From the co-founder of Kama Ayurveda, comes a new luxury beauty brand

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From the co-founder of Kama Ayurveda, comes a new luxury beauty brand
10-May-24 05:39:26

Rajshree Pathy, Co-founder of Kama Ayurveda, takes us through her new brand Qi Ayurveda, which promises to increase the efficacy of Ayurveda through targeted products.

You can't compare good things. Everything has its space and time. Kama will always have a soft spot in my heart,” says Rajshree Pathy, Padma Shri awardee and Co-founder of Kama Ayurveda. Pathy exited the brand after two decades, in 2022, after Spanish conglomerate Puig acquired a majority stake in the brand. Ever since, Vivek Sahni has been leading Kama. 

Now, Pathy’s love affair with Ayurveda has taken shape through a new brand—Qi Ayurveda—that brings together centuries-old traditions from India and cutting-edge scientific research from Switzerland. 

Qi, pronounced as chi in Chinese, meaning ‘life force’ is a term that Pathy believes is an apt name for the brand. “Chi is vital energy. I wanted to call it prana, but the name was already registered. It is what the word [Qi] evoked for me,” she tells YS Life. 

Two decades ago, when Pathy started Kama Ayurveda, she says, there wasn't much advancement in plant botanicals; it has drastically changed today.

So, what was the need to launch Qi Ayurveda in a market that's already saturated? 

“If you look at India, hundreds of brands exist today in the luxury Ayurveda space. But it's also important to consider what each brand has drawn from Ayurveda. I felt it was an opportune moment to integrate Ayurveda with botanical extracts and actives today,” she adds. 

Thus, the brand launched a hair care range for the Indian market that offers four different oils and related products for various hair concerns.“I haven't seen any brand doing that before,” quips Pathy. 

A personal connection

For Pathy, Ayurveda is not just a traditional practice but a way of life. As someone who hails from Coimbatore—which boasts some of the most authentic Ayurvedic traditions in the world—she developed a deep respect for it at an early age. She also visited institutions like Arya Veda Pharmacy and Arya Vaidya Sala Kottakkal, which made her aware of its healing powers. 

“Ayurveda is very much a part of my DNA. When I was young, every Sunday, my mother, aunt, sister, cousins, and I would have these extensive rituals. The local lady would come with prescribed oils from the vaidyan. My mother and aunt would get massages for joint pain, while we would get full body treatment and hair massage,” she recalls. 

There would also be this huge copper vessel outside filled with water and eucalyptus leaves and firewood at the bottom, says Pathy. 

“This water was fragrant and had medicinal properties. After the massage, this hot water would be splashed on us, and the oil would be washed off with besan and moong dal powders.” Instead of shampoos, they used soaked soap nuts to remove the oil from the hair and frankincense to dry the tresses.  “These are beautiful ways of using Ayurveda not as a medicine or for healing but for beauty and wellness. It's a luxury today, but it wasn’t back then. Doing these things is so uplifting,” says Pathy.  Clearly, Qi Ayurveda’s philosophy draws deeply from Pathy’s journey.