From Failures to Success: This Mumbai Based Entrepreneur Built a Candle Brand That Now Serves 5-Star Hotel Chains

Umesh Singh, Director-Tara Candles

Exclusive interview with Umesh Singh, Director of Tara Candles

Today, we have the pleasure of speaking with a Mumbai-based entrepreneur whose journey from failures to success has been nothing short of inspiring.

Please welcome Umesh Singh, the director of a renowned candle brand – Tara Candles, that now serves 5-star hotel chains. Thank you for joining us!

Can you tell us about the history of Tara Candles and how the company got started?

Umesh Singh: We are more than just a Candle Manufacturing Company… It was 2005 and Emirates got in touch with us for a highly customized gifting requirement:

20 candle pieces that were non-standard in size, color, and aroma. Unable to find a supplier anywhere across India, we decided to fulfill the order ourselves.

We went back to our study books, researched, experimented, analyzed, burned the proverbial candle at both ends and managed to deliver the order within the time and to specifications.

As they came alive in the showroom of Bollywood fashion designer Salim Asgar Ali, they also lit up our entrepreneurial imagination.

Where others just made candles out of wax, we saw an opportunity to create a brand of candles that would be built out of our creativity and passion. We would create bespoke candles crafted out of ideas and love.

We named it Tara, which is Sanskrit for a star. And like a star, a candle’s purpose is to cause a twinkle in the eye, bring a smile to a tired face, create a feeling of warmth, and add a touch of wonder.

It is to add a bit of light to counter the darkness. For in each culture and every country, light is considered a gift of life.

Each tradition and festival have light in some form: as a source of warmth, illumination, and direction, as a symbol of purity, clarity, intelligence, and hope.

It is our belief that candles are functional yet beautiful, something with which you can share ‘light’. A candle represents energy and goodwill and wishes, and that is what passes on from us to you and from you to your patrons and loved ones.

Love and Light!

What sets Tara Candles apart from other candle brands in the market?

Umesh Singh:

  1. Eighteen years old Brand established in Corporate Gifting Industry as Pioneers in curating creative gifting ideas and solutions. Established since-2005.
  2. Gifting Suppliers to 23 Pharma cos, 90% of seven and five star hotels pan India supply, Few Infra cos, Logistics Cos and banking industry.
  3. Keep innovating and adding new dimensions to the candle industry.
  4. Innovated and created customized 15000 plus articles in to candles.
  5. Wide range of creative product with best competitive price.
  6. 256 aroma options to offer.
  7. 147 shapes of floating candle range, each with seven color option and 13 aroma spread.
  8. 32 sizes in cylindrical shape and 34 in square shape pillar candle range, each with seven patterns and 13 aroma spread.
  9. Eight variants in size and shape of Glass container aroma candle, with variety of more than 150 plus to offer.
  10. Twelve festival gifting range from Tara candles.
  11. Twenty seven international days gift collection from Tara candles.
  12. Bandwidth of supply Pan India and Export worldwide. Complemented with always on time deliveries.
  13. Production capacity of producing three tons of candles per day.

Accolades to be added, on-ground distribution partner, exhibition participation and shows., Certificates and awards

How has Tara Candles adapted to changes in consumer behavior and trends in the candle industry?

Umesh Singh: Since Tara Candles has evolved by always creating unique propositions of products for its corporate clients, we never felt challenged for adapting to changes as per demand.

Yes, we need to mention here the retail consumer buying behavior pattern is changing rapidly from offline mode to online mode and having a variety of products to choose from yet not able to find the right product for them without having a candle aroma experience.

Here we are creating a lot of content in the form of blogs available to the consumers via media or on our website, on how to check five things before buying a candle. or what is wax pool memory? And how does it help in optimizing the better candle lighting experience and clean burn?

We have been identified as one of the trendsetters in terms of creating a new product with an average invention of one product in 15 days, adapting to trends created by other available brands was never our priority.

We always thrive to give new valued products to our consumers with the best competitive price complemented with the best quality organic wax and aroma.

{Wellness, creating a trend for relaxing range, adding value to the right perception of gift to a consumer creating a plethora of Brand promotion value gift to corporates (wellness includes: creating the right ambiance, preventing nature, ability to create focus, setting the right mood for a person to be productive, balancing mind, body, and soul)

Can you speak to the growth of Tara Candles over the past few years? What do you attribute this growth to?

Umesh Singh: It gives me immense pleasure to state growth of Tara candles has been exponential over the past few years in acquiring new corporate clients pan India, adding the retail and export segment as two new verticals to the organization.

With brands presence with over 75 plus corporate companies, the Hospitality industry, online retail, and exports, this year the turnover marked a 93% increase as compared to the previous F.Y.

The growth contributors can be attributed to various areas like product invention, creating new market space for candles in the corporate segment, introducing new marketing strategies adapted specifically to consumer buying behavior patterns., Teamwork of Tara Candles.

What is the company’s strategy for expanding its product line and reaching new markets?

