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Our Story

Our Story

The origins of Nhea is an interesting story of the collaborative efforts of two women from very diverse backgrounds seeking to provide high-quality skincare products to boost the confidence of modern women by always looking and feeling their best.


Sruti Mitra was an Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship at Symbiosis Centre for Management Studies in Pune for over a decade. She had heard of Dr. Geeta Bora's efforts to promote biodegradable sanitary napkins in and around the slums in Pune.


She advised her students at the institute to engage with Dr. Bora's NGO and build on their classroom learning with practical fieldwork as she felt strongly about the need to take the cause of feminine health and hygiene further. The effort, executed under Sruti's mentorship, became known as 'Project Udaan' and became a full-fledged part of the curriculum. It ultimately garnered much media attention for its impact in 2018.


When Sruti and Geeta finally met, they hit it off pretty quickly, passionate as they both were about women's issues. They saw personal wellness and skincare as a woman's fundamental right instead of a privilege and believed that superior quality, sustainable solutions should be accessible to all. They also realised they had a hunger to start a business in common.


At 46, Sruti had been mulling for some time to take the entrepreneurial leap herself. She had spent years working for multinationals before turning to academia. But the earliest seeds of business had been sown in her childhood, witnessing her father's entrepreneurial journey as he scaled up the family business multifold.


At 43, Dr. Bora had run her NGO long enough to realise that the near-constant shortage of funds would never allow her to scale up the impact. Armed with a PhD in IT management and close to a decade of professional experience, she had also begun to feel the need to deploy her significant research capabilities to make an immediate, practical impact on the ground. The only way out was a self-sustaining business.


So when they landed on the idea of a natural menstrual cramp reliever, Nhea - Natural Holistic Ethical Aromatherapy - was born.


The Symbiosis Institute inadvertently became the launching ground for the start-up. Inspired by the duo, Sruti's students jumped head-first into the effort, conducting surveys, assessing demand, and finding market gaps. The following two years were spent researching, testing and arriving at a product market fit.


Nhea finally launched in February 2020 as a beauty and wellness brand using high-grade essential oils. Sruti was the designated CEO, heading operations, sales, finance and HR, and Geeta oversaw the product lines and R&D as the CRDO. They offered two products, 'The Nhea Roll-On for menstrual cramp relief' and 'The Nhea Face Oil'. They spent many months building on the product line, setting up the infrastructure, working on certifications and licenses, and recruiting the necessary staff. Their conviction was such that even the pandemic could not affect their enthusiasm.


Their vision for Nhea was a Made-in-India product line that is 100% natural, organic, cruelty-free, and most importantly, centred around aromatherapy, the science of scent-assisted healing. Its products would be rooted in first principles, leading users back into nature's fold.


True to form, Sruti and Geeta are social entrepreneurs. They have not forgotten their need to make a profound societal impact. Nhea is a social enterprise which endeavours to promote women micro-entrepreneurs whenever possible, employing them in the supply chain or as marketing and distribution partners. In support of this guiding principle, Nhea provides one of its key products, the Pain Relief Roll-on, at heavily subsidised rates to NGOs working for women's empowerment and healthcare.