Journey of Harini Sivakumar: A homemaker who made 200 crore company Earth Rhythm

In the bustling city of Chennai, a homemaker Harini Sivakumar little did she know, her life's journey would take a profound turn, leading her to become a CEO in the personal care industry. This is the inspiring story of Harini Sivakumar, the founder, CEO, and cosmetic chemist behind Earth Rhythm, a brand that champions sustainability and safe skincare.

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Early life and career

Harini was born and brought up in the southern part of India. She belongs to a traditional South family where a 9 to 5 job was considered a good thing. Harini did the same she studied so hard to get this and started her journey in a similar manner. She completed her graduation and did her MA in special education at the University of Northampton. 

She started working at the banks that she had planned to do so. Despite being an average student without a fancy degree, Harini's determination to learn was unwavering since childhood. Everything was going well but then her family decided to marry her with a guy.

At the tender age of 22, Harini's life took its first major turn when she got married. Soon after, she and her husband welcomed their first child into the world. In 2010, Harini faced a challenging and life-changing moment: her child was diagnosed with Down syndrome. Confronted with the need for constant care and support for her son, Harini made the courageous decision to leave her nascent banking career and become a stay-at-home mother.

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As a dedicated mother, Harini was determined to find the best possible care for her child. However, her search for safe and effective products was met with frustration. The market was saturated with chemical-laden personal care items, and Harini struggled to find solutions that met her high standards. This struggle ignited a spark within her, compelling her to take matters into her own hands.

Founding Earth Rhythm

In 2015, Harini's quest for safe skincare products for her son evolved into a business idea. At this time her son started going to school, and Harini had free time. She started small, putting up stalls in societies and small-scale exhibitions to educate people about her niche products. By 2017, Harini had launched Soapworks India in Delhi, a humble beginning from a small room of her home. She used to do all alone everything, manufacturing, packing and delivering. 

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When his father visited her one day, he saw Harini working in a little room and her kids wept for her. He asked "What are you doing that you couldn't seem to focus on your kids, and he scolded Harini for it. She was frustrated and asked her father "Why don't you assist me for a few weeks?"

Harini's father, Mr Sivakumar, joined the business in 2018 and brought with him a wealth of experience and a vision for expansion. Together, they rebranded the company as Earth Rhythm, with their commitment to sustainability and natural products. In 2019, they established a website and a production unit in Gurgaon laying the foundation for what would become a rapidly growing enterprise.

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Then Harini hired her first-ever employee, she went to her society watchman and asked him if she knew a woman who could read and write. One of her first employees was a village girl from Sundarbans named Mohita. Mohita is a graduate girl who was searching for a helper job. The Earth Rhythm was Started with a small team of eight women in a modest office. Within two years, Earth Rhythm expanded 500 times and saw a tenfold increase in its customer base by 2022.

Earth Rhythm's success is not just measured by its growth but by its impact. The company offers 160 products through its website, with its most famous being the shampoo bar—a plastic-free, sustainable alternative to conventional shampoo. Harini's innovative approach and dedication to zero-waste principles have resonated with a growing audience.

The company's financial journey has been equally impressive. Earth Rhythm raised nearly $10 million in funding, with significant contributions from Anicut Capital LLP and Nykaa. These investments have fueled further growth and expansion, allowing Harini to set ambitious targets, such as an ARR of Rs 150 crore in sales for 2023.

Harini Sivakumar's story is a testament to her drive and entrepreneurial spirit. She transformed a personal challenge into a thriving business, proving that passion and perseverance can overcome any obstacle. Her journey from a homemaker to the CEO of a 200-crore brand serves as an inspiration to many aspiring entrepreneurs, especially women.

In her own words, Harini encapsulates her journey with a powerful message: "If someone who hasn't gone out in quite a while with no business experience like me can run a 200 crore brand, you can as well." Her story is not just about building a business; it's about paving the way for others to follow their dreams, no matter the odds.

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Written By Manvi