NIKITA + AKASH MEHTA
EP 005 / 07.04.2021
IN FAMILY BUSINESS
Nikita Mehta 0:10
Also the brand has its own personality. So it's not your archive. So once you launch a brand, right, it's the cycle control thing, but it's not really yours anymore. It's consumers and it has its own journey. And you have to stay true to that DNA. So if you look at some of these, like heritage, or, you know, legacy brands, the reason why they're so successful is because they're consistent over decades. And in those codes, especially luxury brands, and probably do it the best. And that makes something timeless and eternal. So I've done a lot of studying in luxury brand management, and both of us have worked for LVMH. And I think we understand that French craftsmanship that things take time. And the brand has its own personality. It's not necessarily our personal creative vision, when we say that it's just what makes sense for the brand. And
Akash Mehta 1:00
I think also the fact of like, I love this term about conscious capitalism, or the fact that we have different purposes, we have stakeholders, we have all these different elements. And I think as we grow the brand, yes, we've me and Nicky have founded it and for sure, we're going to be one of the two biggest driving forces of it. But we've got a team now, we've got the customers now we've got the retailers now and we need to adapt to their visions of where fablehaven will go together. And ultimately, you know, we will the brand will outlive us right? And it will, enema even under quick and everything. You know, some people sell brands in five years. So I think it's important to ensure that it's not heavily dependent on the founders, it can be found to lead, but not founder, reliant, that makes sense.
Farah Nanji 1:45
You're listening to the mission makers show, a podcast that inspires humans to get into the mindset of success. My name is Farah Nanji, and I'm the founder of a business in the Motorsports industry that explores leadership lessons from things like Formula One. I'm also a DJ and music producer in the underground electronic scene, and a public speaker on key topics like resilience, building high performance teams, overcoming learning difficulties and stimulating creativity. And to tie it all together, I love writing thought provoking content as a journalist for these industries, which is so unique in themselves. On this show, I'm sitting down with some of the most inspiring and driven people I've met around the world to talk about their processes, their failures, the lessons they've learned, and how they are truly making an impact on this world.
Hi, guys, and welcome back to episode five of the mission makers podcast. Today we're joined by our cash and Nikita Mehta, a brother and sister duo who recently launched an incredible plant based wellness brand which is centred around healing for the hair through ancient Ayurvedic beauty secrets. They both had a really interesting journey to get to where they are today from our cash being the youngest ever global digital manager at Dior, and a Forbes 30, under 30, as well as a musician who's achieved over a million streams on Spotify, to Nikita who spent her career building luxury fragrances for her family business, who've been involved in designing the scent of Formula One. As a young girl nikitas hair would bring the family together because in Indian culture, massaging the head of our elders and youngest, our deep ritual, not only for healing, but for bonding where many a precious tale has been told. And this was the inspiration behind their brand at fable and main. In this episode, we talk about many things from the challenges of millennial leadership, the delicate balances in a family business, how to capture the fragrance of speed, and of course, how to look after your mane. Just before we begin, if you're interested in watching the video version of this podcast, head over to YouTube and type in our cache and Nikita Mehta mission makers to see the show. And if you're interested in some really cool rewards like DJ lessons, signed books and life coaching with me and my teams, head over to wwe.patreon.com forward slash mission makers to check out how you can access these exclusive rewards. Akash, Nikita, thank you so much for joining us today. We're so excited to have you on mission makers. How are you? How are you both doing today?
Nikita Mehta 4:20
Really good. Really good. Thank you.
Akash Mehta 4:22
Thank you for having so much for having us. Very excited to be speaking with you today.
Farah Nanji 4:26
Awesome. So a cash I'm very I was very interested to know the the meaning behind both your names and I found out that in Sanskrit, your name means open space and skies while the name the key two means abode and the earth, which I think is amazing, as a brother and sister dynamic to have those two elements. Do you both feel that the meaning behind your names embody the essence of who you both are and the elements that you might naturally gravitate to?
Akash Mehta 4:53
Yeah, I think for me if I was just, I wouldn't know if it's subconsciously just because I've known the meaning of my name. Like, I couldn't know the meaning of it. So, like the sky for example. It's quite a wide and diverse word. And I think most people would like the word skies. I've always been like, Oh yeah, I'm a sky person and, and the colour of it blue is actually my favourite colour. I also like the idea of being in the sky. Travelling is my main passion. skydiving, for example, when my favourite activities if I could do that every day, I would So yeah, I definitely do connect to the open word of sky.
Farah Nanji 5:32
Awesome. And how about you, Nikita?
Nikita Mehta 5:34
I think you know, so it's the first time I've heard somebody say, a sibling like, and it's so true. Like one is, Taiwan is a via it's such a beautiful, great, great find on Yeah, I'm definitely I've always been attracted to stuff, you know, humanitarian. So I think maybe that definition of the world and how we can make a better place ever since I was child and working and not just you know, not just work for humanity, but everyone who shares life on our planet in a wildlife forest. So that's definitely very Earth oriented, you know, activity and interest. So definitely, I would say more of a rooted person and my brother as well. Like he just said, you know, he's an Aquarian freedom limitless, all about the air. So yeah, sometimes if they say it in Sanskrit, your name reflects your Dharma, or your soul's purpose. We can see the connection.
Farah Nanji 6:35
And what was the dynamic like growing up? I know that you're the older one, Nikita, do you feel that you guys are closer now today than when you were younger? Was it always been the same?
Nikita Mehta 6:45
Yeah, we're definitely more. I think our dynamic is a lot more mature now. Like the way we communicate a lot more respect for each other from a work work point of view, as well. We have, you know, our own areas, and I think it's just evolved, you know, like any relationship, but at the same time, he still is my younger brother, as always that banter. Like I love to tease him, you know, he said, I remember when he was like Forbes 30, under 30. And I saw I was like, everyone's like, amazing. It's like, yeah, cash, but you're still like, I was like, well, you're just like, you know, my nerdy brother who perfect date night is building dinosaur Legos, and like, all these things. But I'm so proud of him. I think, you know, I always say like, what he's achieved, and you know, age is just a number. But always, you know, that pride?
Akash Mehta 7:34
But yeah, definitely, I would say like, we're definitely closer than we were young. But we were very close, also growing up. So it's kind of like the perfect definition as we've just evolved into. Yeah, stronger, but upward trajectory. relationship. Yeah, I couldn't be happier to
Nikita Mehta 7:54
meet each other in business. Yeah. Yeah. And the value of each other's brains.
Farah Nanji 8:00
Definitely, I mean, I'm quite involved in our family business. And it is amazing how you know, when done correctly, the business can really bring you guys closer and evolve your relationships in a completely different way. So similar to me growing up, I know, you both went to very academic schools. I think all of our schools that we went to were like the top 10 in the country at the time. So what was your experience of this? What goals did you have for yourself then? And how do you think they match or defer to your president's reality today?
