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Mom-in-Law & Daughter-in-Law Use Grandma’s Secrets to Launch Hair Oil Biz, Earn Rs 50 Lakh/Month

‘Nidhi’s Grandmaa Secret’, a homemade hair oil business, was built using Nidhi Tuteja-Dua's grandmother’s traditional recipe. Along with her mother-in-law Rajni Dua, the software engineer has developed a thriving business out of an age-old recipe, while making them both financially independent.

Mom-in-Law & Daughter-in-Law Use Grandma’s Secrets to Launch Hair Oil Biz, Earn Rs 50 Lakh/Month

Sundays as a child for Nidhi Tuteja Dua involved getting head massages, also known as champi, by her mother or daadi (grandmother). The oil, made by her grandmother, would be applied lovingly on her hair, with stories galore. The secret recipe helped her hair grow ‘long and strong’. 

When she went to college, and later work, this weekly ritual ceased to be, as other priorities cropped up. She had almost forgotten about her grandmother’s handmade hair oil, which protected and nourished her hair.

After she contracted COVID-19, the Gurugram resident experienced a massive hair fall, as did her mother-in-law Rajni (67). During this time, in 2020, the 40-year-old remembered her daadi’s oil and decided to give it a try. She got the family recipe from her mother and asked her mother-in-law if she could make it. 

Both of them tried it, and lo and behold, within three months, the two women saw visible changes. Two years later, she heard women at her apartment complex discuss hair fall problems. As they discussed possible solutions, Nidhi’s grandma’s oil emerged as a clear winner. 

The mother-in-law, daughter-in-law duo then set out on a mission to help women at their apartment regain their long locks again. Starting with a small batch of one litre, the response pushed them to consider turning it into a business. 

In March 2023, Nidhi and Rajni Dua launched ‘Nidhi’s Grandmaa Secret’, which sells hair oil for ‘hair fall control’, shampoo, conditioner, scalp scrub. Launched on a Whatsapp group, the oil has found its way to over 67,000 homes, selling over one lakh bottles and earning a monthly income of Rs 50 lakhs. 

What differentiates this story is the fact that it is run by a mother and daughter-in-law, helping them gain financial freedom and giving wings to their dreams. 

Solving an age old problem faced by women

Nidhi and Rajni make the hair oil using 13 ingredients
Nidhi and Rajni make the hair oil using 13 ingredients

Nidhi had a thriving career as a software engineer. Her priorities shifted after she was alerted about some behavioural issues in her son (then 3) in 2016. She took the decision to quit her job and focus on him. While she missed her job, she found that her son needed her the most at that time. 

She toyed with the idea of joining work again at some time, but life had other plans. The results of the hair oil in 2020 pleasantly surprised her. It took her back to her conversations with her grandmother, when she would ask her why she spent so much time making this oil.

“My daadi would sit with this iron kadhai (large vessel) every week, and spend hours stirring the oil, adding 13 ingredients one by one. She used to tell me that I would realise its worth after growing up,” Nidhi shares with The Better India.

Sure enough, just as the wise woman had predicted, Nidhi turned to her daadi’s recipe when she faced the massive challenge of hairfall. The duo made the oil together, which took an entire day. 

“We faced tremendous hair fall. After using it for about two-three months, we found that our hairfall had greatly reduced and our hair was growing. I started making it for my daughter and our domestic help, who also found it greatly effective,” shares Rajni.

In 2022, the Tuteja-Dua family shifted from Delhi to Gurugram, into an apartment complex. It was here that Nidhi would find an opportunity to give shape to her desires. She found women here who were running small businesses from home. 

Like most mothers, Nidhi, too, had a burning desire to have a flourishing career. When she heard about these women, she found her window. 

“I always thought that I would join the office again. I missed my financial freedom and kept thinking of what I could do to reclaim it,” says Nidhi.

Rajni, who had spent her life taking care of her children, followed by her grandchildren, didn’t harbour such aspirations, she shares. But when Nidhi asked for her help, the indulgent mother-in-law, went all in to support her dreams.

“We first started distributing the oil to women in our society. To our surprise, they kept coming back for more. In fact, our doorbell used to keep ringing,” laughs Nidhi.

In the beginning, they would pack the oil in normal bottles with a sticker. The first batch of one litre was made on a small kadhai and sold 10 bottles. As soon as Nidhi posted on a Whatsapp group, they were sold out in a matter of hours. 

