Ananya and I were paired together to host an event for a women’s mixer group. The first time she called over the phone to discuss, I felt a wave of positivity and warmth in her voice. What struck me the most was her endless energy to get things done, her vivacious and friendly personality, and ability to converse on any topic. Whilst she is the co-founder of a men’s intimate hygiene care brand, Nuutjob, she is remarkably feminine, dainty, with a fun, sporty streak. She is an all-rounded woman, who has intense work days, ensures she takes care of herself, her mind and health, embarks on adventurous journeys, and takes her family relations and friendships seriously. Knowing her closely for quite a few months I have noticed that she wears her heart on her sleeves and her emotions are transparent. She allows herself to be vulnerable. Ananya speaks only in positive tones, is always willing to lend a hand to anyone and has the empathy to feel for you.
She is an inspiration to watch and be guided by, in not just business and her determination to dream big, but also her kindness, honest friendship and positive vibes. She is the perfect example of the ideal nature of a born leader. I am thoroughly grateful to have her in my close friends’ circle.
Today, Ananya has done me a huge favour by agreeing to be part of our #NTPeople Series,so I get to ask her all the questions I always wondered...
Tell us your relationship with skincare and how it has evolved over time – from teens to mid 20s?
I have always had troubled skin since I was a teenager till today, therefore skin care should have been important for me; but my skincare regime was sporadic and would become intense only when I had an upcoming thing. However, things today have changed, I have lowered my sugar intake, wake up with a glass of hot lemon and hydrate myself at regular intervals. This has made a drastic change in how my skin feels. I now end up choosing products that are inclusive of skin benefiting properties such as non-comedogenic and hydrating.
What’s your typical morning and evening skincare routine?
I have grown to truly value sunscreen since I turned 25 and how effective it is for my skin. My job demands me to be on the move and that’s something I do not venture out without. My morning routine includes of just applying sunscreen after my bath. For evening, I use an aloe gel under my eyes followed by a dermatologist recommended pill of Isotretinoin.
A really important change that I have seen for my skin is using silk pillow sheets that are changed on alternate days. I tend to avoid using a lot of product before sleeping as I have an oily skin and then leads to a lot of oil build up in the morning.
What is one beauty advice you would like to share with us?
A family beauty tradition for us has been using natural ingredients for our skin. However, my grandfather as opposed to the women in my family is very concerned about his skin and beauty and that’s such a refreshing thing to see. He gets the roses that my grandmother uses for Pooja in the morning sun dried and made into a powder and uses it for his skin mixed with milk or cream. This is something that I have picked up on. Other ingredients that he uses for his skin are dried orange powder, sandalwood powder and Nutmeg powder.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
I am an early riser and sleeper. I wake up at 6 AM every morning. The first thing I consume is hot lemon water. I then take my dog out for a walk followed by an hour long cycling session before getting to work.
What’s your daily morning beverage and breakfast?
I thrive on fruits for breakfast. I am the happiest after my daily consumption of my morning fruits. Off late it’s been mangoes, watermelons, papayas and pomegranates.
What is your favourite self-care indulgence and how often can it happen?
Hair oiling is my favourite self-care indulgence. I usually get my hair oiled by my grandmother or my father and that’s a wonderful time to also catch up on their days doings and goings. The champis by my father are simply de-stressing. I make it a point to schedule a head and back massage twice a month at a salon and that is an indulgence that I simply cannot do without.
What inspires you in work and building your brand?
The ability to make a difference everyday not just for men who are my TG but women as well who aspire to do something that’s not expected of them.
#WomenOnTheGo: How do you balance your work and personal life?
I work with my family for my business and thus there is no line between a personal or work life for me. But it’s the rapport that I share with them that truly makes me enjoy and feel confident in what I am doing on a daily basis. There are times when we are constantly talking about work but a beautiful rule that we follow at home is not to discuss work at all on the dining table; we as a family make sure to have at least one meal of the day altogether.
How do you deal with setbacks at work?
I am someone who likes to look at the glass half full at all times. Luckily for me I work with people who constantly make me feel safe to make mistakes and after laughing at me for a bit, they also come pick me up! I also have a very good rapport that I share with my therapist who has truly helped me be a better person over that last one year. I am constantly overwhelmed at work based on the scale that we have built the company to and aspire to where we want it to be; this leads to a lot of anxiety where I tend to have sleepless nights on the pressure of living up to certain expectations people have of me and the company.
It is then that my dog, Kiwi, comes in to play a rather beautiful role and soothes me and my nerves. I am the happiest when I am with her.
What advice do you have for those who want to start their own retail brand?
Starting up is really difficult and it’s important that you are very sure of yourself and the idea of the brand. There will be a lot of nay sayers but if you truly believe that this is something that will create a difference then go all in. Also having an idea is the easiest part of a startup; making your first sale is the most difficult and scaling from there. You should be mentally, physically and, most importantly, financially ready for this.
What do you hope to achieve by the end of the year?
To have grown three times as a person, as a business and in friends and supporters.
You can follow Ananya and her travails with work and life here:
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