Akash Mehta 8:31
Yeah, so I think for me, I definitely have had, I think three phases of my life. And that's pretty much related to high school, university. And now, post we're working for myself. I grew up very much in that mindset, because that's all I knew, kind of from the private schools, etc, that studying was my key to success. And if I didn't get a stars and A's, you know, the game over for me. So I remember, I cared so much about just getting the best grades and getting the 100%. And that was all I was doing growing up. So after school, I would go into extra tuition, typical Indian families if you know, let's get on the weekends. Every morning, Sunday and Saturday, I would have economics tuition, math, tuition. So I was always working and studying and I think it was, I had the biggest wake up call when I went to study engineering. Not I did it because I didn't know what it was. But I was good at math. I was good at physics. And the logical thing was let's do engineering for myself. Because that's what I wanted to do. What I thought that's what I wanted to do, because those are what I was getting the best grades in. And then when I went to university after that, I really didn't enjoy it enough. The second year, I failed and that was the biggest failure of my life at that time. And I think coming from someone who would cry if they got less than 90% then be like, wow, I feel that yeah, this is it. This is you know, this is a reality. Now, this is not this is not a joke I made. I wasted the last 2020 years of my life. Choosing a subject that's now set me back and after we think about my whole Future. But actually, that was the biggest blessing of my life because I had the year out to think about what's really important. What path is more important that the one society puts the one studying. But so the one truly I'll be happy with, you know, pursuing myself and I then went back to university to finish my engineering degree, because I started out and I wanted to finish it. But then I strengthened straight away into an industry that I was passionate about, which was the beauty industry and put engineering beside me.
Farah Nanji 10:29
Wow. So how did you kind of find the knowledge to succeed in the beauty industry coming in from it completely blind? Or had you had some exposure growing up to it?
Akash Mehta 10:40
Yeah, no, sir. Father, like he is 40 years in the fragrance industry. And we can talk a bit more about that later. But like he has ingrained into our kind of DNA, that the power and also the diversity that beauty the beauty industry has, and he used to bring us into meetings. I remember being in a few board meetings or a few kind of external meetings where young gay sitting on the side, and he's always been like this mess on this matrix, just listening. And at the end of every meeting, he used to always say whoever was involved, speak to my son for five minutes, just you know, I want him to learn subconsciously I was being trained without realising it. But the best thing for me was then during my university career, I was actually pursuing a career in music on the side and Tanda and my producer at the time to get the record deal I was with Sony etc. Right? They were saying you need to quit your social media followings. I was working so hard to build my social media presence into just two activities and doing it on my own time, didn't realise there's a transferable skills, I could then move into the beauty world and the brand and like Estee Lauder, so when I got my first job as the youngest ever Social Media Manager asked what accompanies when I graduated, was because actually been training myself for five, six years of my own music channel of how to grow in social media. So I think digital at university with a background of my dad led me to actually realising Oh my god, yes, I've wasted maybe not wasted. But yes, I spent four years doing engineering, but actually, I've got experience to actually still do something at a good enough level, to not really start from really the beginning.
Farah Nanji 12:18
Definitely, and how about you, Nikita, what was it like, for you going to those schools and then and then kind of match in your present day reality?
Nikita Mehta 12:26
Yeah, so you know, I went to an all girls school very academic lot about them, about the a, you know, getting a 90%. And I felt at uni, what was missing, and that what they don't teach you at school is education of the mind. So then my education now is a lot more holistic, like why do we do things being a bit more conscious and aware, which is, which is definitely I feel, you know, anyone can cram knowledge in their brain and do it, produce it for an exam. And I think education now needs to be a lot more holistic and creative. But the reason that I think I've got here is because I've gone through that whole academic procedure, and I realise I've taken what served me, I've also realised what didn't serve and why it didn't help. And it's definitely provided a great foundation. I've always been attracted to like innovators, disruptors, entrepreneurs, people carving their own path in life. So, you know, to answer your question, I'm not surprised where I am now. Or where I will be maybe in 10 years, because I've always known I wanted to work for myself, but being surrounded by great, you know, female leaders and everything. But I think definitely, that part of education of the mind, and just awareness and mindfulness was missing.
Farah Nanji 13:41
Definitely, yeah, I mean, it's a very obviously, it's come, all of us coming from Indian backgrounds, it's quite a, you know, we've grown up with that kind of holistic way of thinking, and, and kind of adopting those rituals, but I do I do, resonate with what you say about kind of taking what serves you, and then and then kind of just adopting, and I think one of the best things that those kinds of places can do is instil discipline in a very different way. But obviously, in letting go of the attachment of an outcome, I think, is quite important, because it almost feels like when you're in the education system, you're just like living constantly in this fear of the future. And you're not really there to enjoy the present moment, and you will never get that time back to be a child and to just do all these things like hey, you know, go to art class for two hours. Well, I'd love to do that now. But, you know, back then, obviously, it was a different mindset. So Nikita, I know that growing up, you had a fear of animals, which is just remarkable when you think today of your relationships that you have with animals. How did you overcome this? And does the nature of that incredible change? Make you hopeful that the obstacles that might be in your way today or in the future could be overcome through the mental strategies you adopted during that time?
Nikita Mehta 14:51
Yeah, so honestly, I feel the object that helped me was I have to thank my brother because he bought this cute little white puppy from Yorkshire like 10 years ago, and at that time, I, you know, I literally crossed the road, if I saw a dog, I just wouldn't say I was an animal lover, I'd never hug one or touch one or just wasn't my vibe and, and then we got this dog and you know, you care for this other being and on four legs and you realise, you know, it also has feelings, emotions, and can give so much love and compassion. And I think once you start, you know, just with just with a pet, it started opening my eyes to the whole world of living in that we're all connected, and when you see other animals being mistreated, but it's still an animal, just kind of angers you, you know, and I just didn't want to, I want I always said, I remember watching this documentary of like this, you know, what happens in zoos and wildlife. And I think there's not one animal, unfortunately, on this planet today that's not been abused or exploited for things like human entertainment, profit or consumption. And it kind of just led me to also make lifestyle, lifestyle changes, obviously, knowing plant based and the values and the company too, and a lot of charitable work we do with animals, but also, I guess, made a commitment to myself, that everything I do in my life, and I'll do whatever I can to help them, you know, and then that really just became a part of who I am. And it's not, I wouldn't even say because you have to be an animal lover. It's just as understanding going back to that holistic concept of live and let live and everything this planet can be in harmony, and coexist if we don't interfere, no. And try not to cage things that are naturally free. And I think that really helped become a bit more compassion. I think that's like one of the greatest, you know, one of the most grateful things I'm grateful for basically.
Farah Nanji 16:54
Any point were you afraid, like in the beginning when a cache bought that dog home?
