Introducing Pooja Kaul – Organiko

Women mostly have always been very picky on selecting the best for their skin that keeps them Smooth, Glowing, Moisturise and Hydrate. Soaps are often chosen in terms of rich in lather, moisturisers, and fragrance. With hundreds of brands in the market, selecting the right soap becomes crucial. There is no single perfect soap that is suitable for everyone. Everybody has a different skin type and you will have to choose a soap that suits yours. Pooja Kaul from Delhi has brought a Community of Donkey Farmers of Solapur, Dasna & Ghaziabad together at “Organiko” to build a Pure Organic Soap made of Donkey Milk. Yes, you heard it right! The soaps are made of Donkey Milk, read the Story of how she started and the benefits of the Donkey Milk for Skin 🙂

Pooja Founder of Organiko

What is Organiko and how did it start?

Organiko is a social venture creating livelihood for Donkey owners by utilizing their existing untapped resource i.e Donkey’s milk to make 100% natural handmade skin care products. We are a company offering organic and natural products which are high in quality so our target market is equally special. Rishabh and I founded Organiko while pursuing our Masters in Social Innovations and Entrepreneurship at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Tuljapur, back in 2017. What started out as a pilot project for college has turned into a successful Social business, pioneering the use of donkey’s milk for organic skin care products in India.

In Southern India people consume donkey’s milk to this day as it is said to be good for the respiratory system as well as for infants allergic to cow / buffalo’s milk. One needn’t wonder what the USP of Organiko is, as the primary ingredient in making their products speaks for itself. They’ve taken a page from history with the idea of incorporating it with other natural ingredients into their hand-made soaps as this specific milk was Queen Cleopatra choice of weapon in battling signs of ageing. We started in Solapur Maharashtra now expanded to Delhi-NCR. We target a very niche clientele of working women in the age group of 20-55 years and the clients who are very conscious about using organic and naturally made products.

Basically, we aim at growing this company in a manner where everybody who is associated with us derives something good out of it which is socially beneficial. This way every association we make becomes an asset for us.

How are donkeys treated when they are being used for this purpose?

We have formed a group with a plan to get associated with at least 100 donkey owners by next year to create positive impact on their lives. We educate the owners to make sure that donkeys are treated in the right manner and get proper nutrition.

 

We derive milk from each donkey on every alternative day and have fixed the mark of 200ml per donkey only to ensure proper nutrition for young donkey babies. Maintaining donkey’s health would automatically increase the life expectancy of  25-30 years instead of 6-8 years.

How did you convince the Donkey Owners?

We work with the donkey owner communities and purchase milk at the rate of 2000 per litre directly. Donkey owner communities migrate every year to nearby villages in search of employment. They have seasonal employment and earns Rs. 150 to 300 per day. Also because of migration their children education is getting impacted. So we come up with this innovative idea to give them stable livelihood opportunity as well as save decreasing donkey population. Our plan is to promote women Entrepreneurship among community women.

Oragniko Beauty Products Team Educating on Donkey's Health

Oragniko Beauty Products Team Educating on Donkey’s Health

How did you raise funds for your Organization?

I remember we started this with our  saving of 6 month pocket money i.e Rs. 28,000/- in 2017. We haven’t received any funding yet. But we have won several grants the latest would be form DST, govt India and IITD.

Sonia Gandhi checking Organiko Products at an Exhibition

Sonia Gandhi checking Organiko Products at an Exhibition

 

Organiko Products

Organiko Donkey Milk Natural Soap

It is a gentle soap which purifies and smoothens your skin. It is good for all skin types and protects skin from pollutants and toxins. It contains Chandan, Papaya Leaf Powder, Aloe Vera, Neem, Orange Powder with the essence of Glycerine, Aroma Oils and Pure Donkey milk.

