Interview: Dr. Chytra V Anand, Cosmetic Dermatologists & Founder of Kosmoderma Healthcare Pvt. Ltd
Dr. Chytra V Anand is one of most renowned celebrity cosmetic dermatologists in India. She is a pioneer in the cosmetic dermatology.
She is the skin consultant for a great number of fashion and film personalities, socialites, media persons, industrialists and corporate big wigs.
Tell us a little about yourself (i.e., your Education, Experience)
Dr. Chytra V Anand: I am an MBBS graduate from JSS Medical College in Mysore. After completing my undergraduate, I pursued my Masters in Dermatology from King’s College, London.
I further specialised in aesthetic dermatology at a time when it was not a popular choice by completing an international fellowship in cosmetic dermatology from Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, USA.
During this time, I also studied cosmetology and spa therapies at the London School of Beauty and Makeup and now hold a CIDESCO diploma.
This makes it a 360-degree specialisation in beauty and dermatology for me. I worked in London for a chain of clinics where I was heading their medical beauty division. In 2006 I started Kosmoderma in India.
Please tell us a little about your entrepreneurial journey.
Dr. Chytra V Anand: When I relocated to India in 2006, Cosmetic Dermatology was in a very nascent phase. In fact, it was quite unheard of, and there was little awareness about the field.
When I launched my clinic, I initially had to educate patients on what cosmetic dermatology was about and why I would not treat clinical issues, as I was super specialised.
I had to draw a clean line and explain it to them. Today, the field has mushroomed, gaining immense traction, and now it’s seeing plenty of takers. I am proud to be a pioneer of Cosmetic Dermatology in India.
What service(s) or product(s) do you offer at Kosmoderma?
Dr. Chytra V Anand: We have multiple categories for each specialisation. For instance, at the Kosmoderma Hair Skin Body Clinic, we offer Aesthetic Medicine and Cosmetology services for all kinds of skin, hair and body concerns.
At the Kosmoderma Research Centre, we provide dermatologically tested and specifically formulated products for skin and hair.
Then there’s the Kosmoderma Academy of Aesthetic Medicine, where we offer 4 Aesthetic Medicine/Cosmetology courses for Cosmetologists, Dermatologists, Medical Aestheticians, and nurses.
We also provide short-time certificate courses on Thread Lift, Chemical Peeling, Micro Pigmentation/Microblading, Pigmentation, Skin Lightening Treatments & management, and Botulinum Toxin Fillers for specialisations.
What made you choose this type of business?
Dr. Chytra V Anand: I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur and set up a business. Entrepreneurship later became a buzzword.
I started Kosmoderma in 2006 as India was at a very nascent phase in the cosmetic dermatology/Aesthetic Industry, and there was a lack of gold standard treatments. The inspiration for being in business comes from my father, who is a self-made businessman.
During my course of practicing as a dermatologist and managing the business, I noticed the lack of training for cosmetic dermatology in the country.
I saw that most dermatology schools teach about skin diseases but little about people’s aesthetic concerns.
Hence I started a training academy, where we have trained over 3000 doctors globally in the field of aesthetic medicine and dermatology.
Most products in the market are either very medical or aren’t designed for Indian skin types. When I was prescribing for my patients, I observed that there was a gap.
I decided to launch the Kosmoderma Research Centre to offer medical-grade skincare for the dermo-cosmetic market.
Instead of offering 5-6 products, I was able to formulate and prescribe 2-3 to help achieve the desired results.
At Kosmoderma, our vision is to help Indians look and feel their best. To give Indians access to the best in class, safe, effective and affordable care.
What was your mission and vision at the outset?
Dr. Chytra V Anand: I wanted to create a gold standard ethical organisation in Medical beauty for Indians and provide cutting-edge, safe, affordable and effective procedures. My vision is to enable every Indian to be the best version of themselves – to look and feel good.
How many employees are in your organisation?
Dr. Chytra V Anand: At Kosmoderma, we have around 75-100 employees at present.
What are your company’s goals?
Dr. Chytra V Anand: The idea behind Kosmoderma was to bring safe, affordable, and effective treatments suitable to Indian skin. A common comment I used to hear was that there is nothing available in India that is suitable for our skin type, so how do we know if we have the latest technology?
Therefore, to bridge this demand-supply gap, Kosmoderma was born. Today, we have 6 clinics in Bangalore and 1 in Chennai. Opening two Elite Premium clinics one in the heart of Chennai & 1 in the capital – Delhi
What was the inspiration behind turning an entrepreneur?