Nikita Mehta 16:59
Yeah. Oh, yeah, we would just like what do we do with that? It's like, go on Google. Obviously, the first few days are really sad, because they're not with their mom. So like, I was up all night, I had to put like a grandfather clock. That'd be like the mom's heartbeat a little like a hot, hot water thing. And it wasn't scary. Because I mean, it was a puppy. It was cute. But it's just, I think it's just adapting ourselves to change, right? And the human mind is naturally fearful when anything new happens. So even today, like, I know, I'm saying this now I'm not in the jungle in India, but if a tiger came to me, and actually had a really close encounter with a lion, and then maybe I just two months ago, where it was literally like, not even, like, less than a metre away. And it's powerful, just like a lion, just lions roar on a tiger face was it was a tiger in India. I don't think, okay, yes, obviously, you have to scream and run away or, you know, eat you and make noise, but I don't think I would have that fear inside of me. You know, that. And I think that comes from just being at peace with yourself and realising that everything's connected.
Akash Mehta 18:11
If you have a lion or a tiger in front of you, my best advice is, do not run away. Just make yourself bigger, like, sort of like as if like how a gorilla would act, you know, the chest style, and also start to make some sounds like you know, who it scares them makes you if you feel like you're inferior, and you crouch and paid, they will pounce and attack like a cat word. So look at the tendencies of a cat. If you ended up being in that ever.
Farah Nanji 18:41
That's amazing on the topic of transitions, icash I know that you know, you're a super talented artist and a singer and you have as you alluded, devoted a great amount of time to both growing up and you did reach a million plays on Spotify is a huge congrats to that. Now you focus your time on other pursuits, but I am curious about how the lessons you've learned from the music industry have impacted you and kind of how the creative energies that you clearly have within you inform your day to day?
Akash Mehta 19:09
No, definitely, I think, Well, apart from the thing I touched on before where the digital angle that really helped me kind of from what I was doing with my music career, but actually going into the deeper story of music itself. For me, it was a creative outlet. And I think the suppression of my school, where for example, I was really into art and music. I was in an orchestra every week and I was really into this but I was also very much into my art and a level I actually put down to do art a level but they actually didn't allow me to because it wasn't good for my career choices. They made me do further maths or you know something instead. So having that creativity perhaps suppressed when I was a young age, I didn't have those outlets to rediscover my career in music growing University. It really was like my own. Well, my well my senior my spell nurse My meditation. Every time after these busy days in the library and the lectures in the lecture room of university in engineering, I would go to the music studio and be lost for a couple of hours, and it would be 3am. And I was still singing. And for me, it was like therapy meets my creativity outlet. But it taught me a lot about the mind about being in tune with yourself. And I think that any true musician today doesn't do it for profit, they don't do it for money. And there's not much money actually, in the music industry, sadly enough, but it's more about the fact that you're connecting with individuals around the world, anywhere in the world to think that someone in Philippines we listen to my song is incredible, and how they could maybe help them, but also how it's secretly helping myself as I'm putting those words, and there's emotive feelings into, you know, a song.
Farah Nanji 20:50
Definitely, definitely agree. Was there any point where it was quite tough mentally to kind of get your voice heard like a wider audience? Or did it kind of?
Akash Mehta 21:02
Definitely, I think mainly because as you go into the music industry more you have different producers, different opinions, and what you might think is the best for you. And you know, your own music is not going to be commercially viable, or is it going to sell so I think the reason why I lost touch to my music career was two things. One is I really felt I was not being my true authentic self see the singing about things, I don't even never really happen to me, you know, just because it was commercially viable. But also, I think, the mind play of it's such a competitive industry. And, and I kept thinking Some days I was an incredible singer, and some days, like an average, you know, and I think that self doubt of how do I get there, and then seeing the industry where you can kind of get average singers be at the top of number one chart. So then it becomes less about the music and more about the marketing and the story. And then oh, you know, you take a diversity checkbox, and it was a make, I actually got an audition for voice. And I got through quite a few rounds. And it was because I was singing a hybrid song of Hindi and English, but I don't even speak in fluidity. So I felt so inauthentic and they wanted me to go down that route. And that's also one of the reasons why I was like, I don't know, personally, if I know I can be a successful singer, but I will have to sell things that I know I don't believe in. And I don't want to do that. So I said, let me be my own CEO, my own my own business. And that's why I chose the entrepreneurial, entrepreneurial route. But music will not always be my own thing that I no longer control with a record label or a producer, but with myself, I want to release a song to my audience if I want to sing in the shower. Of course we do it.
Farah Nanji 22:42
Yeah, no, definitely. I mean, it's actually it's, you know, sometimes I feel it's quiet, it's quite, you know, unbelievable how much you have to do it digitally. And socially, before anybody actually just listens to your music, like you kind of have to look a certain way or share things. And it's just like, you know, how hard is it to just go on Spotify or SoundCloud wherever it is, and just press play and just only gravitate to that. But anyway, that's the music industry. And obviously, it is quite, it is quite an image. Obsessed in that way unfortunately. As the youngest ever global digital manager does. And as Nikita said, Forbes 30, under 30 earlier, how did you ensure you're always taken quite seriously in business at such a young age particularly.
Akash Mehta 23:26
So I think I was learning from my mistakes are one of the 10 mistakes where I would say the industry led mistakes were what I mean by this is when I was first my story when I was an Estee Lauder company, I started as an intern, unpaid. And then two months, and I became the youngest ever manager because that social media role came available. And I was able to sell myself internally like, hang on, I have my own following and social media, I know how to do all this stuff. Let me transfer that to a brand. And at that time there was quite a new role in the industry in general, a couple of years ago, five, six years ago. But now I remember my first time I signed the contract. The first thing someone said to me was like, You're way too young to be a manager. This is ridiculous. This company is a joke like my face. And I was like, Oh, that was my first, like entry into politics in the company. And I was so naive to that, you know, I never understood that I was trained in engineering. And you know, we're like coders, and suddenly I'm in this kind of corporate world. And I didn't speak up for myself and let myself be sort of corporately bullied sometimes. And sometimes, you know, it was up and up and down. Like there were days where I wish we did really well. But then days where I was like, This is super unfair, because this is not about my work. This is about something I can't control, like my age. And I started to realise that age, and I started believing it but I was like No, but age is not experienced like having, you know, two years old. And not even that experience is not expertise dependent. So like having two years of experience, I might have a faster rate of absorption of learning or different experiences within those years than someone who's been in a job for 10 years and at 26 or 20 524 doesn't mean that that age means that my way of learning must be younger because because I am of a younger age. So I started to realise I need to speak up for what I think is right. And I said, when I store my first job at Dior, my, my first deal or sorry, I said, if my age is mentioned in a meeting that's not related to the quality of work, but just as a kind of a stopping point, or like a political point, I quit. And I put that from day one on the table, a sort of protective mechanism that I have this sort of duty to stand by. And of course, it happened. But then every time I had when I went to my CEO and said, this is not happening, it's not happening. And I actually managed to progress so much in my career, by the end of it, it just I had to motivate myself a little bit more to showcase my work to others and say, Look, it came I have some doubts. Fair enough. I'm 2025 at the time, and I'm managing a team of people older than me, but look at the work. So I went a step further to demonstrate my work is of top quality, but I also wasn't afraid to speak up and protect myself, not just for me, but for the people yet to come because there are many young when I say young, it's a spectrum, right. But there are many young entrepreneurs in their career that have the capacity to still deliver. But not be I don't want them to be jailed by this kind of corporate hierarchical Oh, wait three years to be asked for a bonus, wait five years, we get promotion? Because why are we living in a society that accepts the copy and paste approach and not individualistic? analysis?
