Kashmiri youth builds her start-up based on Ayurveda and Buddhism

I had not planned my entrepreneurial journey, says Ridhima Arora, Founder Namhya Foods Pvt. Ltd. My grandfather used to work with a number of ‘vaids’, practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine. He used to deal in herbs and that was a small part of our business handled by my father. I understood the significance of herbs after meeting a lot of vaids in Jammu & Kashmir. The biggest impediment to the growth of Ayurvedic herbs as perceived by Ridhima was that those practising are nearly 70-75 years old and their scope is limited to their ‘mohallah’ or neighbourhood. Beyond this, there is no documentation of their in-depth knowledge of the subject, or their educational excellence and grasp on herbs. Ridhima felt that the next generation growing up is failing to understand the importance of herbs. She thought that if they had even 10 per cent greater knowledge than others then they should do something about it. Ridhima’s background is in marketing and branding. The online platform has been in boom since 2013. She knew that the next generation is going to buy online. As she had an online grasp and her family had a stronghold on Ayurvedic herbs and farmers producing them, she thought of her own entrepreneurial venture. Ridhima says the idea was very simple. In our day-to-day lives, people are getting sick with BP, cholesterol, thyroid, diabetes, PCOS, among others. So without reaching the stage of going to the hospital or facing adverse conditions can we bring healing to treat these symptoms. She says it takes about 10 years for a big disease to develop in our body. And this was the main motive to start her venture ‘Namhya Foods Pvt. Ltd’. The root base of her start-up is Buddhism. She says, the whole root of working in Ayurvedic herbs and the process of healing is attached to Buddhism. She practises Soka Gakkai Buddhism and a lot of things have changed for her. Her mind is more receptive and her perception of life changed. She is thankful to the practice of Buddhism for giving her so much wisdom. With her daily chanting of ‘Nam-myoho-renge-kyo’ she thought of keeping the company name as ‘Namhya’. Ridhima shares, in the beginning, only three products used to be sold out in a day, now 400-500 products get sold everyday. The company has expanded its presence to UAE, Amazon US., UK, etc. This is just the beginning of her brand, says Ridhima. She has a customer base of around 2 lakh people. Around 100 million people recognise her brand, says Ridhima. She has employed women workers in her factory. The Lieutenant Governor of Jammu & Kashmir, Shri Manoj Sinha congratulated Ridhima for turning around her conventional family business and reinventing it and expanding successfully across nations. He mentioned how her start-up Namhya Foods based on Ayurveda does online marketing of food products. The LG said, Ridhima has made the ancient Ayurvedic properties the base of ease of living and given local farmers and producers a better platform and assured true price for them. In the world of start-ups, Ridhima is a picture of strong determination, courage and a symbol of wisdom. Ridhima thinks it is a blessing to be talked about by the.Lt. Governor of J&K and it will definitely boost her start-up.

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