Nidhi and Rajni started making the hair oil for their own use in 2020
Nidhi and Rajni started making the hair oil for their own use in 2020

After they had given their oil to over 200 people in the society, the software engineer realised the viability of her business. As orders increased, they bought bigger vessels, a five litre and 10 litre kadhai. 

In March 2023, they decided to increase their presence and set up an Instagram account, ‘Nidhi’s Grandmaa Secret’. Nidhi’s husband, Rajat, is a digital marketeer and helped her with her social media presence. One of their reels went viral, and led to an increase in orders. The next day, they had 100 orders on their hands!

“Nidhi was overwhelmed and wondered how we would fulfil so many orders. I reassured her that we would be able to do it,” shares Rajni.

The challenge Nidhi faced initially was mental, as she wondered if they could succeed, and build a business from home. Having worked in a corporate environment, she worried about the intricacies involved in setting up a business from scratch, especially one that is very laborious and customer-centric. 

“I worried if this hair oil would work on everyone. My idea was to help people manage hair fall. I never thought of doing a business and was unsure of facing everyting that it involved,” she shares candidly.

Her mother-in-law stood by her like a rock and defied her age to literally burn the midnight oil.

The first win for the duo was successfully fulfilling the 100 orders. From that day on, there has been no looking back. The two-woman show worked day and night to make the oil. Till September 2023, they made the oil at home and managed manufacturing, packaging, customer support, social media, and website all by themselves. After the success of their oil, they introduced a shampoo using Rajni’s recipe, a conditioner, scalp scrub and comb. 

Today, they have over 8,000 orders per month. 

What’s the secret?

Nidhi's Grandma Secret operates out of a manufacturing facility in Panchkula
Nidhi’s Grandma Secret operates out of a manufacturing facility in Panchkula

What makes this oil sell out and attract repeat customers? Nidhi states that it’s ‘100 percent natural and homemade’. The oil is made using a secret mix of 13 herbs with coconut oil as the base. Without revealing the secret, here’s what Nidhi shares.

“We make the oil in an iron kadhai, add coconut oil, and add each of the ingredients one by one. We cook it for at least two hours after which we rest it for 8-10 hours. The next morning, we strain it using a cotton cloth and reheat it. It’s then cooled, strained and packed,” explains Nidhi.

The ingredients include curry leaf and aloe vera gel among others. They make about 100 litres of oil in two days now. 

Kamaljeet Arya, one of their customers, says that the hair oil and shampoo have had a tremendous impact for her. She faced hairfall issues as she is peri-menopausal and has thyroid issues. 

“I tried many different products over the years but nothing really worked. I found out about Nidhi’s Grandmaa Secret through a friend and have been using it for five months now. I have seen a noticeable difference in my hair, my hair fall has greatly reduced. My son, too, uses it and has seen good results,” shares Kamaljeet.

For almost six months, the duo just worked on fulfilling orders. There would be oil simmering on the gas morning, afternoon and evening; with its shelf life of three years. As orders crossed almost 300 per day, they knew that it could no longer be managed from home.

They looked for manufacturing facilities. They had a caveat though – it had to be handmade. While many refused, they found one in Panchkula, where they replicated the setup, where more than 50 women manufacture the oil. 

The hero product of Nidhi’s Grandmaa Secret is the ‘anti-hairfall’ oil, priced at Rs 499 for a 100 ml bottle, followed by the curry leaf and hibiscus shampoo which is priced at Rs 449 for a 200 ml bottle. 

Nidhi and Rajni recently moved into an office and are looking to expand their team. The two mothers also plan to launch more natural hair care products.

How does Rajni feel after becoming an entrepreneur in her 60s?

“I realised that we all have the spirit to work hard and build a business. Age is no bar when it comes to achieving something. You will definitely find your hidden spark. What we’ve been able to do is almost miraculous,” smiles Rajni. 

Nidhi wants everyone to realise that one can earn sitting at home too. 

“You don’t necessarily have to do a 9-5 job to be financially sound. If I can do it, so can you. All you need is the will, the path will be ready,” says Nidhi.

You can buy their products through their website. Edited by Padmashree Pande.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for general informational purposes only and does not imply endorsement or promotion of any product or service. No claims, representations or warranties, whether expressed or implied, are made by The Better India as to the safety, reliability, durability and performance of any of the stated third party products or services. Furthermore, The Better India accepts no liability whatsoever for the safety, reliability, durability, delivery, and performance of any of the mentioned products or services.

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