Umesh Singh: We are presently having a wide range of 15300 plus SKU size, our strategy would be to curate the specific SKU size and take a few bunches of market-specific product lines based on the customized approach towards consumers.

Can you talk about any challenges or obstacles Tara Candles has faced during its growth and how it has overcome them?

Umesh Singh: There are various types of challenges in running a business, which we have to overcome to achieve results, elaborating on each would be very lengthy, however, we can address here the consumer-related challenges and solutions in both B2B and B2C segments.

Case study of one of the challenges faced in B2B segment.

Umesh Singh: One of our client from a Pharma company representative Brand manager of an anti-depressant drug, wanted a unique promotional gift that should resemble the core value of the drug and should be a good brand reminder.

Insight and thought before creating a product: The end user of the anti-depressant drug is challenged in his life with many possible ways to cope up for a healthy state of mind, which is managed by the dr.,

Solution /Action: We helped the brand manager with a very thoughtful gift input by introducing the end user experience perspective.

We created a black color organic wax container candle; the glass container design was handpicked having jute thick rope as a carrying handle on it. This candle was infused with an essential oil-based chamomile aroma.

Purpose and thought behind creating the product:

Umesh Singh: Black color represents darkness, – “Remove the darkness of life light a life”

Chamomile Aroma is known for its subtle effect on the mindful index of a person by creating a relaxing effect through olfactory senses and combating the anxiety and feeling associated with depression.

Result/Success Story: The campaign resulted in a huge commendable response from the audience, which was complimented by repeat orders to us.

Problems faced by Retail consumers

Umesh Singh: Most consumers are not aware of what needs to be checked before buying a candle in terms of the quality, application, and purpose of the candle.

Insight and solution: After experiencing a similar trend in most of the consumers, we started creating appropriate knowledge-based blogs and content to be available to consumers via blogs on the Tara Candles website and digital media. I would list a few for your reference.

“5 things to check /remember before buying a candle.”

“Health benefits of Scented candles”

“What is wax pool memory? And how to optimize candle lighting hours.”

Result/success story: the campaign helped in creating awareness of the product resulting in higher choice-based buying patterns from consumers.

How does Tara Candles prioritize sustainability and ethical practices in its production process?

Umesh Singh: Tara candle prioritizes sustainability by checking all the parameters of the raw material utilized in making candles pertaining to the source of ingredients, whether it is natural, organic or recycled, or synthetically created. These parameters are kept in consideration before selecting the raw material.

Tara Candles incorporates the practice of sustainability by using natural vegetable source wax -soya wax and beeswax, we also use fully refined paraffin wax extracted from the petroleum refinery which helps maintain the ecosystem – paraffin wax is safe for candles used for human beings –

Aromas used at Tara candles are essential oil based – which have therapeutic values (originated from ayurveda)

The wicks used are 100% pure cotton which has the property of absorbing wax on its surface (primed wick) and leaving a clean burn without releasing carcinogenic particles

We support sustainability practices by providing all certifications for ingredients – MSDC – maintaining four levels of QC check of the product – from sourcing to making

The packaging box of Tara candles is made from Recycled kraft paper, we avoid the use of plastic or any element that would affect the ecosystem of the earth.

What role does community engagement and social responsibility play in the mission and values of Tara Candles?

Umesh Singh: Tara Candle as an organization practices the high value of ethical and high value employment for its factory. We engage in employing 70% female staff and promoting women empowerment

 Mission Statement: At Tara Candles, we enhance the well-being of our customers by crafting customized aromatic candles that provide a unique experience.

We strive to create functional yet beautiful candles that spread wellness and goodwill in its purest form.

Our customized aromatic candles have the power to enhance physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Crafted using natural ingredients and essential oils that are known for their therapeutic properties, Tara candles promise an experience that relaxes your mind, body, and soul. This is the core mission.

Vision Statement: Our vision is to become a globally respected brand in the candle industry, known for our commitment to wellness, natural ingredients, and innovative designs. We aim to bring warmth, calmness, and rejuvenation through the power of light and wellness.

What can we expect from Tara Candles in the next few years in terms of new products, partnerships, or initiatives?

Umesh Singh: Tara Candle envisages being present in 23 countries in the next 5 years with global partnerships – modeled as distributors and collaborating with large format retail chain stores and corporate gifting companies over these places – as the product line keeps adding one new product every 15 days, the new product line is getting curated on various subjects which will localized as per the individual country – initial footprint at UAE, Greece, Singapore

How does Tara Candles see itself evolving and staying competitive in the ever-changing landscape of the candle industry?

Umesh Singh: Tara Candles carries two core values from the last 18 years. ie. Always evolving with the new product dimension and staying ahead of the competition in terms of placement of products at the right perspective of time.

We enjoy the landscape of the candle industry and welcome the competition on a positive note as we believe that competition has only helped us in being one step ahead of it. We see ourselves in the top 10 candle brand globally in next 5 years.

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