The Tribe Concepts founded by Amritha Gaddam combines her father’s Ayurvedic expertise and her mother’s homemade recipes. Bindu Gopal Rao in conversation with the entrepreneur who’s working to bring Ayurvedic solutions to your personal spa time…
Amritha Gaddam had flawless skin and hair growing up in Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh. After the move to Hyderabad for higher studies, that equation changed drastically. Dr. Kamalanjali, Amritha’s mother, suggested that her worsening skin and hair issues, and an alarming development of PCOS was probably due to the use of chemical cosmetics and binging on junk food. “That struck a chord with me, and I asked my mom to send me the homemade powders we used as kids,” shares Amritha. Not surprisingly, she remarks, the results on her skin and body were great. In Bengaluru for her MBA, she discovered that her friends at the hostel also raved about these homegrown recipes. And although she was running through the mill of a corporate job, she also started working on cracking the best formulae for skin and hair products concocted from natural ingredients. She found support in her father, Dr. Madhu Babu Gaddam, who happened to be an Ayurvedic specialist.
Incidentally, she admits she always had the entrepreneurial spirit in her. “I had the passion to do some business right from my childhood and I still remember how enthusiastically I used to sell pretty souvenirs on ebay while I was in high school. It was in me all the time, the passion, the spirit to start something on my own, to be the task owner and to execute work on my own platform. In fact, I worked with my friend Nitya Mohan on various startup ideas during our MBA days,” she shares.
Labour of Love
In May 2019, she finally started ‘The Tribe Concepts’, her organic hair and skin care brand with Apuroopa Gaddam, Kamalanjali, Nitya Mohan and Vamshi Krishna (all of whom are her friends and family). “Our first flagship product, the 90-day miracle oil, a unique and very well-researched formula enhanced with the right ingredients and right combinations became a huge hit and helped us start our journey on natural, organic, and sustainable products,” says the entrepreneur. While the manufacturing unit is in Rajahmundry, the business operations are headquartered in Bengaluru. “Both my mom and my dad possess the right subject knowledge to develop these natural recipes for skin and hair care. Our products may look very easy, in fact, we mention all our ingredients, but the magic lies in the right combination of the right ingredients. For instance, shikakai can make your hair rough and if you add other ingredients like hibiscus or fenugreek, they do not make the hair clean or even remove oil,” Amritha explains. This is where expertise, research, and testing come into the picture, and products such as the powder hair cleanser are born, which is not only convenient to use, also removes excess oil and makes hair manageable.
The current product portfolio has a range of skin and hair care products. “Our hair-grow kit and face brightening kit are our flagship products. Our 24K kumkumadi tailam is one of our best sellers as a great facial oil serum for everyday skincare. The powder cleansers include hair cleansers, body ubtan and face brightening cleansers, all replacement for soaps and shampoos,” Amritha shares. Interestingly all their products are sourced from rural forests where the land itself is pesticide and toxicant-free and naturally organic. “The majority of ingredients we use are forest-based, raw, and mostly forgotten Indian ingredients mentioned in Ayurveda books. Our products are all either in the powder or oil form and have no added chemicals, preservatives, colour or perfume. It is just the raw dried powder or pressed oil,” says Amritha of the process.
Amritha’s mother is a huge inspiration in her life. “She has always been the epitome of clean living right from her food choices to her everyday living. She has always chosen simplicity and sustainability along with catching up with the modern world,” she says.
An avid traveler, Amritha loves exploring heritage, mountains and beaches. “Cooking is my passion and I enjoy putting together recipes with healthy ingredients. Looking ahead we want to expand our portfolio and introduce more clean and natural products. We are also looking to start our offline presence in major cities and are looking to expand globally in the next two years,” she signs off.
- Lockdown Blues:
“For someone who loves travelling it was a different experience being at home. On the business side, we had issues with raw materials, procuring materials and delivery issues. We are hopeful that 2021 will be less challenging”
- New Tidings:
“We recently launched our gifting range, the Amara bath ritual box and Niyama essentials box for gifting and self-indulgence. All our products are packed in sustainable steel, tin or glass packaging to promote reusability.”