Launching the 2nd product under brand Satthwa

Back in 2016, almost exactly around this time I was working on launching the Satthwa Premium Hair oil.

Since that was my very first product launch, I did not keep my expectations high, knowing very well that I was going to compete with the biggies in one of the most competitive categories.

It has now been a year since the launch, the sales and feedback Satthwa hair oil have got from the users has FAR exceeded my wildest dreams. I am very grateful for the same.

Within this one year, there were many times when I was told that in order for a brand to “succeed”, you need multiple products and though I think that this might be true to a certain extent, back then I did not want to divide my bandwidth by launching multiple products.

Launching multiple products and hoping that each generates enough sales to sustain the business is a bad idea in my opinion. I want all my products to be the star products in their respective category because so much learning and research goes into each.

I really don’t see the point of launching a run of the mill brand, there are plenty of those already.

Since the last few months, I have been researching on other products. Something which complements the hair oil as well. This got me to researching on Essential Oils and the first choice for the launch was Lavender Essential oil.

Adding a few drops of lavender essential oil to any carrier oil helps in blood circulation on the scalp and apart from this, lavender oil has so many other benefits as well. Not to forget, this is an excellent oil for aromatherapy.

So without further ado, Satthwa Lavender Essential Oil has now been launched!

Amazon India & differential sellers policy

Update (04/4/16): Amazon India did not budge and hence I gave up on them, at least for the time being. Chose to concentrate my energies on Flipkart, where we are listed and kicking!

Update (23/3/16): Shortly after writing this article, I wrote to Amazon’s Chairman Jeff Bezos and appraised him about the situation. I am happy to say that he has instructed the executive seller support team to look into this matter. Hope to get this issue resolved as quickly as possible so that i can get selling on Amazon India!

Amazon Indian SellersAs you know that I launched my new Health / Beauty product startup “Satthwa” less than a couple months back and the response has been great! We gave out free samples of our Premium Hair Oil to a lot of people (selected from a contest on Facebook) and we are happy to say that the results they have achieved have increased our sales from word of mouth.

Currently all our sales come from our own website https://satthwa.com but I wanted to put our product on Amazon.in as well and hence we started the process of getting it listed on it.

Usually anyone can just create an account on Amazon as a seller and get selling within an hour, especially if the product they want to sell is already listed on Amazon. In our case, we were going to sell in the category “Beauty” which is a restricted category and need a few days before Amazon manually approves new sellers on it. Along with that we also wanted to register our brand “Satthwa” with Amazon as we are the owners of the brand and this gives us more control over it.

The process took a couple weeks and finally after all the documentation, we were able to list our product and to be on the safer side, we wanted to tweak our listing and make it accurate / credible before we formally announced our foray on Amazon, turns out this wait was a blessing as just a couple days into the listing, Amazon decided to remove our product without any warning. After contacting the seller support agent, I got to know that they think we are in violation of their terms as our listing mentions “Hair Fall Control”, “Hair Regrowth Oil” terms.

Now how do we sell our regrowth hair oil, without mentioning what exactly it does? Though i understand the position of Amazon that there could be a lot of “brands” trying to mislead people by selling their products under false pretexts but that’s what Amazon reviews are for, if a product gets enough bad reviews, they should take it off the shelf. However taking an approach like this from the get go, pushes back genuine sellers. In a country like India where the government does enough damage to make sure that companies have a tough time starting up, we surely do not need a private company who is a “ecommerce enabler” to hold us back.

As for the Amazon policies, I have seen that it varies from seller to seller. If there is a product which is selling a lot with a lot of reviews. Amazon let’s them bend or even break their rule when it comes to the “Claims” & “Guarantees” which the brand makes, however for those who are new to selling have to abide by different rule set.

This is what precisely a market place should not do. It creates unwarranted monopoly of bigger brands and good smaller brands keep fighting to stay afloat.

With so much money being pumped by Amazon into advertising and getting new sellers on board, I certainly hope for equality in policies amongst many other things!

Satthwa My new startup!

I am happy to announce the launch of my new startup https://satthwa.com (Purity). Satthwa is my first non IT startup and also the first startup which is a bit personal. The first product we have launched is a Premium Hair Oil!

To be honest, I did not think in my wildest dreams that i would be launching a hair oil product.. let alone dabble in the beauty / cosmetic industry but this is how it played out. A couple years back, i noticed sudden hair fall and the tought of going bald stuck me and i could not imagine how that would be.. or rather i did not want to imagine. I tried various products some from the top cosmetic companies and paid thousands but that only helped a little, then a few months back i tried and tested a mix of some oils and they did the trick. Most of these oils, we have used in isolation but when they are mixed with some other oils, they are a potent combination for hair. Once i saw results, i gave it to friends and family to try out and the feedback i got was excellent. That was my moment of clarity!.. why not sell the product and help others as well… that’s how Satthwa was born.

Satthwa - Premium Hair Oil

Your local LalaJi goes online with e-lala.biz

elala Indian traders website

The Confederation of All India Traders launched on Monday their answer to the likes of Flipkart & Amazon… I don’t know if they were able to comprehend the question but their answer to it was totally WRONG!

For starters their website is called e-lala.biz, who in their right mind uses “-” in their domain these days and then go out a .biz extension, this practically ensures that they do not get over 40% of the direct traffic as people will type elala.biz or e-lala.com.

What’s more striking is that even though the website was launched yesterday, it still show coming soon on all products and cities… What’s up with that? This is an online equivalent of doing a “bhoomi poojan” (aka Groundbreaking ceremony). If it’s going to take them 6-8 months to go live, who’s to say that the platform does not become redundant even before it starts?

This seems to be a classics example where they think “Build it and the customers will come”, with such fierce competition from well funded and extremely customer centric startups, what make the CAIT think that their eLala would survive… after all, isn’t this “lala” attitude which has given birth to amazing startups in this space?