Dr. Chytra V Anand: I have been an entrepreneur for over 15 years now, and the majority of the credit for inspiring me to venture into this goes to my family, especially my dad and uncle, who are self-made businessmen.
Watching them while growing up inspired me to be my own boss and become a self-made successful woman.
While growing up, I was given an option to choose between medical college or engineering (like for most people, because during the ’90s, that was what it was all about 😶).
I wanted to enrol myself in a business school. However, I had to join a medical college since I secured a seat there, even though I wasn’t inclined towards it.
So, I had a chat with my dad, and he told me that if I completed my studies at medical school, I could pursue an MBA after that.
I completed my MBBS degree, and during my internship days, I did a Postgraduate Diploma in Management.
After that, I prepared a business plan for starting a chain of SPA’s in India and moved to London to learn more about spa therapy and business. It was here where I discovered this whole new field of Cosmetic Dermatology and fell in love with it.
I completed my dermatology and worked in London with a chain of clinics, and I came to India with the idea of starting a medical spa.
Still, since the concept was very new here, I went ahead and started my clinic first and built a reputation, and that’s how Kosmoderma Skin, Hair & Body Clinics was started, and gradually we built a chain.
Yes, that’s my story of foray into entrepreneurship. 💥
What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
Dr. Chytra V Anand: One thing I learned early on was Focus is key. When we multitask, it appears that we are being incredibly productive and doing great. But, in actuality, it shifts your focus from completing a task. To avoid that, I now set aside a calendar.
Another thing is the desire to implement everything at once. There is a process for everything, and the time taken in the initial phase of the process is crucial, so not making any decision hastily is important.
Additionally, I have also learned that creating a good, healthy, thriving culture is essential. Don’t keep employees if they erode the culture, even if they are great performers.
It will destroy the company and impact the other employees as well. Now we are very strict about the culture and mindset we implement at Kosmoderma.
Key things to consider before starting a startup
Dr. Chytra V Anand: The main is: Are you ready to work hard and do what it takes? If you are, then start. Next would be your unique idea.
Consider if that’s the idea you want to stick to and work out the pros and cons. Just because an idea is great doesn’t mean it will be successful.
Several factors, like market size, demand, and growth potential, matter, so take all of them into account.
Find a co-founder who complements your skillsets and can be one of the pillars for the foundation of your business. Finally, understand the legalities and compliances before starting the business.
What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?
Dr. Chytra V Anand: When I started my business, I was extremely hesitant to ask for help and almost never said no. I used to say “I will do it” for almost everything.
With time, I realised that I could not function or run a business this way and that people would be willing to help.
All you have to do is ask. It’s okay even if they say no. It’s important to not take rejections personally and move on with your work. Don’t let rejections stop you from asking for help when you need it.
I remember while we were starting fundraising for our company, I was very hesitant at the start on how do I ask people for funds, but what we need to realize is it’s a part of the business, just like going to a banker and pitching your offer.
You go, you pitch, you learn. Though this doesn’t come inherently to me naturally, I had to learn and unlearn to get here !!
I am happy to see the younger generation be more open and ask for help, but our generation, the women in the ’30s and ’40s somewhere, still hold themselves back. Be it at home or work. We all need support once in a while, and it’s perfectly okay to ask.
If you had one piece of advice for someone just starting out, what would it be?
Dr. Chytra V Anand: Know your self-worth. Remember, nobody can disrespect you if you don’t allow it. There may be people who discourage you or talk ill of you and try to bring down your morale, but if you hold your ground calmly, no one can get to you.
Another thing is don’t engage with people who try to pull you down. It will only waste your time and energy. The more you engage with them, the longer it takes for you to achieve your goals.
Your success tips for young and aspiring entrepreneurs
Dr. Chytra V Anand: Entrepreneurship is an excellent and fulfilling journey. For young entrepreneurs, it’s essential to gain as much experience as you can before starting your own business.
Work at other companies for at least 5 years before beginning your venture. This will give you a confidence boost and build your knowledge and skills.
Also, work hard, set your goals, don’t compare yourself with anyone else, and try to be the best in your work. Success will follow.
|Are you an
Entrepreneur or Startup?
Do you have a Success Story to Share?
SugerMint would like to share your success story.
We cover entrepreneur Stories, Startup News, Women entrepreneur stories, and Startup stories