Farah Nanji 26:31
Yeah, definitely. Wow, there's so much in there that I really resonate with. And at the end of the day, I really believe that, you know, on the one hand, yes, you know, obviously, your experiences is one thing, but really a true leader, the the, is about the soft skills that they have. And that is what sets them apart and how they manage teams and, and everything else. So it's really important. And it doesn't matter how old you are, you know, those, you're not going to be more compassionate by the age of x than you are, you know, wives compete down to who you are as a person. But it's amazing that you have the courage to stand up and like you say, pave the way for others, which is obviously so so, so important. So moving on to a fable in Maine. It's clearly a brand that is deeply rooted around family traditions and spirituality. And when I was reading the founders fable, I read that as a young girl, Nikki's hair would bring the family together. So I was really intrigued about that. Tell me a little bit more about that. Nikita?
Nikita Mehta 27:27
Yeah, sure. So, you know, growing up, I guess, like most Indian families, you have a chumpy time, which is massaging your hair with oils. And our grandma would come from India with these incredible, like, potent plants and mix them in the kitchen. And I always would go to her after school to say Okay, can you please tell me a story which I like, only if I can give you an oil massage. So that's how it was our time for bonding. And, you know, to ask questions, like, what did you do? What was your childhood? like growing up? What was your energy? Tell me about all these exotic fruits and ingredients and fables. So it was really a time of, you know, nowadays, people are on the phone and like glued to a screen. But it was a real time of authentic storytelling connection. And it even bought generations together. Like my mom, my grandma, and me would all be in the same room, you know, in our cache, obviously, you had so many head massages, as well, right? 90% of your favourite time, I clearly remember it. So that's why hair and family time, I think, you know, it just brings people together. And it's such a beautiful way. And it's such a beautiful ritual.
Farah Nanji 28:38
Definitely, I think people who are not from our culture, like they are always surprised when you tell them, you know, yeah, like, what, you know, why is your hair so fake? Or why is it that well, because, you know, we had coconut oil massages, you know, growing up as a child, and they kind of miss those Indian head massages. now you know, they tease my mom sometimes like when you're going to massage my hand. But no, that's amazing. And it's such a cool way of like bringing the family together and kind of staying rooted to what Bond's you. So talking about families, what kind of values and beliefs did your parents teach you today will teach you Sorry, that both shapes your characters today.
Akash Mehta 29:15
And so I think like if I definitely the whole, like, well being, everything to do with that kind of self care has been really kind of ingrained in us from day one, because our mum really has come from a line of a lot of this kind of spiritual healers. Our Grandpa, for example, was at nikiti the right terminology, but was travelling around the world and was really a true healer. And people used to come from all over the world to listen to him speak and to have him in his presence. And there's a story that when he passed away, you know, he reached Moksha, with the enlightenment of the third day. So he came from a very, very strong background in this feat in this way and also was very close to Osho if you know who he is, so that was something that From a young age, we were literally always in the car to like Osho wasn't the knee wasn't the radio, right? It was. And then, over time, it kind of embedded itself into loads of different avenues of this kind of area of well being. So every Sunday at first, we were like, We have to do this but later besides the love it was we had to do family yoga at 10am and all come downstairs and do yoga. And remember me Nikki would be like, Oh, can you skip it? Can you skip it? But it's funny how me and Nikki today are the ones actually practising yoga daily and not apparent. So we're like, like, completely passed the baton. But we've sprinted with it. So yeah, we've been very fortunate. Well, we've been living by there's no like, things like I Vedic tools, and you know, tongue scraping and, and all that kind of stuff. And all the ingredients from the kitchen for herbal kinds of remedies. We've been growing around this from all our whole life. So yeah. Nikki, do you want to add to that?
Nikita Mehta 30:52
Yeah, I mean, I think in terms of values, like my dad, like definitely the work ethic and hard work, it's definitely shaped my character and people skills. I mean, of course, my have nothing to say on my people skills, but I feel, you know, he, I've just watched him and meetings, and when there are issues or anything or any conflict, it's always done in person, everyone email or phone. So there's little things you definitely pick up from, you know, he's, he came from nothing, and he's built everything from scratch and the old school way, and there's some like street intelligence that you just can't learn and books. So that's really been invaluable. And for my mom, it's almost the opposite, but in a great way, it's like celebrating life and don't take things too seriously, which I also think entrepreneurs need because, you know, it should be fun, it's life. It's not.
Farah Nanji 31:47
Definitely, I mean, hopefully, when an entrepreneur is starting something, it comes from a passion and comes from a place of seeing a need for change in a particular system or place. Of course, it's hard, all the pressures coming together when you wear 20 different hats when you're an entrepreneur, but when you have your sibling next to you, that's amazing. So how do you know how your personalities complement each other in running the business. And now you've obviously both had, you know, careers prior to, to being worked to being in favour. So has that now changed the ways in which you work moving forward, the way that you've kind of developed this dynamic,
Akash Mehta 32:23
definitely, like I'm, so we're very, we have now very clear kinds of skill sets and personality types that we do complement each other. It's always at the perception of the being. So we could always say, look at them and be like, they're so different, we're never going to work together. Or we can actually look at them and be like, hang on, if I'm open to listening and learning and you're open to listening, learning, and we can make these complimentary. So that's what we've been doing. And I think it's, it's been really good for me, because we have, we don't tread on each other's toes, we listen to what our skill sets, I let each other kind of go straight ahead with what we want to do in our own field. But at the same time, we're open to learning from each other. So I have come from a very corporate background. So I know things like the importance of not being late to a meeting, or, you know, for example, being organised. And as to email etiquette, there's things that Nikki perhaps didn't need to do before, cuz she was working with my father and kind of being more of an entrepreneurial background before. Whereas I maybe a bit too structured, and Nikki has those creative ideas that are really out of the box. And she finds these suppliers and ideas that I'm like, Whoa, like, how did you find them and like, I looked at boring when she would look on Instagram and find these people, you know, like, she would be very creative. And I think that has helped the business tenfold. So I'm definitely learning from her. And she's learning from me. And together, hopefully, we're already nearly there. I think we find the perfect balance.
