Category Archives: Entrepreneurship in India

The Waiting Game

The Waiting Game

Daniel Silva has this to say about the life of a Spy. Waiting is a key skill for the spy. The life of a spy consists of long periods, days & weeks , of boring, zero-action, mind numbing waiting ( waiting for the quarry to make a mistake, commit the next crime or take the bait). These long periods of boredom are interspersed with brief spikes of action, A few minutes of high octane, nerve-wracking life or death situations in which the waiting game is won or you end up dead.

A big green field project like setting up the first krya factory is much like the waiting game ( minus the life and death situations)

the  new krya ecofactory
the new Krya eco factory

 

It took us a month to find out the proper licensing authority since our all organic, plant based goodies could not be slotted into any known category. In this time we had to listen to an official telling us that there is no real proof that herbs like Neem or Soapberry are actually safe compared to the vast body of clinical studies conducted on Triclosan or SLS. I then understood in a small way how survivors might feel when they meet a holocaust denier.

Our first application to the licensing authority in April 2014 was not even accepted for over a month as the department was in a black-out period due to the Nation-Wide general elections. As soon as PM Modi took office, we went back to the department with our application. We were confident that now our “Acche Din Aa Gaye”. We were then told that we would be called for an interview at the next district level board meeting on June 23rd 2014.

Through the month of June we did not hear from the department despite some follow-up & we landed up in their office on the day before the interview determined to get our day in court. We were then shocked to be told point blank that our application was nowhere to be found. The entire department was actually decent in admitting their gaffe ,since we had an acknowledgment receipt , but regardless the application was nowhere to be found. We then had to re-submit the application for the next board review in July 2014.

By this time our early test batches of the Krya face –wash & Krya body-wash had gone viral ( & not bacterial since we have strict quality controls for total bacterial count) and many , many lovely people were writing to us wondering about the launch of the new products. In complete damage control mode, we made yet another test batch of products to bridge the gap till the official launch of our new factory.

On July 23rd 2014, after waiting for nearly four months for a interview, we drove nearly 100 km to the district HQ, waited a couple of hours for our slot and had an interview of precisely 5 minutes. In this time we were given a prima facie approval for our factory project subject to other regulatory clearances and financial closure with the bank.

Anti-climactic as the interview was, we had the approval, which was the main thing. But of course we were told the actual approval letter would be sent by post after obtaining the necessary signatures from the department heads. This letter was sent to us on 9th September 2014! We waited for 48 days just to receive the letter, almost enough time for Daniel Silva to have written his next novel.

By this time I had made so many appearances at the department office, that I felt like Kevin Spacey working at the diner in American Beauty , telling his cheating wife & boyfriend that “something tells me that you are are going to remember me this time”

However we are never low on gratitude and were quite excited to receive our sanction letter, delay notwithstanding.

This sanction from the local licensing authority was a key input document in our application to the bank. When we triumphantly walked into the bank this time we found out that the bank manager who had reviewed our project had been transferred. We would have to wait for a couple of weeks for his replacement to start the process. Merde ! Somehow when you say it in French, it doesn’t sound as crude as the English translation.

We waited for a few days to meet the new manager, got a large application docket and sent the completed forms to the dedicated SME branch of the bank. After a ominous wait for a few days we went back to the bank manager for a status update and were told that the SME branch never received our application. We showed a proof of delivery from the courier company that the letter had in fact been delivered to the SME branch , at which point they said that it could have gotten lost during the bank renovation. Merde !

If you have been patient with this narrative till now, the timeline reads end November 2014 and we are busy telling the amazing Krya consumers to wait just a little more for the launch of the new factory.

Something told us at this point that we needed a new bank and Along Came Polly. (Polly is of course not her real name). On a bright December morning when we were at our factory site office, a lady walked in introducing herself as the new branch manager of a nationalized bank nearby & that she was looking to fund interesting new projects.

We had driven past this particular bank branch, just one mile ahead of our factory site, many many times and it never crossed our minds to consider them. That is Life.

For every weird, frustrating road block or lost letter that we faced till now, the new bank relationship threw up a pleasant surprise. It was as if a conservation law of hard knocks and pleasant surprises was playing out in our project.

