Home Baby brand My learning curve as a mother and entrepreneur: Chef Mama Ghazal Alagh

My learning curve as a mother and entrepreneur: Chef Mama Ghazal Alagh


Becoming an entrepreneur is something that happened as an extension of my personal experience and my challenges as a mother. When Varun and I had our first child, as avid millennial parents with a baby with a skin condition, we researched everything we bought for our baby. During this process, we realized that all baby care products contain chemicals that are not suitable for sensitive baby skin.

Since I lived in New York during my art studies, I knew that there were brands that created safe and effective baby products. I ended up importing the products for a while, but that was not an option in the long run.

Ghazal Alagh

During this journey, we have identified a huge gap in the market for safe and toxin-free baby products. We’ve reached out to so many parents to figure out the right kind of ingredients that make people trust brands, products, and more. We spent a lot of time typing to understand what people were looking for in products for their babies. I used to make hundreds of calls daily to consumers to understand their challenges and requirements. This led to the creation of Mamaearth‘ – India’s first certified ‘Toxin Free’ baby care brand.

When we started, we were ordinary people who quit our jobs and decided to embark on this adventure. There were many challenges balancing work and being a mother, but my husband and family helped me manage both roles. Babies don’t come with a manual, so I had to figure it all out on my own. I think first-time moms are the best managers and leaders because they have to learn everything on the job, the ways to multi-task and get things done. It is also an important trait for business leaders.

The first few months were exhausting as we barely lived on three to four hours of sleep. During the day, work in India and the baby kept us awake, and then we had to connect with the US security team to get things for certification, get formulations approved, and so on. There were times when I would cuddle my son on one arm and hold the phone with the other to attend a work call. It was extremely exhausting because we were all alone. It was a great learning curve for me as a mother and an entrepreneur.

Eventually, we created our first product line with six baby products. The next challenge was to define the sales channels. Selling on our own website wasn’t the most feasible idea, so we chose to go to Amazon first. It was an easy move, and we accepted it. Eventually, we realized that to build fairness among our consumers, we had to be on our own channel. Then we disconnected too early. So we made way too many mistakes, but all of those mistakes shaped how we built our business.

But soon, we made progress in our entrepreneurial journey. We rented an office and it was so nice to move into our own premises. It was a small space, but it was so quiet and peaceful, and I could do so much work, it was amazing. I loved going to the office. Varun and I bring very distinct strengths to the business and we have used these to divide the work between us to build a more structured organization.

We built a small team of 5-6 people, then over the months we grew bigger and bigger. As we grew, we had to define roles for each team member. The moment we did this, I experienced the most obvious moment of gender bias of my life. Some team members quit because I had no experience leading teams.

I take feedback very well and this one was taken too, and I worked on myself to learn the finer nuances of the business. I had a similar experience with manufacturing partners too. It’s a male dominated industry and taking instructions from a female is not an accepted norm so that was also a challenge but as I continued to work with them it got better and now I share excellent relations with them.

Being a mother made me realize the challenges of parenthood and gave me the impetus to create a brand that solves the problems faced by millennial parents like me. I recently gave birth to my second child and returned to work within 10 days. Balancing my personal and professional commitment helps me increase my productivity and manage all aspects of my life. Being a mother is the best thing in the world and I think we need to encourage other mothers by inspiring them to choose the right path and follow their aspirations.

Starting a business is like raising children. You have to nurture a business like your own baby. The value system we create defines the output in both aspects. Whether it’s instilling good values ​​in children to ensure they grow up to be good human beings, or ensuring your business becomes scalable, profitable and sustainable.

There were challenges but nothing distracted us from our path. I take tremendous pride in building a company that is committed to building brands with a strong sense of purpose while engendering consumer love along the way. It motivates me to continue my efforts and create more purpose-oriented brands and serve our consumers. I treated every brand I launched like my own baby and gave it my all. I am a proud ChiefMama.