While Pratiksha Sangoi took care of her children and family for 29 years after her marriage, she never thought of pursuing a job as her family ran a steel company. However, she had always dreamed of starting her own small business.
Amid the pandemic-induced lockdown in 2020, when she could give herself time off, she started working on her long-lost passion of making soaps at home which she had previously taken a course for.
When one of his neighbors complained of having acne, Pratiksha made him a bar of soap out of compassion. To her surprise, the soap did wonders for the neighbor’s skin and the positive feedback motivated her to pursue her dream.
Along with her daughter vama (22), Pratiksha started soap chemistry at her home in Dadar, Mumbai in 2020.
In an interview with His history On Mother’s Day, Pratiksha talks in detail about her journey from homemaker to entrepreneur, and how, together with her daughter, she is on her way to building a global brand.
make a strong move
Pratiksha says entrepreneurship didn’t come to her by accident. For years, she aspired to start her own business. Coming from a typical Gujarati family with a business background, Pratiksha had a keen business sense, but she didn’t think starting up was her cup of tea.
“I started a small artisan chocolate business initially, but it came as a surprise to my in-laws because in our family, daughters-in-law are responsible for household chores and taking care of the family – that’s why for me following my passion has always taken precedence”, says Pratiksha His history.
But the pandemic left him enough time to pursue his passion.
“This time I started the business saying I was doing it for my daughter. Vama pursued her BBA and rather than take a nine-to-five job, she wanted to pursue entrepreneurship. It was the right time because I thought we could both build something big. And this time the family didn’t have a problem either,” she adds.
Pratiksha and Vama started Soap Chemistry in a small room in their house. The duo invested Rs 2 million of their savings, initially sourcing raw materials locally.
The products, especially the soaps, are made by Pratiksha itself and all marketing is done by Vama. In just over two years, Soap Chemistry has grown to almost 60 references in different categories including moisturizers, whipped soap, body salts, scrubs, hair removal, powder, lip balms etc. with outsourced lab testing done in Mumbai itself.
Soap Chemistry sells products through exhibitions and via Instagram and Facebook orders from now on.
Create your own identity
For Pratiksha, starting at 50 was a bit offbeat but she says it gave her an independent identity.
“It wasn’t about freedom or anything else, it was about using my talent and skills. So even at 50, I’m making the most of it and it makes me happy,” Pratiksha rejoices.
Building a brand comes with its own set of challenges, especially when the entrepreneur is a housewife who has never traveled for work. Thanks to the support of her daughter, Pratiskha has, to date, participated in more than 20 exhibitions, including the one in Goa. Branding activities have made Pratiksha an outgoing, and she is ready to make this consistent in her journey.
To date, Soap Chemistry has earned a income of Rs 25 lakh and created a clientele in India and the United States as well. Pratiksha and Vama claim that their products are cruelty-free and contain no SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate), parabens, or harsh chemicals.
Pratiksha and Vama say the market has huge potential. According to a report titled “India Personal Wash Market Outlook 2021” by Bonafide Research, personal washing products are expected to register a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 8.45% through 2020.
“You see people come with different skin issues and there is so much that can be done. The positive feedback from our customers keeps us going and I think there is no turning back” , says Pratiksha.
By this year, the mother-daughter duo plans to expand their product range as well as their presence, both in India and abroad. Their D2C website is under construction and soon they will also be listed on e-commerce portals, says Vama.
Before signing off, Vama sent a strong message to all moms and housewives who are struggling to stand up for themselves, as she says self-care is not a crime.
“Our moms should take the time to listen to their inner call. There is no cure for leading a good life but to be happy,” Vama ends the interview on this note.