So now here we are in early February 2015, having completed every conceivable pre-launch formality required to get our factory project underway. Bank loan application completed. License approval done. Machine suppliers lined up. Raw materials on the way. Consumer tested formulations ready.

We should start the construction work on the factory in a few days and then commence a trial production run shortly afterwards.

The new Krya products – face wash, body wash & hair wash should be available for sale in March 2015.That would be 14 months after we first made a test batch of products for consumer evaluation.14 months is the gestation period for a Giraffe, Sperm Whale or Camel to give birth to their respective babies.

Thank you for the long patient wait for our new ultra green Krya eco factory a.k.a the baby sperm whale to get on its feet.

We promise the wait is nearly over.

The Tree of Life – the holistic approach to beauty & health

The Tree of Life – the holistic approach to beauty & health

At Krya we have different lines of products:  A line of cleaning products for the home like our Detergent and Dishwash, and our soon to be launched floor cleaner, all purpose scrub and toilet cleaner. We also have a range of skin and hair care products which we have been testing in small commercial batchesContinue Reading

2 non toxic cleaner recipes and a Krya factory update

When we started Krya, the life we left behind was hurried, quite thoughtless, filled with consumption and was full of products. I went from a seven step skin care routine and a 4 step hair care routine to a completely natural, simplified life. Having left a life immersed in the opposite of what we wanted toContinue Reading

The Whole Nine Yards & an interview with Rta Kapur Chasti

The Whole Nine Yards & an interview with Rta Kapur Chasti

The traditional Indian garment for men and women is just a piece of unstitched rectangular cloth, a dhoti and a sari respectively. A simple,  woven rectangular piece of fabric six to nine yards in length. With very few accessories this piece of unstitched cloth was draped in several ingenious ways to cover the head ,Continue Reading

Khadi after Gandhi

Khadi after Gandhi

On October 1st we were at the Khadi Board office in Chennai and were greeted by the sight of all officials wearing a mask on their face and tearing up mountains of old , musty files. This was PM Narendra Modi’s Swach Bharat Campaign in action. As the PM mentioned, Mahatma’s Gandhi’s legacy is not justContinue Reading

Khadi Chronicles – at Krac-a-dawna farm

Khadi Chronicles – at Krac-a-dawna farm

We work only with organic plant based materials to create our formulations at Krya. So we take the process of sourcing and building relationships with our farms very seriously. Every single raw material we source is traceable. And we have a name and a face to match this source. Traceability is important for many reasons.Continue Reading

A little green goes a long way – a guest post by Rashmi Vittal

A little green goes a long way – a guest post by Rashmi Vittal

And we are off on a field visit. We are going to be spending this week visiting 2 organic farms in Karnataka and round it off with a visit to a hand loom weaving centre. In this trip we will be following an organic and Khadi trail of sorts. One of the organic farms weContinue Reading

Green Bazaar update and conversations on sustainable fabric & menstruation

If it is too good to be true, then it probably is. Krya was conducting a workshop and showcasing skin care products at the Alternative’s Green Bazaar yesterday. We commissioned a commercial artist to hand paint a cloth banner for us for our stall. We wanted to avoid the regular plastic flex banners with digitalContinue Reading

The sustainable Indian fabric primer

The sustainable Indian fabric primer

The Indian textile sector is the second largest employment generator after agriculture. According to a crafts council of India report, there are 4.3 million people employed directly or indirectly by the handloom sector, of which 77.9% are women. Handicrafts make up another major sector and with handlooms, the Indian hand-made sector provides employment to 11.2Continue Reading

Dye another day

Dye another day

It almost always comes back to water. On the Krya blog we focus on sustainable urban living. We explore the many different ways in which urban living is stressing the environment and equally the many interesting ways in which we can return to a holistic, sustainable way of living.   And we are constantly amazedContinue Reading

Connect with Krya

  • The Krya real bath challenge -July 2016

  • Made from skin nourishing herbs

  • Our herbs are organically grown or forest collected

  • Cleaned and carefully dried & processed

  • And carefully processed using a well researched formulation

  • Inspired by Indian Classical medicine

  • Safe on tender skin

  • Vegan and Cruelty free

  • Try Krya's consumer loved skin care products today!