Shipra Shrama, Co-founder and Director at Tattva Spa scaled up her business module with a simple and realistic marketing approach. It is not easy to carve out your own niche in the overtly competitive wellness industry, but Shipra proved this pre-conceived notion wrong to many. She talks about her journey in building her very own wellness abode with us.
Describe a usual day in your life…
The first 2 hours of the day from 6 am to 8 am are very personal – I do what I like to do– yoga, walk, getting back in touch with a friend, calling-up mom or dad, cooking, planning a vacation or just reading. I try really hard not to pick up my phone to check emails during this time.
I try to mix my day with getting inspired, inspiring someone, bringing the Tattva brand closer to consumers, developing new channels of businesses, motivating team members and thinking ‘what next’. However, typically, my days ends up being some of the above and more of what I call ‘random balls’. ‘Random balls’ come to you from all directions at no fixed time, and need fixing. It could range from fixing delivery process for post service experience, being the task master for driving discipline at one of the units, being a friend and hearing out a team member who is feeling pushed against the wall, negotiating unit commercials with a new hotel spa partner, ideating on a marketing artwork that needs to be sent immediately, meeting a fellow entrepreneur over coffee and so much more. I also have very fixed hours of meals and I am pretty ‘matter-of-fact’ about it. I could be in a meeting with an investor or with a potential client or taking an interview for a new hire, I will excuse myself and eat at the specific time.
What marketing hacks did you implement to grow Tattva spa?
Wellness services are like ice-creams without the calories part – everybody loves a good spa service – just like an ice-cream! In a high touch service category like wellness, it was important to establish trust and consistency. While we worked really hard and detailed the back-end to ensure superior quality, we tried to build on trust through various marketing tools. Starting from the colour of Tattva logo – indigo blue and aquamarine green, inspiring trust and freshness. We also tried to take a different perspective to wellness – a drift away from the serious or uber-glamorised positioning that typically spas have had. Our friendly and fun approach to marketing the brand has clicked very well with the consumer, and we are slowly moving towards creating a wellness brand that consumers will love.
How have you employed new-age content marketing to scale Tattva?
At Tattva, we work on a simple marketing strategy – make it relevant for the consumer. Be it content marketing, brand stories, internal marketing or regular promotional marketing, the consumer is at the centre of it all. We also try to let the consumer create and be a leader for generating content and that has really pushed the virality. With limited marketing budgets, content and virality have been the pillars of connecting with the consumer.
What are the challenges you have faced in your journey so far?
Life is super interesting! When you start out with a venture, you set your eyes on a destination but then like always, the journey becomes more interesting than the destination. We have navigated through multiple challenges ranging from finding and retaining good talent to finding an investor for a non-typical e-commerce business model, and to getting the right vision for the organisation.
What advice would you give to budding startups in wellness industry?
Actually, it is more of a caution than an advice. I would say, anyone starting out must have a robust business plan before she/he takes the plunge. I do not mean the 30-pager document that was used in B-schools, but a real business plan that has some aspect of unit economics covered. Do not wait to write the 30-pager business plan – Have the unit economics clarity and have a clarity of purpose – “Why am I doing this?” – Write it down for yourself and keep it in easy reach. Bring out these ammunitions whenver in a battlefield, one is the attack, other is the defence; and you are sorted!
About the author
Priyanka heads the content department at BoringBrands. You can usually find her hard at work creating path-breaking content strategies for the startup ecosystem or online, tweeting about her blog on all things fashion and lifestyle. Priyanka has previously worked as a journalist for The Times Group, Creative Nest Media and Hindustan Times. Find her on Twitter @PriyankaTLP