A businesswoman with strict priorities for work and family, Namrata Redi Sirupa’s office hours are based on her kids’ school timings. She moves out of home after sending them off to school and is back when they get back. “My family, including my husband Harshaavardhan, has been a great support in raising my kids,” says Namrata.
The husband-wife duo founded Satliva in 2016 with a vision to contribute to the creation of an organic, natural, non-polluting, and safe hemp ecosystem. Satliva makes natural wellness products that are biodegradable, from organically-grown hemp plants.
Satliva offers a range of luxury hemp personal-care products like Soap bars, Shampoo Bars, Face Creams, Hair & Body Oils, Body Butters, and lip balms. Mango Lavender Face Cream, Hemp with Argan & Activated Charcoal Shampoo Bar, Hemp Hemp with Neroli Body Butter, and Hemp with Moringa Face & Body Oil are few of its best sellers, much of the demand for which comes from tier-1 and tier-2 cities as well as Northeastern areas.
Some of the Satliva products in wellness category
Saltiva also sells hemp superfoods which includes Hemp Dosa Batter, Hemp Chutney Powder, Hemp Seed Oil, and Berry Hemp Trail Mix. In conversation with Life & More, Namrata tells us more:
How was Satliva founded?
Satliva was conceptualised to tackle what I personally believe is a very serious problem; the widespread acceptance of unsustainability, and toxic chemical-based products. Every single day, people apply generous quantities of such chemicals onto their hair and skin, which poses catastrophic consequences to their health, and also the environment. We came up with the idea for Satliva to circumvent this issue, and incorporate eco-products and eco-living into as many households as possible.
Harshaavardhan had been studying and researching Hemp Seed Oil to understand how it could help our one-and-a-half year old son’s eczema; we had tried our hand at every other solution available to us but none seemed to work. When Hemp Seed Oil began to work almost miraculously, we knew our findings held great promise. We were certain Hemp would be the future of the personal-care industry.
What sort of market research went into it?
We conducted a general market search and survey to gain some understanding regarding the products customers would like to use and what truly interests them. It revealed that people needed something that really works on the skin without any side effects. Something simple, yet effective.
Our main decision to launch our products took place when we had 100 per cent positive response from people who used our sample products for over one year. It took us five years to develop our unique and extensive process. However, the results were worth the wait.
I am sure setting up a business on hemp must not have been easy. What all challenges did you face, and how did you overcome those?
Your assumption is absolutely correct. Appealing to, and reasoning with consumers was a difficult task due to the abundance of misinformation surrounding hemp, particularly the notion that it is an intoxicant. Countless free samples were distributed to convince consumers to adopt hemp in their personal care routine.
Every day, we are battling restrictions on social media, even though our products contain only non-intoxicating hemp seed oil, hemp is not allowed to advertise on Facebook, Instagram and Google. Ads are frequently blocked and the account inevitably suffers the same fate. Acquiring new customers is a challenge when there is misconception and suppression by social media giants with regards to marketing. Fortunately, though new customer acquisition is slow, we have a rate of 68 per cent returning customers. We believe our persistence, quality products, and quality information have led this growth. So, perseverance has enabled us to overcome these challenges.
What sort of research went to producing these products?
We started NHempCo after five years of rigorous research and development. From onboarding the right talent, to understanding the legalities and licensing surrounding Hemp, A whole lot of effort went in even before we could begin producing our products. This effort only doubled when the time came to begin production. When we launched we believed that we could get customers only with the use of hemp, but that has not been the case. We learnt early on that we had to explain the benefits of the plants and detail the use of hemp seed oil in our products. It has been a roller coaster ride with a lot of road blocks from Government authorities and consumers’ stigma on hemp.
How did you manage to convince authorities about you being a clean company? Do you still face distrust?
It isn’t a matter of convincing the authorities, it is about showing them the truth backed by data and proof from our farms and products. We conduct regular tests and cooperate with the authorities in accordance with the rules. Hemp continues to have rules and restrictions that need to be cleared up from time to time. Our due diligence and integrity help us push aside any speculation on the quality and legality of our products.
Yes, distrust perpetually follows hemp businesses. But it is our responsibility to continue to educate the authorities and the consumers regarding the benefits, applications, and safety of hemp. To spread accurate information about the key differences between hemp and marijuana is an incessant battle. As long as there remains misinformation and unjust restrictions, there will be someone who needs to be shown the truth about hemp.
We are continually discovering new things about hemp ourselves and we make it a point to share proven and well-researched information with the masses as frequently as possible. But once again, the key factor differentiating hemp and marijuana is the psychoactive property. Hemp is not a psychoactive substance, whereas, marijuana is a psychoactive substance. This essentially means hemp does not induce a state of intoxication, but marijuana does.
Are you only available online or have retail stores?
Presently, we are available exclusively online. However, we are planning to enter the retail sector, launching exclusive stores, and placing our products in more organic stores around the country. International launch of our freshly made skin care products is on the cards for the coming financial year as well. We are hoping to see Satliva stores spread out strategically throughout the country to ensure widespread access to quality hemp products, beginning with the metropolitan cities.
How has been your journey so far?
Exciting, with countless obstacles, countless let-downs and countless successes as well.
What kind of future do you foresee for hemp?
The future looks promising. As more governments allow hemp cultivation, this industry will expand exponentially. Beginning with remote villages in Uttarakhand – in the next five years – we have set a target to convert 500 hectares of barren land into fertile land with hemp and sustainable cultivation. We will then have an end-to-end hemp ecosystem in place from cultivation, to seeds, to products for consumers and industries.