Farah Nanji 33:50
Do you still bring in a lot of that creative energy that you have, though, like with her?
Akash Mehta 33:55
So I will be honest, I do. I do kind of, I don't know what the right word is, but diminish it a little bit, mainly because there's so much work to be done on the financials and the kind of more business hard kind of stuff. So I do focus all my best managing that. And I feel like sometimes when there's two creative powerhouses that can really confuse the direction. The feminine main name comes from Nikki. She's the one who really cultivates the idea. I'm the executioner. I'm the one making it to market and grow the business. So I think for this business, I've really understood that I want her to feel like she has full creative control to where it goes. And of course I will be presenting my ideas. Definitely maybe validating it saying yes or no but I think this works for this brand. But I am a very creative individual. So I think I found other ways through my other businesses I work on the side to put that energy in. But yeah, I'm pretty proud of myself because I because normally I think I could be quite vocal and be like, No, no, that's not a good direction. Don't let that logo because I have my creative opinion but actually hearing hers and being like actually there's no right you know, both are valid. Let's go with Nikki's. I think it's very important to have that balance.
Farah Nanji 35:03
Well, it's amazing to let go of some of that, when you are a creative, you know, you feel very passionately about something, you know, colour or shape, or whatever it is, it's amazing, you can let go of some of that. And also, you know, like, perhaps that the fact that she's your older sister kind of plays into that to that energy a little bit, I'm not sure. Maybe Nikita via good for you to kind of,
Nikita Mehta 35:23
yeah, remember who's No, I just want to add to that, that. Also the brand has its own personality, it's not your archive. So once you launch your brand, right, it's the cycle control thing, but it's not really yours anymore. It's consumers, and it has its own journey. And you have to stay true to that DNA. So if you look at some of these, like heritage, or, you know, legacy brands, the reason why they're so successful, and is because they're consistent over decades, and in those codes, especially luxury brands, and probably do it the best. And that makes something timeless and eternal. So I've done a lot of studying in luxury brand management, and both of us have worked for LVMH. And I think when you understand that French craftsmanship that things take time, and the brand has its own personality, it's not necessarily our personal creative vision when we say that it's just what makes sense for the brand. And
Akash Mehta 36:18
I think also the fact of like, I love this term about conscious capitalism with the fact that we have different purposes, you have stakeholders, we have all these different elements. And I think as we grow the brand, yes, we've meant nicaea founded and for sure, we're going to be one of the two biggest driving forces of it. But we've got a team now. We've got the customers now we've got the retailers now and we need to adapt to their visions of where fablehaven will go together. And ultimately, you know, we will the brand will outlive us right? And it will end that they might even outlive us quickly in everything. You know, some people sell brands in five years. So I think it's important to ensure that it's not heavily dependent on the founders, it can be found to lead, but not founder, Reliant.
Farah Nanji 37:04
Hey, you, we hope you're enjoying today's episode. We're on a serious mission here to create one of the world's best podcast series. And we'd be so grateful if you could support us in any way by becoming a patron of the show. There's a tier to every level from early bird tiers where you get downloads to all my music with some super cool ninja stickers. To our VIP mission maker tiers where you get epic rewards like exclusive footage, it never gets add the chance to submit questions to our guests with signed copies of books from them, DJ lessons, one to one coaching and a whole load of super cool ninja measure maker merchandise, you can start supporting us for less than what it costs you to fill up your car for a month by simply heading over to www patreon.com/mission makers. Thanks for listening, and I hope you enjoy the rest of the show. You guys did launch the brand during the pandemic, if I'm not mistaken during the first few months. So how did that kind of impact the whole journey? And how did you kind of adapt the launch campaign? You know, we've such a crazy, crazy time.
Akash Mehta 38:05
Yeah, is it we always knew the brand would be very digital. First we knew we wanted to launch in that way and coming from my digital expertise and the way the market was going. We set a lot of the things from the beginning to be this online, omni channel approach. But of course, we had to suffer a launch, we had to instal presence, we had some events, we were planning to film a documentary with loads of physical things that fortunately was initially like, you know, end of June because of covid 19. Unfortunately, we couldn't delay the launch, we didn't obviously expect it to go that quickly. And we just had to roll with it and adapt and be agile. And in a way we're lucky because we were launching at the beginning of COVID. So we could actually delay and get deployments back and stop things from before we actually push the button. So it wasn't like two weeks before it was literally like on the day like lockdown was happening. Like, here we go. But actually, it's been the biggest blessing for the business because people are really investing more in self care and well being. We can talk to people more if we have you know, strong storytelling. I think brands that have storytelling at its heart, and authenticity and authenticity in this way can really cut through the needle now on digital and really connect to people no matter where you are in the world and how you talk to them. And also salons are closed. So the logical thing is people are now taking care of the heck at home and our products are made for at home rituals. So yeah, it's been actually I would say maybe a blessing in disguise. But maybe Nikki, do you have any other opinions on that?
Nikita Mehta 39:36
No, I completely agree. I think taking that time for rituals, massage and you'll have no time for it. So we don't know what it would have been like for us to launch non COVID times, you know?
Farah Nanji 39:49
Yeah, no, definitely. And so much your audience now is completely online. So there's no better time in that regard to capture. Hopefully we'll never be in this time again where so many people are Our line in this way. But it's great. Yeah, it's acted as a huge catalyst for wellness, and developing those rituals. So kind of talking a little bit about conscious capital and legacy brands. Do you guys feel like they should be doing more when they have such, you know, power and they have had the keys to influence such a huge critical mass? And why do you think that it takes such a long time to implement these sustainable initiatives? Is it because they're just too big? What do you guys kind of think?
Akash Mehta 40:31
So I have quite a few opinions, because I've worked in big companies. And actually, one of the reasons why I left these backups, I left these big companies is because of this factor, right. Most of the time, there's a three pronged approach. One is that the most obvious is actually they're not built to ever be these kinds of brands, because they didn't start with a mission, you have these heritage brands that came from heritage but didn't actually have the root, the owner didn't necessarily create them for a purpose of giving back. And it's quite difficult sometimes for brands to diversify into that without seeing. So marketing lead, right, it doesn't come from the root of the brand. So that's one thing. And I think that's why new brands today are really exciting, because they really do have at the heart, an authentic, authentic story and a reason in a way, not all some about, you know, me just for profit, but the ones that we really connect with today are those kinds of brands. That's why we're all interested in these kinds of nucifera LED brands and the giants in the makeup computing industry that I like, all right, Mac, I've had this product for ages, but I don't really connect to it anymore. There's no one I connect with. The second thing I would say is to deal with the fact that it's due the leadership team and the in-house team, we forget that these brands are actually not the brand people behind it, you know, they're like 20 people, 30 people, 40 people in this room. And if none of them really are leading the conversation, then honestly, you don't really generally have that catalyst to change. And then the third thing, I think, is because they're scared, they're scared of, you know, if they turn on that button, then they have to actually commit to it, they've got to be, you know, the open, especially if the band has got a huge band presence. It's not a light word. And the minute you say, you know, we're going to be stainable, you'll have a lot of questions asked you. So I think it's about I understand, but I think if you really want to be the change, you want to see, we got to come combat that we've got to be creative in ways to move forward, we've got to be hiring the right international and even younger people internally to have this kind of voice and to be listened to. And then we've got to be fearless, we have to be now not worried about what could be what could be and just do it because we need to now start really making a difference in the world, whether you're a beauty brand, your race driver, whatever it is, you've got to now think about the planet as well.