Organiko Charcoal Donkey Milk Soap

Organiko Charcoal Donkey Milk Soap

This soap specialises in treating acne, removing blackheads, dead skin, cleansing having anti-bacterial properties. It will give your skin a radiant glow. It contains Donkey Milk, Chandan, Honey, Aloe Vera, Papaya Leaf, Glycerine, Neem and Orange Powder.

Benefits of Donkey Milk

Like Olive oil, Donkey milk has also been used and praised for thousands of years as a great health and cosmetic ingredient

  1. Cleopatra bathed in Donkey milk for silky soft skin.
  2. Hippocrates recommended it for numerous health & skin conditions.
  3. Rich in omega 3 & 6 fatty acids, vitamins & minerals to regenerate the skin and reduce wrinkles.
  4. Mild composition makes it ideal for sensitive, dry skin types and skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.
  5. Rich in phospholipids, ceramides and proteins, it promotes long lasting skin hydration.

This superb moisturizing active ingredient has the ability to absorb 50 times its weight in water. Thanks to the short and long term hydration that it offers, you can say goodbye to dry flaky skin once and for all!

What are the Challenges did you faced?

I have faced a complete share of my problems in starting this project full-time:

  1. Taking the chance to leave a job to start working on the project full-time was a big challenge.
  2. Finding donkey owners who are open-minded to the idea of taking out donkey milk so that we can use it to produce the soaps i.e. called mobilizing community.
  3. Convincing owners to not exploit their donkeys and to give only the amount of milk we are asking them to give.
  4. Convincing them to take good care of their donkeys and treat them as assets and not as liabilities.
  5. Acceptance of the product in the market.
  6. Financing the project without any outside support and many more.

At each stage there were challenges but my determination to find a solution helped me resolve them.

How did you feel being Awarded among the top 35 Under 35 Award?

Everyone works hard to get closer to their goal. So, when we get a positive result of our hard work in the form of an award, we feel happy. it also gives a certificate to our products. Also, getting an award for Social Entrepreneurship by WIEF is a matter of pride. It feels what path we chose is a correct. Awards not only motivates you but also pump your team to work hard.

What are your future plans for Organiko?

Organiko is the first  to launch Donkey’s milk soap in India. Apart from the soaps we are launching 5 more products this year. That will be exclusively available in India. From body butter to anti-aging donkey milk cream. We’re also planning to enter foreign market soon to China, Korea.

 

What have you learned so far from the work you have done?

If you feel compelled to your idea, don’t let anyone stop you, and don’t expect anyone to support you either. You will want to get engage to hundred different work. But the truth is you need to focus on one single goal at a time to work on. You have to say goodbye to many new opportunities, this is harder than anyone can imagine

What is your daily routine at your work?

I prefer to work 6 hours every day on Organiko. Once the 6 hours is over. I turned into same college going person, doing things I love. One should never mix professional life with personal life. This is what I always prefer to do. I love painting after my work hours, I sit and paint. Balancing your life is the mantra of any successful person.

What keeps you inspired & motivated?

Community people plays an important role in my motivation. Their positive outlook towards a better future makes me continue my work and put 100% strength. Next my family who always supported to be different and never follow the crowd blindly.

What are your strength and support?

I have passion to create positive impact on society. This gives us strength to fight against all the odds and move forward to work. I love what I’m doing, so if you are passionate about your work, then you that’s you who supports you on all the stages. Organiko plays an important role as our support system.

An Advice you have for our Readers.

Today is difficult, tomorrow is much more difficult, day after tomorrow is very beautiful but most die tomorrow evening.

Too many people wait for the perfect moment, or the perfect product, or the perfect theory or the perfect idea. Don’t wait for the right time. Just start what you are thinking. Don’t think too much about other ideas that make you switch your focus. Don’t think about nice workplaces that you might consider in case your daring idea doesn’t work out. Focus completely on your idea and be 100% committed in terms of time, energy, and focus. If you have any plan B in your mind then forget it works only on your idea which comes again and again in your mind. If you want to work on your idea with the backup plan in mind, you will certainly fail. Do not see risks, see opportunities instead.


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