Kannur native Nomiya Renjan was disheartened when no branded hair oils could bring back the healthy hair she lost post her son’s delivery. She tried almost all existing options and took advice from friends, but to no avail.
What she didn’t try was the traditionally-made herbal oil prepared by her mother at home. But after two weeks of using this oil, to her surprise, her hair fall lessened and new hairs were seen.
A few months later, a member from a Facebook group asked for home remedy suggestions that could control hair fall. Nomiya instantly remembered her experience and promised to send a bottle of the oil. Eight other friends from the same group who showed interest were also supplied with the product. “It was just nine bottles. Amma (mother) and I collected herbs from the locality and prepared the oil together. We reused old arishta (Ayurvedic medicinal drink) bottles to fill and sent it within a week, free of cost,” says Nomiya, an MBA graduate.
She was sure that the effect would be visible within two weeks but what she didn’t expect was all nine of them posting good product reviews on Facebook. As a result, hundreds of enquiries came in which made Nomiya realise her everlasting dream to be an entrepreneur.
Thus ‘Nomees Dhruvi’ made its first official appearance in August 2020. But what started as a herbal hair oil venture expanded into hair care products like aloe vera gel, herbal shampoo, indigo powder and henna powder. From nine, the number of customers has now reached 70,000, all through word-of-mouth publicity and online reviews.
“Ten years ago I left my career in the corporate field to look after my family. With time, I couldn’t even think of performing a 9-5 job. But ‘being my own boss’ is something that excited me all through life. Even though this entrepreneurial journey was accidental, I am enjoying every bit of it,” says Nomiya who lives with her supportive family including her husband, mother and two school-going sons.
‘This Oil Is Magic’
“It may seem silly but after delivering my second child I was on the verge of depression due to extensive hair loss. I tried using all available products, took tips from friends and family, referred to YouTube and ended up being disappointed. My mother, who got worried about my mental health, came up with this oil which I never used despite it being available at home,” says the entrepreneur who never looked back at big brand hair products after this.
Several women in Nomiya’s peer group have faced the same issue. “Controlling hair fall is not just the benefit of Nomees Dhruvi oil. It also removes dandruff, helps in the growth of new hair and puts you soundly to sleep,” she says. She also says that there is no risk of catching a cold which usually happens with some oils.
The product is prepared using coconut oil and many varieties of natural herbs collected from different farmers of the state, especially from Malappuram. In the factory, four tonnes of oil are prepared per month. “It takes a week to get 1 tonne of oil ready. The cooling process itself consumes 3-4 days,” she says, adding, “We are working at our maximum capacity now. At present, we can meet the orders but will be soon needing a better manufacturing space.”
Nomiya says that most of the orders come from Kerala itself. But people from Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru purchase the product through Amazon as well.
The products are now prevalent in supermarkets and medical shops in Kerala. Orders can be placed on Amazon or by direct message to their social pages. “We have distributors in UAE and have shipping services to any part of the world,” she adds.
The highlight of this successful brand is that Nomiya hasn’t spent a penny on marketing. The brand has a Facebook page and an additional group where people share their reviews as writings and transition photos/ videos. “While getting into the global market, I am sure that additional marketing techniques need to be employed. But this is thoroughly overwhelming and I enjoy every bit of it,” says the happy entrepreneur.
Dakshina Sumesh wrote in a Facebook post, “It was after my delivery that uncontrollable hair fall started. Everyone around comforted me saying it’s because of breastfeeding and will end soon. But even after that phase, the problem continued. I took thyroid, PCOS and many other tests to find out if this was any health ailment. After contracting COVID-19, things worsened. I heard about Nomees Druvi oil through a friend and ordered some. After my second bottle, I can happily say that my hair fall is under control, my dandruff has vanished and new hair is growing. This oil is magic.”
Nomees Dhruvi’s Facebook and Instagram profiles are rife with long reviews from its customers. “I always suggest customers use the oil 3-4 times a week. A 200 ml bottle that costs Rs 380 will last for up to three months,” she shares.
The brand holds an Ayurveda drug licence controlled by the Ministry of Ayush and Nomiya is on her journey to scale up the business with “zero compromises” on quality.
Edited by Yoshita Rao