Thought to be more than 5,000 years old, Ayurveda is more than an alternative medicine. It’s a system of holistic healing, bringing all of the elements of the body into a state of balance, naturally. Stemming from two Sanskrit words ‘ayur’ (life) and ‘veda’ (sacred knowledge), Ayurveda quite literally translates to ‘the sacred knowledge of life’.
Originating in India, this ancient healing practice is now revered the world over. Even with advancements in science and modern medicine, many are still inclined to take the more natural approach that Ayurveda offers.
They wish to lessen their chemical burden while looking and feeling their best. Respected Indian brand Cholayil understands this. The company has worked for more than 50 years to create products infused with this ancient wisdom to enhance modern wellbeing.
"We believe in Ayurveda," Cholayil Chairman and Managing Director Pradeep Cholayil says. "Our focus is on Ayurveda, and all of our products are based on Ayurveda. We have survived the last 50 years, and not just survived – we have grown, and grown at a very fast pace as well. We are only interested in natural products, and we never compromise in terms of quality."
In a saturated market, Cholayil stands out with its unwavering commitment to quality. The company has even gone so far as to grow many of its own rare plant and herb ingredients in its vast 32-hectare Medicinal Plant Conservation Park to make sure the quality is on par with its stringent requirements.
"We are so inclined towards maintaining the quality that we have incorporated backend integration," Pradeep says. "Many of our ingredients are grown on our own farms. So, rather than depending on an external supplier for those herbs, we have them growing in our own backyards."
And the difference shows. While many of its competitors can only tout a single benefit of their products like clearer or softer skin, Cholayil products boast many.
"Every Medimix product will give lots of benefits to the consumer," Pradeep shares. "For example, the soap will not only remove pimples, blemishes or prickly heat, but it will also give clear, glowing skin."
The results will also be as fast, if not faster, than its chemical-laden counterpart. "There’s a myth that Ayurvedic products, while good for the skin and body, take longer to show results," he explains.
"But that’s a myth that we’re trying to break. Our face wash is so effective that, within three days, there will be a visible reduction in pimples. And, on top of that, new pimples will also be deterred from forming." It’s not just hearsay either. Cholayil has the support to back all of its claims.
Every Medimix product will give lots of benefits to the consumer.
"We’ve done technical and medical studies," Pradeep says. "It’s not just that our R&D says it works. These studies have ensured that what we claim is truth." Presently, Cholayil boasts four brands – Medimix, Cuticura, Krishna Thulasi and its newest premium addition Sadhev. In the next few years, the company hopes to grow its skincare portfolio even more and expand its reach both at home in India and internationally.
"Today, Medimix is largely available in Indian stores only," Pradeep says. "Domestically, we are largely present in the western market. Maharashtra is the cash-cow market for Cholayil. Now, we’re in the process of establishing ourselves in the northern and eastern markets as well. Delhi and Uttar Pradesh are also some of the stronger markets we’re looking at, and West Bengal is a good market for face wash.
"We also want to expand into international markets and strengthen our business in the US market, specifically. We see an immense opportunity there for growth. And, on top of that, we are coming out with a lot of new launches. Next year, we have a calendar full of planned launches and a proper pipeline created to take us through the next four to five years."
Change is inevitable. We should always be progressive in our thinking.
The natural skincare company has also been focused on strengthening its brand to increase sales. It recently enlisted its first-ever brand ambassador, and the results have been astounding.
"We got Parineeti Chopra to be the face of Medimix, and it’s been quite an interesting thing – we are now having a good double-digit growth," Pradeep says. "The entire FMCG category hasn’t really been growing, it’s been very sluggish. But, in that market with our new brand ambassador, we’ve now managed this remarkable growth."
Being in business for half a century, Cholayil is a company based on change. It began as a humble, one-soap company in 1969 where its Founder VP Sidhan made the Medimix soap by hand, selling it to railway labourers to heal their skin ailments.
Now, the iconic jade-green soap bar is a mainstay in homes across India. And its many variations – handwash, body wash, anti-pimple, moisturising, natural glow – are just as treasured. "Change is inevitable. We should always be progressive in our thinking," Pradeep says.
"It’s important that we keep changing in response to the needs of the time." One thing that remains constant beyond its quality, however, is the company’s commitment to its key business partnerships.
"We have a good relationship with our suppliers, and most of them have been working with us for a very long time. It’s not an overnight business we’re doing here, and our vendors are quite happy dealing with us," Pradeep says.
"This means we are able to get the products we need at a competitive price because they have confidence that when they supply to Cholayil, they are supplying to a good-quality company."
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