Vibha Harish- Co-Founder of Cosmix, a herbal nutrition and plant-based supplement company

Vibha Harish

Interview with Vibha Harish- Co-Founder of Cosmix, a herbal nutrition and plant-based supplement company

Vibha Harish launched Cosmix- A herbal nutrition and plant-based supplement company, in 2019 after a diagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome led her to pay more attention to a healthy diet.

Having crossed a 2 Crore turnover in their first year, Cosmix is regarded as one of the fastest-growing ventures in the country.

The Bangalore-based brand makes nutritional powder supplements from fruits, herbs and roots, which help boost immunity and improve sleep.

In addition, Vibha uses parts of her profits to fund the company’s “Nutrition for All” program, which donates food and energy bars to malnourished children in rural India.

The primary motive for launching the brand was Vibha’s personal experience to elaborate a little more. A few years ago, when Vibha was diagnosed with PCOS, she noticed the absence of adequate nutrition for women and fell victim to relentless marketing and toxic beauty standards that ‘promised a cure’ for PCOS.

Her diagnosis changed her life in more ways than one and led her on a path to realizing and appreciating her body’s healing capabilities.

Her homeopathic mother encouraged Vibha to turn to herbs to manage her PCOS Turning to superfoods and high-quality nutrition. This led to Vibha’s journey of healing and the germination of CosMix.

Academically Vibha is an Engineer, but as she began studying herbalism out of her interest and personal situation, she felt that these subjects were not educated correctly, with the correct scientific information to empower one to understand the inner workings of their own body.

This led to Vibha inheriting the business from her parents, which was a natural transition at the time. Since then, she has helped evolve the company with a dedicated research and development team at its core.

CosMix constantly works on new mixes and tries to improve the old ones, with her mother’s experience as it is of paramount importance.

Vibha’s vision is to facilitate holistic health through plant-powered solutions that work, minus the tall claims for quick fixes.

With over 30 varieties of functional superfoods sourced from farmers across the globe today, Cosmix is India’s only clean, educative, body-neutral, and holistic health and wellness brand. In 2021, she was also featured in the Forbes 30 under 30 Asia list!

Her ability to intuit ideas and visualize unique concepts has shaped the brand’s ideology and how it is communicated to the customers. Vibha’s ambition and her desire to do something different is an inspiration to young entrepreneurs today.

What inspired you to start Cosmix, and how did you come up with the idea for a herbal nutrition and plant-based supplement company?

Vibha Harish: Cosmix is a company that was born out of my own struggles with PCOS. When I looked around for help with my hormonal acne or my hair fall, all I came across were products that relentlessly promised to fix me overnight. A one-size-fits-all approach that would make me the beauty that every other person aspires to be.

It wasn’t until I found adaptogens that I was finally able to manage my health long term and become a version of me that didn’t just look healthy, I “felt” healthy too.

To share this abundant joy with everyone, I began Cosmix in December 2019 and I knew one thing for sure – we would never engage in aspirational or inadequacy marketing. The health and wellness industry needed a radical shift, and Cosmix was here to lead the fray.

Tell us a little about yourself

Vibha Harish: I am a herbalist and the founder of Cosmix. A few years ago when I was diagnosed with PCOS, I noticed the absence of adequate nutrition for women and fell victim to relentless marketing and toxic beauty standards that ‘promised a cure’ for PCOS.

My mother, who was a homeopathic, encouraged me to turn to herbs to manage her PCOS. I am an engineer by academics but as I began studying herbalism out of my own interest, I felt things like these were not marketed correctly, with the right scientific information to empower one to understand the inner-workings of their own body.

As a result, I founded Cosmix, a plant-based nutrition brand inspired by herbalism from the western world and Ayurveda from my own country, that is revolutionizing the holistic health industry today. In 2021, I was also featured in the Forbes 30 under 30 Asia list!

Please tell us a little about your entrepreneurial journey

Vibha Harish:The reason Cosmix started was because I am passionate about creating clean targeted solutions to address the root cause of health problems.

As an entrepreneur, I enjoy the process of building things from 0 to 1. In the past, I tried my hand at starting something in the educational space, but it didn’t pan out as expected.

However, that experience taught me valuable lessons. This time around, I took those lessons to heart and approached Cosmix with a strong intention and for a more personal reason. I started to truly enjoy the journey, and every day brings new opportunities for learning and growth.

Kindly brief us about your company & its specialization

Vibha Harish: Cosmix makes plant-based nutrition accessible to all in the form of potent powdered mixes made of herbs, adaptogens and superfoods.

Rooted in holistic health, our blends are formulated using the highest quality adaptogens like Reishi, Spirulina, Maca root, Goji berries and more.

At the core of our product ethos lies mindful and ethical sourcing, high quality herb processing and scientific formulation with the help of herbalists and agricultural experts.

Cosmix is also the first-of-its-kind organization in India tackling malnourishment in an end-to-end way.

Part of our profits go towards our “Nutrition for All” programme, which donates food and energy bars to malnourished children in rural India.

Can you tell us about the range of products that Cosmix offers, and what makes them different from other supplements on the market?

Vibha Harish: Cosmix is an adaptogenic supplement brand inspired by a blend of herbalism and ayurveda.. From your skin to your hair, gut, hormones, energy levels, sleep, stress and more, Cosmix has a superfood solution for all your health and wellness woes. All our products are made from only adaptogenic herbs and superfoods.

What sets us apart from other supplements on the market is our approach. We’ve seen enough airbrushed women in mainstream media, and we refuse to be a part of the “fix your flaws” narrative.

I, the founder of Cosmix, made it clear from the beginning that we would never engage in “aspirational” or “inadequacy marketing.”