Farah Nanji 42:58
Yeah, definitely. It's not, it's not an option. And I think you're so right in the fact that like in the past brands, you know, they did what they did, and then they dealt with the problems later. Whereas now we're like, Okay, this is the problem. And that's really our entire mission around how to navigate around these problems and not create further problems for the, you know, future generations, which is so important. So before fable and mean, you're both heavily involved in perfumery and and your family, your family's involved with the with the perfume industry, and what really caught my attention was the fragrance of Formula One, and I think our listeners will be so interested to hear that, you know, what, what is the sort of the process the scientific process that goes into creating an alluring scent? Such as, you know, adrenalin? How does that kind of work from the initial research stage up until getting it on the on the shelves?
Nikita Mehta 43:48
Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, Formula One is an incredible brand. And not just for car lovers or design aesthetics. But I think as a lifestyle, right, that's an experience that people aspire to. And if you're the queen of as well, so, you know, you live it and breathe it. So it's working fast. It's the licences working closely with the team, I'm really understanding the DNA of f1. And from our point of view, we really wanted to go big on design and working with us Formula One and make this meant to embody the shape of the car. When you have a beautiful bottle design, it's all about engineering to make sure every component fits. It's not as simple as, Oh, let's just make a bottle and then and this is 3d printed to so you know, and then making sure all the components come together and then you The first thing is you want to obviously make your juice your fragrance and then it goes through a lot of compatibility testing. You do a lot of focus groups, you find the notes and if you don't have a news unity, we work with the brand Formula One and we define the aspects of what the Consumers looking for who is our target just your normal how you build a business. But a lot of people think the fragrance process is something, you know, you just put juice in a bottle and it disappears on the shelf. It's not right, it takes months of hard work, that's why a lot of brands can't do it themselves. And a lot of paperwork registration, you know, the filling time and then you have to put it in the packaging, and then sell it. And there's, there's a lot of behind the scenes. So maybe after she could take them through, like, you know, each
Akash Mehta 45:33
step is just, I mean, really simple. I always love to simplify business, because I think people get very confused. And what I like to say is, is when you were a kid, you went to build a bear workshop, right? That is how simple business can be. It's about just renaming the steps. And same with building a fragrance it's really about there are certain things you can maybe skip but certain things you cannot if you don't put the firm in no matter what you're doing the build a bear, you're not gonna have a bear. So the same thing is the same with the fragrance bottle is forget about the outside, it can always change and it'll be very perceptive, but the main thing is that the juice inside and I think that's where you can't take any shortcuts you really got to do the typical process was finding the nose, discovering the scent, but it's the most exciting thing. It's like trying all these different flavours and seeing what works. But I think today, the businesses that really succeed and what we know with Formula One is one of the fathers is new kind of project is how much are you bringing in that community, the lovers of Formula One, the potential customers, the lifestyle addicts, and the race car people and these are the things that we've actually in this fragrance really done a lot of stereotypes and personality tests and a B testing and we've gotten our five cents that we're actually really excited because it really does connect from a functional fragrance, not just marketing fragrance. So that's I think the future of fragrance today is really connecting that functionality with the lifestyle and I think that's what we did with Formula One which is very exciting.
Farah Nanji 47:06
Is that a universal scent? Or is it different for men and women
Akash Mehta 47:10
so it's a universal scent is actually very interesting because even today, I mean when I was at your a lot of my female colleagues use your own you know, like the men fragrance and I think I started learning about how it's actually very hard now today it's like I don't I like this word universal so I really want to get out of this kind of male female, male and female kind of segment and in the aisles and the retailers and stuff because you know, to be honest, as long as you like a scent a scent shouldn't be on agenda right like I love floral and fruity and sweet and that usually tends to be the female fragrances so it's a shame that when I don't actually like the sandalwood and the wounds and the masks in a very strong sense I find it very like dense and hard for me to say my go to the male favourites and was like not very excited and they go to the woman's one and look for that one. The Safe not too much not like too sweet but I love the fact that yeah, these five fragrances are very universal but also universities and so depends on who that person is because everyone is so now everyone's got their own unique opinion and I know open to try new fragrances to
Farah Nanji 48:20
what are some of the notes I saw you just smell the bustle there Nikita what what what are some of the regions
Nikita Mehta 48:26
I'm actually thinking because I don't know those specific notes. I didn't I didn't create this perfume like or involved in the process but I've been wearing this for two hours right now and it just smells like it's trying to find a good explanation.
Akash Mehta 48:42
So we have like there's different scents so there's like the turn one fragrance is actually like got like I think pink pepper, mandarin orange and bergamot as like the top top notes and then it's got like in the heart notes there's like some fruity elements of like apple and stuff. So there's I mean there's so many But why me and why interesting, but soon on at fun fragrances calm we'll be launching a personality test where you'll actually be able to discover your favourite your best favourites for you so that's gonna be no like money in a good way.
Nikita Mehta 49:21
I don't know if it was like money, but that's a perception. But like, I spray it on my head. But oh, it's incredible and it's not to learn it's like a path like that's interesting.
Farah Nanji 49:35
Do you think that the feeling of adrenaline and speed comes through what you're smelling?
Nikita Mehta 49:40
represent, like it's quite addicting, I feel energised. So that there is that adrenaline.
Akash Mehta 49:48
From the science perspective, we wanted to make sure that the fragrances are more than the average long lasting so like it will basically could you could do a whole race and then the end still smell
Farah Nanji 50:00
Well, Formula One drivers sweat a lot. Yeah, they lose kilos in races. So I'll be very interested to see how, if you get the chance to test that out on one of the drivers. And also just the last question on this is, where are the producers that are the notes coming from from grass in southern France? Or what's the production line?
Akash Mehta 50:21
It's the most fragrances that we operate in. And with the design of our fans, that company is from class, exactly, as you said,
Nikita Mehta 50:29
it's houses, right?
