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Nat Habit co-founder Swagatika Das wanted to make natural products inspired by old traditions & created in our grandmothers' kitchens.
How many times as children have we been told that the decisions we make early in our careers will determine the rest of our lives? That it’s a once-in-a-lifetime decision because we’ll have to pursue that road for the rest of our lives.
Let me assure you that this is not the case. At any time in your life, you can select whichever path you want to take; it’s never too late, and Swagatika Das, the co-founder of Nat Habit proves just that.
Swagatika Das, an IIT Kharagpur topper, studied Metallurgical and Materials Engineering in order to work in the core oil and gas industry, but her heart was in the consumer arena.
After more than a decade as an engineer, she chose to change occupations and join Apple in Singapore as a Sales & Operations Strategy Planner.
She had always been fascinated by the nature of consumers, and joining Apple was a step closer to understanding it. After that, she pursued her long-held ambition of founding a consumer-facing company.
Nat Habit co-founder, Swagatika Das spent two years at Apple before launching her own company, Stitchio, a tech product social media firm, in 2015.
Swagatika has always been a passionate proponent of health and natural living. Her father is a doctor, and her grandfather was an agricultural scientist, so understanding plants and how they affect our lives has always been a part of her family.
It occurred to her that they should make natural skincare because consumers demand it but no one is currently producing it.
Three years later in 2019, Along with her business partner Gaurav Agarwal, she co-founded Nat Habit.
Nat Habit skincare products such as ubtans, face packs, henna paste, hair oils, cleansing balms, and more using all-natural ingredients and no chemical preservatives. Because there are no artificial preservatives in the products, they can last anywhere from 30 days to three months, depending on the components.
When it comes to her first start-up, Stitchio, Swagatika’s fundraising journey was not smooth.
She received the impression that it was tough for the entire investor community to trust that women can lead businesses when she was seeking to collect financing for Stitchio, a tech product social media startup.
It was different the second time around with Nat Habit. She was treated by the investors in the same way that any male entrepreneur would have been treated. However, investors were more trusting of her since she was a woman and the startup was in the personal care industry. But the fundraising journey was not easy.
For the first seven and a half months, Nat Habit was a self-funded venture. It has so far raised 2 million dollars through investments.
Organic and ayurvedic skincare products are currently gaining popularity among consumers. Many natural skin care products, such as Mamaearth, Honest, Plum, Juicy Chemistry, and MCaffeine, have emerged in recent years. Yet, you’re likely to find some form of chemicals in every natural product we buy because it’s difficult to preserve them without chemicals for a long shelf life.
Swagatika Das wanted to make these natural items that were possible in the olden days, inspired by traditional solutions created in our mothers’ and grandmothers’ kitchens.
All Nat Habit products are created fresh every day, ensuring that they are supplied completely fresh and free of chemicals and preservatives.
The main issue they faced was that for the products to be 100% natural, they had to create them completely fresh every day, just like they’re made at home.
Swagatika decided to bear the agony, believing that it would offer them an advantage over other skincare products on the market.
Swagatika’s family still makes their soaps. They are firm believers of ubtans, therefore it seemed natural for them to begin with that as a product. To prepare ubtans, face packs, henna paste, hair oils, and washing balms, she used only natural household products.
They immediately became a major hit after launching their items in 2019.
Nat Habit founders, Swagatika Das and Gaurav Agrawal faced a major issue transporting Nat Habit products across the country as they don’t contain any chemical preservatives.
Because the products require cold storage, they were unable to send them outside of Delhi and had to make all deliveries personally. This was pre-COVID, and when the pandemic struck, they had to completely shut down operations since the items were made fresh, and they were exceedingly perishable, just like food.
They did, however, use that time to solve the challenge of preserving products to the point where they could last for 10 days without refrigeration.
They used natural preservative compounds like Neem, Giloy, and others in the proper amounts in their products to protect them. They were able to transport across India because cold storage was no longer required.
After figuring out how to extend the shelf life of their products, Nat Habit resumed operations in October 2020.
The company has grown 25 times in the last year and now ships over 1,50,000 pieces per month. The Ayurveda category of the Government of AYUSH has certified these goods.
Swagatika Das’s journey from IIT Kharagpur topper to Apple employee to the founder of two startups, one of which is Nat Habit, is quite remarkable.
She followed the route that her mind and heart led her on. She is without doubt a businesswoman who proves that you do not have to follow a single path throughout your life; you can change it at any time and ensure you leave your mark at every step.
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