‘Maate stemmed from a personal need to provide the best for my baby’
Rajkumari Sharma Tankha
Picture this: Two kids, a boy and a girl, are neighbours. Though they study in the same school during the early years of their academic life, they are not friends. Never ever during their growing up years do they meet or strike any conversation. After some years, boy goes to a boarding school while the girl moves to the Netherlands where she works as a banker in Amsterdam.
As luck would have it, the two bump into each other years later (in 2008) but while the sparks don’t fly, the friendship grows. They meet again, and it is only after several meetings over the next few years that the two decide to spend their lives together and inform their parents
Till here, the story seems to be a perfect Bollywood potboiler. Conventionally, one would expect the parents to play villains and spoil the fun but not in this case. Nothing filmi happens, parents agree and the love story turns into a matrimonial bond.
This is what happened in the lives of cricketer Suresh Raina and his wife Priyanka Chaudhary.
The two one-time schoolmates, are today parents to two kids – Gracia (6) and Rio (2). And together have introduced Maate, a baby care brand (in 2019). “Maate is a beautiful rendition of what it means to be a mother and what the safe nurturing of a child means to her. I chose this name as it translates into motherly care and the brand works on the same ethos. Maate is a Sanskrit word, it is rooted in tradition, love, and care,” says Priyanka.
Suresh Raina and Priyanka Chaudhary with their kids
But husband-wife working together can be tough, and fraught with differences… “Communication is the key. We make it a point to have a discussion only when we are calm,” says Suresh. Excerpts from an interview:
How and when did you think of starting Maate? How did you go about it?
Suresh: Maate has stemmed from a personal need of a mother to provide the best for her baby. I personally believe in using natural care for my children. When our daughter Gracia was born there weren’t any natural baby products available in the market.
Priyanka: I was especially wary of using any artificial ingredients for my baby. At that point in time, I was in the process of switching careers and the idea of starting Maate came naturally to me. The quest to create the first batch of high-quality products took more than two-and-a-half years of research. Apart from looking for a good formulation expert, the challenge was also to find manufacturers who would relate to my need for efficacy and quality. The final go-ahead was only given when I was convinced that the products were safe enough to use on my children as well. Apart from that people who are a part of Maate are very supportive of this dream of baby wellness by the luxury of nature and relate to it as their own.
Please explain your special interest in products for kids.
Priyanka: Interest comes naturally as a mother. It stems from the belief to create a strong foundation as during the initial years you want to make sure that they get the best. I believe in the traditional ways of skincare for your child and using natural ingredients for your baby. Rooted in tradition and backed by research, I believe in bringing the best of both worlds for every mother and her child.
There are many brands for kids, how different are Maate products?
Priyanka: Our brand ethos is what sets us apart wherein we believe that Nature teaches us the best way to Nurture. Our products are 100 per cent Vegan and Natural to provide pure effective and safe care for your little ones.
How did COVID impact your business; more so as it happened in a year of your launch?
Priyanka: The pandemic has been difficult, yet we can’t help but count our blessings. Maate has been growing steadily as a family garnering all the love and support. We have carefully listened to all that the moms have to say and with constant innovation and research, we have strived to bring the best for you and your baby.
The journey, so far, has been rewarding. Our products are loved by parents and their encouraging words help us grow. It is also a very grounding and rewarding experience as it helps us stay on our true path and continue on our path to achieve what we had started out for.
What are your future plans?
Priyanka: We are very excited to reveal our brand-new look and hope that it will continue to get the same love and support as till now and more. We have come up with a larger variety of products keeping in mind the requirement of our patrons and God willing with the continued support we will be soon expanding to other countries as well.
Tell us more about Gracia Raina Foundation.
Priyanka: The foundation works towards the cause of adequate reproductive health education for adolescents, supporting expectant mothers with enhanced care facilities and helping them realize their needs as well the needs of their children. We sensitise partners towards lending support by understanding maternal and childcare better.