Chennai-based woman entrepreneur Heena Yogesh Bheda narrates how she began her startup — Yuva Soul, a brand specialising in non-caffeinated healthy drinks, in August 2020.
In August 2020, when we were just out of the lockdown and coming to terms with the economic slowdown and general disruption to our normal lives, Heena Yogesh Bheda decided to jump into entrepreneurship.
She launched her brand – Yuva Soul, which makes non-caffeinated teas and health mix powders. Having started off with an initial investment of Rs 2 lakhs, in less than a year, the company is making a revenue of close to Rs 2.5 lakhs month-on-month.
“Having been married with two kids for over 15 years, the idea of doing something on my own stemmed from a personal experience,” says the 37-year-old. Heena’s elder son was born seven weeks premature, and while all his parameters were fine at the time of birth, as he grew, he would get tired very quickly upon the slightest physical exertion.
“This was always a cause for concern for me, and that is when I started looking for ways to build his strength and immunity naturally,” she says.
One of the things that helped him immensely was the use of moringa leaves powder. “Using this had a visible effect on his immunity and I found that he was falling sick way less,” she says. The thought of exploring this further and doing something with this traditional knowledge had struck then. “However, life happened and I soon had another child,” she says. The lockdown provided her with the much-needed chance to explore this and take it forward.
Giloy, Ashwagandha and Moringa
“I took the time to research and understand what each of these ingredients does to the body. While we are always told they are good, I wanted to understand exactly what it was good for,” she says. Some of the persistent problems that people often wanted help with included lack of sleep or feeling tired and exhausted. “I was able to help with using natural ingredients, which have been used since our grandmother’s times,” she says.
Given how much tea and coffee one consumes in India, Heena decided to try and incorporate her powders into some non-caffeinated teas.
She started with 21 different products and, eventually, added a few more. Some of the bestsellers include the Chamomile tea, Hibiscus Rose, Tulsi Lemongrass Ginger and even the Moringa and Ashwagandha powders, which need to be added to milk and consumed. “Since this was an idea that was brewing in my head for so long, when I started, it was almost like I was bursting with ideas,” she says.
Ritika Sumani (39) a resident of Chennai who has been one of the early patrons of Yuva Soul says, “I have been a regular customer and having tried a large number of their teas, I can say that the Hibiscus Rose is my personal favourite and go-to beverage to start my day.”
Through this venture, Heena is also providing employment to women from economically backward communities. She says, “While all the work from procuring the raw material to the making, sales and marketing is done by me, I have now employed four women who help with the work. I intend to continue to hire only women to be able to help those in need.” Since Heena works out of her family home, it helped with bringing down the investment amount substantially.
From a very small and humble beginning, Yuva Soul today has more than 3,500 clients every month.
“The initial three months were very slow. As a brand, we were trying to explore the market and were barely making Rs 20,000 for the first quarter. We moved on to making between Rs 50,000 to Rs 80,000 and now finally we have reached a revenue of Rs 2.5 lakhs each month.”
The products come in two sizes – 25 gms, which acts as a taster pack and the 75 gms for those who are sure of what tea and mixes they like. For the smaller packs the cost starts from Rs 100 and the larger packs start from Rs 250. The moringa powder is rather versatile and can be added to numerous things like smoothies, sambar, dals, soup and even roti. “This has become a rather popular product for us as well,” she adds.
Asked where she sees the brand going from here, Heena says, “My aim is to reach pan-India and have tie-ups with various online retails platforms. Once I manage this, I intend to export these products to other countries as well.”
Heena is a very focussed entrepreneur and while she stumbled upon entrepreneurship by accident, now that she is in it, she says, there’s no looking back.
Yuva Soul products are now available on their own website and also retails on platforms like Amazon and Flipkart. You can also contact Yuva Soul at +91-9344775418, email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow them on their Instagram here.
(Edited by Yoshita Rao)