We believe the health and wellness industry needs a transformation, and Cosmix is leading the way. We want to remind people to prioritize “Health over aesthetics” and focus on how they feel in their own skin, rather than conforming to societal weight, body, skin, and hair standards.

Moreover, as a clean nutrition brand, we take pride in the fact that our products contain no added sugars, preservatives, or hidden ingredients. We believe in providing transparent and wholesome nutrition to our customers.

How do you ensure the quality and purity of your ingredients, and what steps do you take to make sure your products are safe for consumers to use?

Vibha Harish: Ensuring the quality and purity of our ingredients is a top priority for us at Cosmix. We take several steps to guarantee the safety of our products for our consumers.

We’re proud to have an in-house production, research & development, and manufacturing facility. Our facility holds certifications such as GMP, HACCP, USFDA, FSSAI, and USDA Organic Certified.

To ensure the quality of our products, we have rigorous checks in place. Our dedicated team conducts thorough in-house inspections of each batch to verify the quality and purity of both the ingredients and the final products.

This allows us to maintain consistency and meet our strict quality standards. Additionally, our production team is continuously working on improving the shelf life of our products.

Currently, our products have a shelf life of 12 months, and we strive to extend it further through ongoing research and development efforts.

What challenges did you face when launching and growing your business, and how did you overcome them?

Vibha Harish: My primary hurdle was standing out in a market saturated with toxic beauty standards. I avoided quick fixes and insecurity marketing, focusing instead on promoting holistic health and empowering our customers.

Just as I thought we had overcome these challenges, the pandemic struck within 10 days of our launch. This brought new obstacles like supply chain disruptions, worker shortages, and remote work.

Despite the difficulties, we remained resilient, supported by our amazing customers who motivated us to persevere.

Conquering these obstacles has made us stronger and reaffirmed our commitment to providing high-quality products and exceptional customer experiences.

How do you see the market for herbal nutrition and plant-based supplements evolving in the coming years, and what plans does Cosmix have to stay ahead of the curve?

Vibha Harish: The average Indian millennial today spends over 4,000 a month on their health and wellness. With a radical shift in mindset concerning wellness after the pandemic, the scope for growth in the holistic health sector is beyond imagination, especially for a D2C brand like ours.

With correct information and body autonomy, we aim to empower people with the right information and tools, so they can take a preventive approach when it comes to their health and feel – not just look – their best.

What is your vision for the future of Cosmix, and what new products or initiatives can we expect to see from the company in the near future?

Vibha Harish: Our vision for the future of Cosmix is to become the go-to destination for holistic health. We strive to offer our community targeted solutions that address the root causes of their health concerns.

We value the feedback and input from our community, and it guides us in constantly innovating and researching new products to meet the evolving needs of today’s consumers. Stay tuned for exciting initiatives and fresh offerings from Cosmix in the near future!

What was the inspiration behind turning an entrepreneur?

Vibha Harish: When I was diagnosed with PCOS, I noticed the absence of adequate nutrition for women & fell victim to relentless marketing and toxic beauty standards that ‘promised a cure’ for PCOS.

My homeopathic mother encouraged me to turn to herbs to heal. In 2016, while studying herbalism, I was introduced to a wide range of adaptogens from across the world – each more beneficial than the other.

I found that when I combined multiple herbs in the right proportions, I could target the root cause of her stressors. So I got in touch with some experts (herbalists, doctors and agriculturalists) to launch Cosmix.

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the supplement industry today, and how can companies like Cosmix help address these challenges?

Vibha Harish: In the supplement industry today, one of the biggest challenges is the prevalence of quick fixes and overnight cures.

At Cosmix, we’re here to change that. We focus on educating our customers about holistic health and empowering them to make informed decisions.

By promoting a deeper understanding of health and wellness, we can help individuals move away from the allure of quick fixes and embrace a more sustainable approach to their well-being.

Can you speak to the role of sustainability in Cosmix’s business model, and what steps are you taking to minimize your environmental impact?

Vibha Harish: Our relations with our farmer partners help promote slow, organic farming means. Through education about the value of organic, high quality crops today, the farmers are averse to using synthetic pesticides and herbicides and only practice natural farming; which results in better soil biology, agrobiodiversity, less water wastage & smaller carbon and nitrogen footprints.

Our superfood blends come in sturdy glass jars, which we encourage our customers to reuse; put plants in or use to store ingredients like spices. We only use recyclable plastics in our packing in an attempt to reduce our carbon footprint.

How do you engage with your customers, and what measures do you take to ensure their satisfaction with your products?

Vibha Harish: At Cosmix, we prioritize customer engagement and satisfaction. Our large online community of 60,000+ individuals is integral to our brand. We believe in the power of consistency and a healthy lifestyle, and our community shares this belief.

To support our customers, we have a dedicated team of in-house doctors and nutritionists available to answer their queries, providing personalized support. This contributes to our customer’s overall satisfaction and trust in our brand.

Feedback from our customers is crucial to us. We actively seek their input to understand how our products are working for them and identify areas for improvement.

Recently, we made updates to our protein packaging based on honest customer feedback. I introduced a resealable stand-up pouch with clear flavor distinctions, making it easier for customers to access the last scoop and differentiate between flavors. This change directly addressed the needs and preferences expressed by our customers.

What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs who are interested in starting their own herbal nutrition or plant-based supplement business?

Vibha Harish: I would say start with something that aligns with you, identify what business is right for you and how you can create value. The important thing is to take the first step, start somewhere and don’t worry about being perfect.

What is your success tips for young and aspiring entrepreneurs

Vibha Harish: My success tip for young and aspiring entrepreneurs would be to believe in yourself! and your vision.

Surround yourself with a supportive network of mentors and like-minded individuals who can guide and inspire you. Stay curious and never stop learning.

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