TheGlitz ‘Super Woman’: Thamanna, Co-Founder, Cikitsa

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Cikitsa Founders Fazal Rahman and Thamanna

Meet The Glitz ‘Super Woman’ Thamanna, Co-Founder of Cikitsa, who, along with her husband-in-arms, Fazal Rahman, and his able leadership and guidance, believes the best products to meet cosmetic needs are the simplest—straight from nature to natural. Situated in Kochi, the couple works tirelessly to source raw materials only from trustworthy sources and follow meticulous manufacturing and packaging processes. The duo prides itself on being ethical by using only tested and trusted methods that you can count on. As this shows, the two clearly share an affinity for integrity.

As cliche as it may seem, Fazal Rahman and his wife Thamanna founded their venture in 2020, the very year they got married. At the peak of the pandemic and the height of the lockdown, they founded Cikitsa, an ayurvedic nature-based cosmetic and hair oil line of products. After braving the blitz of the pandemic, they are now reaping the rewards of hard work, self-belief, and perseverance. Unbeknownst to them at the time, Cikitsa turned out to be an all-winners-on-hand project for this co-entrepreneur couple.

Coming from an entrepreneurial family setting, Fazal undoubtedly carried the business acumen edge all along. But the drive to explore opportunities to diversify from the family business coupled with frenzied passion provided the much-needed wind to explore Ayurveda and its vast benefits in cosmetics. After putting in laborious and painstaking efforts, doing research and collaborating with experts and ayurvedic doctors turned out to be a project study. Shortly there after, the stars aligned for the pair, personally and professionally.

Cikitsa has grown substantially and has a truly attractive customer base, with new product roll-outs lined up in the coming months. Having pledged to offer nature’s goodness, rare herbs, and blends into their products with uncompromised quality, this couple is steadfastly achieving the lofty goals set within this short span of three years of their foray into business. Over to you, Thamanna…

Your journey has had many momentous milestones. Could you tell us about your life-changing journey that has moulded you to be what you are today?

As soon as the product was ready to be sold, we reflexively sprang into action and started promoting it on our social media channels. We reached out to our network, both personal and professional, to get the word out about our launches. While the first few purchases came from friends and family, the word fast caught on, and we ended up seeing good traction without any paid marketing. Thus, by simply leveraging our online presence and harnessing the power of word-of-mouth marketing, we were able to expand our reach and our customer base quickly.

Looking back, your greatest stand-out achievement?

Being chosen as the “Women entrepreneur of the year 2022” by IAF.

What are the setbacks you have faced? How did you tackle these setbacks or challenges? And what lesson have you learned from it?

While setting up my business, we, as a team, had to tackle several roadblocks to get where we are today. While most of them were anticipated hiccups, our journey was not without major challenges. One of the trying issues was procuring licenses for our products. While getting all the required paperwork for a business is often tedious and time-consuming, it took us quite a while to wrap up the documentation towards legal compliance.

But by being proactive and consistent in our approach, we were able to speed up the process and make things happen. Another taxing challenge came during the pandemic, when our day-to-day operations were largely disrupted and we were forced to slow down. Nevertheless, our timely interventions and re-direction helped accelerate our recovery.

When you look back, what are the three qualities in you that have helped you become what you are today?

Enterprising, inventive, and extremely driven. We kept an open mind while listening to our customers’ feedback and were quick to act on their key concerns and suggestions.

Who are the people who have been the wind behind your wings?

Being an entrepreneur who was so passionate to do something that add value, we started exploring the opportunities to diversify. It was then when we came across the endless possibilities of Ayurveda and its benefits in cosmetics. Thus, we collaborated with experts, Ayurvedic doctors and started as a research that turned out to be a project study. Coincided with market demand for purely nature based products and unconditional support from the better half Thamanna, time was ripe for Fazal Rahman. Thus, founding of Cikitsa in 2020.

Lastly, if there was a quote to define you, what would it be?

Business model changes every day. Look into the past and see what wasn’t there and what we have now. Future will be more challenging, work towards it accordingly.

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