As much as our skin is an essential organ of the body, it is often also the most neglected part, especially by Indians. Shilpa Rathi, Founder of I Am Love, understands this very well. She suffered from a severe skin disease a few years ago, which led to her face being covered with stubborn acne vulgaris. At the time, she visited multiple dermatologists, but nothing worked. Then, in 2009-10, she happened to visit her brother in the United States of America.
Her brother was working with Pfizer, and he formulated a custom-made Nutraceutical for her skin problems. Shilpa says, “I used it for a couple of years and realised quite later in 2019 that India isn’t really aware of the miracles salicylic acid, hyaluronic acid, and nutraceuticals can do”.
This was when she decided to launch I Am Love and share the solutions to skincare and healthcare issues we face in the country. “What was meant for personal use is now widely available and doing wonders for people out there”, says Shilpa.
What Is I Am Love?
I Am Love is a nutraceutical brand launched in January 2021 by Shilpa Rathi and her brother. Their vision is to help consumers get rid of their health and skin problems.
“We are a firm believer of the fact that we are what we eat” — Shilpa, Founder, I Am Love.
She further adds, “If we take care of ourselves internally, then we won’t really have to indulge in expensive treatments for our body”. Skin and body issues need to be resolved from within, which is exactly what their products do. They were highly mindful while curating these products, and they are striving to spread awareness about nutraceuticals as well.
The core team at I Am Love includes Shilpa and her brother. Besides them, they have an extended team of fourteen dedicated individuals, who invested in constant Research and development and marketing of their products at their maximum capacity. “My brother has working experience with Pfizer, and I have it with Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri, which has helped us in launching our own company. We now have a strength of around 14”, describes Shilpa.
Expressed Shilpa while describing her dream team-building process. Initially, she pitched the idea to her brother. He was more than ready to get on board to make this phenomenal change in the skincare and healthcare industry. Gradually, they started evaluating people and got their dream team on board which aligned with their vision.
Their team has also worked with renowned companies like Abbott, Zim laboratories and Healthkart. Their knowledge has been handy for making these products a success.
Growth Since Inception and Customer Base
I Am Love, launched in January 2021, unfortunately, could not grow as expected due to the lockdown. Only after that did they start their production in full swing and launch their first product in June. “We have constantly been striving to impart the knowledge of nutraceuticals to our consumers whilst coming up with beneficial products now and then. After rigorous R&D, we started our sales in September 2021. Since then, we have had a steady upward graph which we hope to maintain”, tells Shilpa.
Branches of I Am Love
They are currently present in Mumbai and have cracked a deal with Nature’s Basket, Noble Plus and other renowned stores to expand their customer base. They want to get a strong foothold in Mumbai and Maharashtra before we spread I Am Love’s magic across India. The revenue growth has been steady, and there has been a decrease in cancellations of orders.
I Am Love started with 5 Million U.S. dollars in seed funding through angel investors. “We plan to use the funding for expanding our manufacturing capacity, marketing department, and formulation department”, says Shilpa.
Motivation Behind Starting I Am Love
Shilpa believes that her skin issues motivated her to start I Am Love. This company was born out of her idea to help each other and Love oneself. Over time she has faced many failures but they have motivated her to remain strong and put her best foot forward. She envisions her startup making twice as much profit in the next year. To increase her customer base, Shilpa has plans to connect with industry leaders and educate the people of India about the benefits of nutraceuticals.
Mistakes & Lessons Learned
Shilpa explains, “My mistake was my expectation that people here in India would readily accept the concept of nutraceuticals. I always knew that it was a new concept, but I did not anticipate a huge negative response. But I learned that people trust each other’s reviews more than a brand promoting itself when it comes to such unique and new concepts. Not everyone is going to be onboard with ingesting formulations irrespective of it being void of nasties”.
To overcome this challenge, the team at I Am Love asked their consumers to take their before and after pictures to see the difference themselves. This small step to surpass the inhibitions has helped them reach out to more consumers than ever before. The brand kept helping customers through word of mouth and made them happier by following a policy of transparency.
Impact of I Am Love
Every brand aims to do things differently than its competitors. It is always the small things that help achieve the bigger picture. Shilpa believes in the thought of “we are what we eat”, and so it is her firm belief that ailments can only be eradicated from roots internally. “We understood that to date, there have only been superficial solutions to certain health and skin concerns. We help eliminate the problem from the root cause, and that is precisely where our mindfully curated nutraceuticals come into the picture. We give personalised solutions to the concerns, and that is how we stand apart from our peers”, tells Shipa Rathi.