Akash Mehta 50:32
Yeah. And usually all the big fragrance houses that we would also work with robertis ifms. These companies also have their own facilities in class, but also offices in Oakland and everywhere. So it's like we can have a middleman to connect to the route. But I was fortunate and Nikki has as well. We've been to class many times with Dior, I've been there quite a few times where he owns its own land. It's just the most fascinating place. It's like, if you haven't been to South of France class, and it's just a short drive from nice. So if you've been to Canton, you can go to class, I really encourage everyone to discover fragrance, and you'll be amazed. But it's like a theme park. If you love frequency.
Farah Nanji 51:14
What makes it such an amazing place at the ground is in particular things that grow? They're the ways that they grow, what makes it the home of perfume?
Akash Mehta 51:23
In that sense, the family held down traditions of fragrance like all the domains and all the land is passed down by generation, they only speak in French, it's very it's not turistic it's not overly that's why these these there are only few people that can actually have access to these things because they don't want to make it you know, to commercialise so go into these like farms and lands, you really seem like you're listening to someone talk about their land of, of rose, and how they pick it individually flower, petal by petal in a basket. And then that basket has been passed down from three, grab the three grammars of the person. And it's like the story is so authentic and how everyone just does the same thing because it's like a legacy. And I think that also makes it connect more than it's not just a flower. It's not just a fragrance, there's heart beyond the heart notes. And that's the actual domain of it.
Farah Nanji 52:21
Nikita Mehta 52:22
No. So just to add to that, the rows domain, which comes from brass, costs like one kilo can cost up to 10,000, or even more pounds, whereas one kilo rose from Turkey is like a couple 100 pounds. So you see the difference in quality from the soil, wait where it's picked, and also the time of year, so it's only harvested twice, according to the sun. Very rare, very precious. And it's a time tested thing and then that the rose then becomes Massa rating and becomes the absolute. And then the absolute then gets put into your fragrance at a certain percentage diluted with alcohol. And that's how you get fragrance.
Farah Nanji 53:07
Well it is a very scientific process. And as you sort of said, I don't think people realise just how much work goes into creating a fragrance. So thank you so much for sharing that with us. So I'd love to ask you guys what is the kind of legacy that you both want to build for your family together?
Akash Mehta 53:25
Hmm, that's a very good question. I think like I've always been at this kind of thought process of fibres, Nikki says really came from barely anything starting selling fragrance in stores and then you know, worked his way up to owning some of the biggest fragrance brands today. We've been very fortunate. We've had his guidance and mentorship from a family man his family funded so we've had a little bit easier from that perspective. But obviously our hearts and hard work has been the thing that's overcome that but I really want to like it. I have to say that if I've been fortunate enough to have a silver spoon I want to make it platinum but for the world. That's what our main missions are. I think me and my sister, we both would probably agree to this is like we've we we now want to dedicate our lives to giving back. That is our key mission like whether it's through our beauty brand, but also as founders, ourselves and siblings ourselves. So we have feminine men but we're also working together on our fund and we're committed initially for big cats and that's our mission with wildlife protection but God you know, who knows what will come in the future. We want to expand it to those different areas. But that's I think my main passion beyond just growing the businesses consistently. But Nikki, what are your thoughts?
Nikita Mehta 54:45
No, I completely agree. It wasn't to start business to fulfil a material desire. It was really for our planet, and how can we leave that more beautiful, you know, and that can be a legacy. I think it's not just our thing. We should be every individual on this planet. in whatever capacity they can Leave this planet more beautiful. You know, we are in beauty but I think it is also today it's about strength, compassion, equal opportunities. You know, it's not just the external, old mindsets of what beautiful it comes from within. So I think, a legacy of awareness of our true selves and and with fable and main help people, you know, bringing that Indian culture to the world with fables that fascinate So yeah,that's amazing.
Farah Nanji 55:31
I definitely agree. I think, you know, we all have a duty to leave this world in a better place. And we found it. And right now, it's not in such a good place where there's a lot of a lot of work to be done. And so I know that you have your faith very much. Obviously, as we've discussed a lot into spirituality. And I know, Nikki, that you spend a lot of time with various teachers such as Deepak Chopra and stuff. So this could be a long question, but in just a brief nutshell, can you share kind of what writings and teachers have had the greatest effects on your paths? And do you have any desires to kind of go down, sharing some of that spiritual knowledge in a deeper way someday?
Nikita Mehta 56:12
I'd absolutely love to, I think I'm still on this journey. And I feel once only once you've experienced something, then you're in a position to share. I think there are a lot of people, especially on social media today give a lot of advice, like, have you really experienced it, like what do you really know about the ego, but I definitely can so grateful for the past teachers, I mean, everyone from the Buddha to Krishna Murthy to Eckhart Tolle, to, you know, Osho, that the so many people are the untethered soul by Michael singer that have just helped on every, you know, it says, When, when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. So all my teachers have been books, and I've learned a lot. And it's one thing to understand something, but it's another thing to apply it and practice it, and live it. So definitely this concept of you know, freedom, surrender, and how it's so different freedom in the west of freedom in the east, is something very significant, I think, and, and has really helped me evolve as a person.
Farah Nanji 57:17
Talk to me more about freedom of the west and the east and the kind of maybe the juxtapositions in that.
Nikita Mehta 57:22
There is, I think, freedom in the West and what we've been brought up as if you want something in life, you go get it. It's a bit more in unhidden hedonism, where like, you know, it's for ourself, we just think of me, a new kind of control, you control your surroundings, it's like, I'm going to go get that this is my life, I control it. And I deserve it when I want it what I want, right? Whereas freedom in the east is all about liberation. So how are we free of this concept of anatta in Buddhism of no self, and Moksha, or Nirvana, or liberation from all the worldly desires, but also liberation for myself, which is almost like the opposite, right? It's not, it's, you don't go out and get something, you just surrender and be in the state of let go. And let things come to you, at its own divine timing. Because if you are going against the river and going against the flow, then conflict starts to happen. I think that's a struggle with a lot of entrepreneurs today, as well. That's what we always need to balance, letting go, going with the flow, surrender and acceptance, because we always try to control our situations which work in business and with ambition. So if you're ambitious, and you have an intention that I want to make a $6 business like a six figure business, you know, this is what I have to do. This is my business plan. And this is the step you most likely will get there. But it's the complete opposite in your spiritual world, and in itself, because you have to let go and you share and detach. So it's a very interesting balance, I think when you're on a spiritual journey, and then also an outwardly ambitious journey. You know, this balance between letting go and the state of nothingness, and then achievement and success as society to find that?
