritesh began looking for opportunities. “They couldn't find me anywhere because I always thought that I would take care of family affairs. I started helping Mega. I have been in Dubai for 30 days looking for opportunities but to no avail.
“We were thinking about moving to Australia because we have friends there since college, but my mom needed to be taken care of,” Pritesh said, describing a time in his life when all the doors seemed to be closed.
The Megha boutique, which started well, has become his lifeline. The clothes were sewn in a workshop in Mumbai, where Mekhi's mother lived and ran the business, and sent to a store in Coimbatore.
Megha Asher Design has a business of about 25 lakhs per year with an ROI of about 30%.
“Clothing is always a passion. It gives me great joy to wear personal, unique clothing. When I move to Coimbatore after my wedding, I am constantly praised for the way I dress or wear my clothes. That's when I see an opportunity to create my own label and personalized clothing line, ”Megha said.
“His ideas were well implemented and his business was growing. All of my workshops were opened in Mumbai, and my mother was part of this journey because it was he who made me love special clothes. He was the backbone of the boutique."
The idea to launch an organic skincare product came to the couple when they were looking for Megha organic acne skin lotion.
They then discover that foods labeled organic or natural contain preservatives, parabens, and mineral oils. Pritesh knew some of these chemicals because they were used in his father's oil factory.
He found that even medicinal herbs contain chemicals. "People don't know what ingredients the foods they eat are made from," he said, adding, "Even baby care products contain chemicals, although they claim to be natural. "
Pritesh and Megha met at the Chinmaya International Boarding School in Coimbatore, where they both attended. They were classmates in grade 11 and became friends.
"When we met, I was alone and I loved being surrounded by books and music and was a famous person at school," said Megha.
“To say I'm scared is a smaller statement. The way he thinks, talks, lives his life is very different from what I'm used to. I think the opposite is interesting, and that's what all of me feel about it."
They then attended Griffith University in Australia. Pritesh earned her BA in Business Administration, while Megha chose her BA in Forensic Science and Justice System.
In 2009, when Megha was 25 and Pritesh was 26, they married with the blessing of their parents.
"When we started Juicy Chemistry, it had a positive reaction," says Megha. But its job is to explain to the consumer why its look and feel is different from mass production products that are not on the market and beyond.
“We quickly realized that this was the only strategy needed to grow our business. There were no false promises, no fake bits, just saying what the product is made from, why the ingredients were heroes and how we created the product remains a strong point for us" - said Megha.
In the beginning, they sold their products through Facebook and WhatsApp. In 2016, they listed their products on Amazon.
That same year, a product video went viral and his business was booming. “We can't hang up because we receive orders regularly. We have started holding exhibitions in Delhi, Mumbai, and other metropolitan areas, ”said Pritesh.
In 2017, they moved from their home office to a 2,500-square-foot site in the city center, where they opened their own office and factory.
They have also received prestigious Ecocert certification for their products. (Ecocert is a world-renowned organization based in France that provides organic certification for cosmetic labels.)
“It was very expensive and it was difficult to get a certificate. I looked at Megha and said we need to get it, though that would require a complete overhaul of our configuration."
"They have a long list of information about the people from whom we buy raw materials. It took about two years to complete this process," says Pritesh.
Today Juice Chemistry imports raw materials from all over the world. They have customers in 35 countries and distributors in six countries. Their products range from Rs 350 for oral medication and Rs 1,100 for hair oil.
In 2019, they received 4.5 million kroon seed funding. The company has invested in adding new machines and expanding production capacity.
The closure of COVID has slowed their growth. "We stopped making our products and started making antibiotics to make our employees more attractive," says Pritesh.
"I started working on Instagram and giving people a lot of DIY skincare recipes. And the number of my followers on Insta has increased from 80 to 130,000. Now we're back on track."