What would you do when you are comfortably settled in a job and happily married?
Stay happy and go on in your life.
Well, here is one woman who is ambitious as well as creative. Meet Shabia Ravi Walia who left a lucrative media profession to become an entrepreneur, and succeeded in it with flying colors.
A Short Bio
Shabia Ravi Walia, Founder and Owner of ‘Wild Earth’ is a media professional for the past 24 years. Dabbling in production, creative direction and writing, she has equal experience in both genres of fiction and non fiction.
However her biggest achievement till date as considered by her, is the birth of her baby Sia and penning down the experiences associated with it in the form of her bestselling book ‘Mamma Mania’ . The book has received rave reviews and critical acclaim from everyone.
Not one to be contented with one hat, Shabia turned entrepreneur two years back. ‘Wild Earth’ a natural skincare range, was born out of Shabia’s attempt to provide natural quality products which young, old and babies can use without any fear of side effects of harsh chemicals.
When Shabia is not rustling up stories or spreading smiles with her social initiative ‘The Bluebells Community’, she loves to whip up a storm in the kitchen cooking or design new products for ‘Wild Earth’. Shabia lives in Mumbai with her cinematographer husband Ravi, 7 year old daughter Sia and dreams of her daughter growing up in a world with no boundaries or borders.
Shabia is also the winner of the ‘Rex Karmveer Chakra Award’ ‘Women of excellence Award’ & the ‘Top 50 Rising Stars Award’ for her exceptional work in her profession and the field of social work.
Her Story Of Entrepreneurship and Success
The story of ‘Wild Earth’ is quite unique. I have been a media person for the past 24 years having donned all hats of a writer, creative director, director, producer, author etc. Towards the end of August 2014 I was feeling burnt out and disillusioned with media.
Simultaneously, as destiny conspired I ran out of a body scrub that my husband had got for me from Fiji (which i loved) on one of his cinematography trips. As I hunted high and low, I realised that either similar products were too expensively priced or laden with chemicals. My baby was around 4 years old at that time and I was anyways always concerned with what we put on our body every day.
So on an impulse, I concocted a body scrub for myself with kitchen ingredients and loved it!!! I quite quickly realised that there is a great market out there for handmade, pure, chemical free products. India was just about waking up to natural products at that time and I think I just played my cards at the right time. We named our brand ‘Tattva’ meaning ‘Essence of nature,’ which was later on trademarked as ‘Wild Earth’. I think the welcome distraction just came at the right time when I was itching to leave media behind and do something of my own. That the distraction would become a hugely successful business in less than three years was something even I had not fathomed or imagined.
Within months of making products in our kitchen, we got a few big corporate orders and had to shift out to an office and manufacturing unit. In the initial year, we sold directly through social media and inline websites. Last year we ventured into retail big time and are now available in many retail stores across several cities in India.
Our product range is wide and varied, consisting of cold process soaps, sulphate free shampoos, paraben free body lotions, body butters, lip balms, body scrubs and much more. We also have a huge range of spa and salon products available for spa chains. All our products emphasise in high quality natural ingredients, the best of handpicked essential oils and handcrafted & packaged to perfection.
It’s been two years since Tattva (now Wild Earth) started and we have seen major growth in our business. Impressed by what we achieved in just about a year and a half, we have had a fair number of investors approaching us for funding but we have managed to sustain without it.
A great number of global deals have opened up for us this year and we have just signed a deal with an international brand to manufacture their cosmetic range for them. It’s a huge thing to begin the new year with. I am elated. My eyes are set on making Wild Earth a globally recognised brand this year and I am all geared up and working towards it.
Her Success Mantra :
I am a very hands on person, be it business or motherhood. I like to be in control and I can only do that if I am involved in every aspect of my business. My husband who is my biggest supporter handles the designing and packaging for the company while I concentrate on the rest. We have a marketing team in place but overall it’s my vision which drives ‘Wild Earth’. I am really focussed and determined and know what I want and what I don’t, even when I was in media. Leadership comes easily to me but at the same time I am a team player. I am nothing without my team’s support and hard work or without my husband watching my back. He has a huge role in the success of ‘Wild Earth’.
The Men in Her Life
Ravi, my husband is the biggest support and shakti behind me. Be it filling in for me when I travel both for our baby or business. He is the calmer one amongst us and hence my ground leveller too in times of stress. I tend to fret a bit but he is my punching bag. Apart from this, Tarun Katial, head of BIG Reliance has been my boss, friend and my mentor. Whatever little I know of business, I have learnt from him. I often run to him and trouble him when I need advice on any front and I am lucky he has always been there for me despite his busy schedule. Rajesh Chadha, my ex-boss & father figure is always there day or night and is constantly watching for me. If you notice there are a lot of men in my life who root for me and that’s such a lovely thing. I do have a lot of female friends and co-entrepreneurs too who are close to me and constantly keep me motivated and feeling loved. I give freely and hence I receive too in multiple proportions, be it love or support.
Her Advice to Other Women
I would advise future womenpreneurs to take calculated risks at work and grow by learning every day. “Ask for help when required. Relax and rejuvenate from time to time. Never be afraid of failure or mistakes. Take calculated risks. Keep learning every day. Never lose focus of why you became an entrepreneur. Lastly the only regrets you have at the end of life are the chances you didn’t take. So live your dreams and make them come true. Life’s too short for procrastination.