Upma Kapoor, the founder of Teal & Terra, an emerging organic beauty start-up, was conferred with the Priyadarshni Award 2019 at the India-Afghanistan International Trade and Investment Conference, organised by the FIWE (Federation of Indian Women Entrepreneurs) in New Delhi recently.
Upma Kapoor bagged this accolade for her excellent initiative of taking the firm to the next level from Rs.8 lakh to Rs.2.5 crore within two years, in addition to her role for empowering women.
As part of empowering women, Teal & Terra hires women on a work-from-home basis, thus allowing homemakers to have a profession, at the same time taking care of their families.
Expressing her joy over receiving this prestigious award, Upma Kapoor said: “It is indeed an honor for me to receive this award. It is a reaffirmation that my efforts in my line of work are being recognized and supported by a global body. It is also an encouragement for me to direct my efforts at bettering what I do and contribute to the women and society at large. My endeavor is to change the Indian Organic beauty landscape by using natural ingredients and the age-old principles of Ayurveda. My purpose is to provide a trustworthy brand for Skin and Hair care.”
A Delhi-based organic beauty start-up, Upma Kapoor began this venture in 2017, aiming to harness the power of Ayurveda, in addition to using the wisdom of 5,000 years with the aim of creating purely natural beauty products.
Talking about her firm’s research and development efforts, Upma Kapoor said: “Through our extensive research and development by our lab technicians and bio-technologists, our endeavour has managed to create a formulation that contains onion oil’s benefits and in a fragrant way that elicits interest in our patrons. Every Teal & Terra formula undergoes stringent sampling and quality check processes conducted by our executives. ”
While elaborating on the company’s marketing initiatives, Upma Kapoor pointed out: “We have our own online retail domain, telandterra.com and or products are also available on major e-Commerce platforms including Amazon and Flipkart.”
Upma Kapoor spoke about her firm’s future plans: “After the positive response to the existing hair and skincare products, we are now working on an upcoming winter care range. Plans are also afoot to roll out a baby care range in the next two years.”
Ultimately, after founding Teal & Terra, endeavouring to change the Indian cosmetic landscape by using natural ingredients and the age-old principles of Ayurveda, Upma Kapoor is also a synonym for resilience and determination of contemporary Indian women.
When Upma Kapoor was hardly 12, she lost her parents in a tragic accident. Ever since, she faced a barrage of challenges in her life, which the brave woman faced with equanimity and overcame all hurdles in a spectacular way. Armed with an MBA in Finance, Upma Kapoor gained experience in excess of 15 years in the corporate world, before she called it quits, after her son’s birth. Another six years, Upma spent as an independent HR and Finance consultant before taking the entrepreneurial plunge with Teal & Terra a couple of years ago.
The transition was anything, but easy for the 40-year-old single parent and Upma faced humongous challenges pertaining to funds and initial brand acceptance. Thanks again to her determination, Upma managed to pool in funding by roping in her family and friends, along with the whatever she had saved up and rolled out the firm. What is more, she had to overcome competition from other well-established players and also faced a lot of sheer quality of the products that today. The firm has a large customer base both online and the brick and mortar segments.
So, what was apparently the reason for her phenomenal success? “Most of our patrons are returning ones and they have turned out to be our biggest brand ambassadors. It is the goodwill of the vegan, gluten and paraben free products that has taken our company from Rs.7.5 lakh to Rs.2.24 crore venture in just two years,” said a beaming Upma Kapoor.
So, it is payback time, so to say for Umpa Kapoor. While carving out her own success saga, Upma did not lose sight of the hardships she had to endure. Rightly so, Upma makes it a point to hire women on a work-from-home basis to take care of a host of pursuits such as marketing, sales and even administrative roles for the firm. Her niche products are her unique onion and castor oil, which are quite a challenge considering the foul smell of onion oil. Extensive efforts had ultimately led to the perfect formula that retains the benefits of onion oil, but, replaces the smell with an enticing fragrance. Upma is quite upbeat about the difference her products have made to the market and she is also committed to offering her clients trustworthy and genuine products which are homegrown, thus eliminating the need for importing expensive cosmetics from overseas markets.
So, what is her advise on her fellow women folks? “Those women who feel that they are lost in a perpetual cycle of challenges, my advise would be to have a never-say-die attitude, imbibe just the right combination of self-belief, a strong will and common sense. Embark on any business, but tread cautiously by being systematic in your approach. You might as well take risks, but ensure that it is calculated risks. While working hard, you should also learn the art of working smart, if you are to reach where you want to be. Never be scared of the stereotypes and think out-of-the-box pursue your goal wholeheartedly.”