Navya Venkatesh

‎In the age of digitization and globalization, India has clearly seen a growth in women entrepreneurs. Coming from all walks of life, today’s women entrepreneurs are dabbling into fields that were traditionally dominated by men. Currently, there has been a paradigm shift in the way women leaders are being perceived in society, owing to many progressive women who are taking more senior roles in the corporate world. Women are now emerging from the close quarters of their homes and venturing beyond the corporate office space to launch successful businesses across industry segments that are acquiring increasing acceptance among consumers. The acceptance from consumers has also been a reason and a boost to women to venture into the field of entrepreneurship by getting investment from key players and standing their ground against established brands. Being an upcoming entrepreneur herself, Upma Kapoor, Founder of Teal & Terra, has great hope and heralds a positive note for the future.

Setting Foot in the Organic Beauty Industry

When the popularity of Vegan Skin and Hair Care products in India started getting popular, Upma Kapoor, an MBA graduate with 15 years of corporate experience, realized that these products, which are extremely popular with consumers, are at par with high-end imported foreign beauty care products. Upon researching this, she devised that with proper techniques, the natural benefits of our abundant flora could by harnessed, just like the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda. With this technique, she felt she could offer consumers a line of completely pure, organic, and natural products made in India, with much greater benefits. Her fool-proof research and techniques gave her the confidence to take the plunge into the organic beauty industry. Upma decided to establish Teal & Terra as an Indian Brand in 2017, bringing a line of purely natural beauty products for the consumers. She ensured the right use of ingredients and the promise of purity, giving Indian customers a local option for a natural skincare alternative.

An ode to the faith in all-natural and organic products consumers have, The word Terra signifies the Mother Earth, which nourishes, provides and cares for all the living beings. While Teal refers to the green color of the abundant flora of forests surrounding us, that is harnessed by the company to come up with a range of purely natural products for consumers. Balancing her personal and professional life, Upma faced many challenges in life and her venture, Teal & Terra.

The initial days of Upma’s journey in establishing the company were definitely tough. As she was starting out on her own, she had to pool in her savings and get funding from her friends and family. It was their goodwill and support that has helped in the launch of Teal & Terra, without relying upon any external investor. Another major hurdle she faced was gaining acceptance of the brand from the customers and face stiff competition from the established players in the Organic Beauty Industry Market. But as consumers started to know about the product and use it, their reviews of the same helped Teal & Terra gain the acceptance and recognition it aspired for. Within a short span of time, All the hard work and perseverance have paid off and Teal & Terra has managed to carve a niche of its own.

A Rewarding Journey

In her quest of establishing Teal & Terra as a popular organic brand, Upma has learned some valuable lessons that she believes will serve as a guide for aspiring entrepreneurs. Launching her brand, establishing it, and sustaining a customer base has taught her that one needs to have a systematic approach for things to go as smoothly as possible. One must take calculated risks that have a potential pay off in the long run, rather than worry about failing. Along with this, she learned that in order to achieve the goals you have set for yourself; you must work hard and smart! Advising future budding entrepreneurs to not get embroiled in negative criticism, she feels that the criticism can be taken to their advantage to help improve their ventures and themselves.

From philanthropy to investing in entrepreneurship, women face unique challenges in their quests to make an impact. In spite of cultural and systemic hurdles, women continue to rise through the ranks of impact-focused firms, smashing old paradigms and creating better, more inclusive business models. India needs more women entrepreneurs to build the nation and change lives. It is time to make India more accommodating to women entrepreneurs and get our society to a place where they are just called “entrepreneurs”. Success stories of women entrepreneurs like Upma Kapoor’s must be brought into the light as this can inspire many more to step out of their domestic territories and take charge!

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