Farah Nanji 59:18
Yeah, I think it's so true. And I think to find your true spiritual self, and to really adopt those practices is is about letting go of attachment to the world and finding ways to be you know, in this planet and transcending this palette, but without seeking the need to kind of enhance your sense of self essentially, what you've what you've you very much kind of said they're talking about letting go of the ego. Do you think that humanity is reaching the end of the evolutionary stage of ego? Do you think we're at that point yet in our lifetime? Do you think Reason being what's happening on the planet and we're all a little bit more realising that old ways are not working
Nikita Mehta 59:48
I definitely think it's about time. I mean, humanity needs a big awakening and a wake up call, I think that's happening. And we have to be in the now and release our old ways. But in terms of our ego, I think it's, the ego is very cunning. So even if it thinks like, you have no ego, it's still your ego speaking. So the only way to access no ego is through meditation. You know, whatever your form of meditation is, minds through breath, work, and realising and just being in that state of no mind. And you're witnessing, you're almost observing your thoughts and your ego. And then it just releases. And then you can get, you know, no far you do Kundalini Yoga, that there's so many meditations and different ways to, to experience that in a state of bliss and oneness. And eternity, which is our true selves. So for me, personally, it's just been reminding myself that our mind is not something we're born with, and their sense like this ego, it's been created. And every time I have this little clue, have that or like, okay, something's annoys you, or something, you know, like, why is this happening to me, or this shouldn't be happening or taking things personally, I'll just check in with myself and say, This is not, you can control your mind, almost. So. But it's hard work. And not everybody wants to do that. And that's a lot. I think Russell Brand said, you know, ego is just an invitation, or pain is just an invitation of the ego. It's just an awareness of, and we have to D share that. So
Akash Mehta 1:01:34
I would also say like, a devil's advocate perspective, like, I think it's about redefining what we mean by ego, because if you can have a healthy and unhealthy ego, and in the day, ego is part of your neuro psychological system. So it's so important to understand that it does have some science behind it, that it protects you. It's important to have an ego. But it's about are we talking about a productive and healthy ego? Are you talking about unproductive and unhealthy ego? And how do we balance that because as humans, we will have both and they can come at different times at the same time. But yeah, I think I would love the society to get into more of a healthy ego and less of an unhealthy ego.
Nikita Mehta 1:02:17
I don't think the egos are ever healthy, I feel that cause let it go. But I think what you're saying, are fascists valid, that ego, sometimes confused with self love, you know, like putting yourself first Oh, she has a big ego or something. But actually, you have to put yourself first to take care of other people, you know, but then that there's a fine line and the balance, you know, it's like the razor's edge becoming too in vanity or narcissism. And then you know, what you're really doing for yourself. So I think it's like all words in life, love, freedom, ego, they've all been defined, and everyone has a different definition of it.
Farah Nanji 1:02:57
So true. Yeah, I think yeah, there's a lot in what you say about in a way, like you need to have self confidence. But then you don't want to act with ego, you know, in your actions. And you don't ultimately want your mind to be dictating your thoughts, which is, I think what Michael Singer talks a lot about an untethered soul is that you know, observing your thoughts, but not having an attachment to them and not not acting upon them. But I also think that a lot of the problems in this is that it really stems from childhood and you know, the schooling system and the ways that we have been brought up to, to just be in that constant state of future. And we never really get to that point, because we only all we have now is the present moment. And that's it. So it's very interesting talking to you guys about this. And I'd also like to know what some of your non negotiable habits are to kind of adopt the mindset of impact.
Nikita Mehta 1:03:52
The key to to step to the minds of impact just what does that exactly mean?
Farah Nanji 1:03:59
Like how so like, let's say just setting yourself up to succeed every day, like you know, taking care of yourself? What do I know that Nikita, you have loads of things that you do?
Nikita Mehta 1:04:11
But yeah, the best, the best top three I do a lot of breath work and a walk I think it just helps especially in this zoom culture today. You know, just to calm the mind and be more in the body. So any exercise, any movement, basically what will really help that get your energy flowing, number one, number two, for impact in terms of with other people and using your voice? I think you should always listen more than you speak. Which is more of a mental thing, but I think sometimes people you know, always want to say and think they know best but actually you learn more by listening. And the third would be why guess I guess it's just more what I do to distract Because I think to be a healthy leader, you have to be, you know, very calm within and allow things to change with the constant nature of business. And everyday things change. So I do a lot of it, you know, it's ironic, but it's true, I do a lot of head massage and wash on my face, and like with oils, and it just really helps to stress because our crown chakra, we have different energy points in our body. But the one right here is linked where we store all the stress and tension. So just by touching it or massaging it and you know, even a few minutes every day, it really helps relax our whole nervous system, our Vagus nerve, which, which is linked to so many other inflammations. And I think it can really just self regulate the body because we put too much pressure on our brain. And we're like, literally forgetting the rest of our body. Yeah.
Akash Mehta 1:05:52
I think for me, my, I have like, I have a lot of habits. But in terms of the non negotiable ones, the ones that like, will not change every day. They're kind of geared around forming criterias of my, my being. So the one is about work. And that's about creating a to do list every day. And I call them the realistic to do list, I write on a piece of paper. What like I'm going to be achieving today and kind of like what are the non negotiable things I have to do and what are the things I would like to achieve? That it's kind of like a refresh every morning with my coffee, I write that down. I look at that every day. And I'm like Cuckoo Cuckoo. And I activate, but that's my non negotiable for work. My second thing I do from a fitness perspective is I need to do at least half an hour of something a day, whether it's going for a run, peloton or yoga, whatever, I have to do 30 minutes and I measure it on my Strava. If I don't do it, I can't innovate sometimes at 1am to sleep, I still do it because I need to do this non negotiable, healthy or not, it's not negotiable. And the third thing, what four things The third thing is about my mind. So it's really about just kind of making sure that I have that 30 or 20 minutes or 10 minutes of a micro meditation. So it might be five minutes, some days, it might be 30 minutes. Other days, it might be even one minute some days. But I tried to do a little bit of breathing, sitting close my eyes in that moment and just trying to relax. And usually I do in between zoom calls because it gives me a sense of escapism. And my last thing that I personally think is so important is to have official something fun in the day, like something I look forward to every single day is it's more I planted the day before and I'm like tomorrow I'm going to do about Lego or tomorrow, I'm going to meet a friend or tomorrow I'm going to play catan online, you know, like I make sure I need to do something like that, especially during COVID and lockdown. Like you need to have some exciting moments every day. Because every day we live, it'll be embarrassing to not have a moment of joy That's for you. Not for we're not for your body or just for you.
Farah Nanji 1:07:52
100% Thank you guys for sharing that with us. So we're moving on to the audience q&a section of our interview, we've had two questions come in for you both. And so we'll give this one to our cache. First, it comes in from Ali. And he says that businesses can ultimately be stronger and family is involved as you both have clearly shown us. However, it's incredibly hard not to run the business at home. So how do you keep these boundaries between each other to make sure that, you know, there's a healthy line there and the conflict can kind of be minimised?
Akash Mehta 1:08:25
I think it's kind of there's a few ways. The first is very difficult. And we do do a lot but I think also because when we're not with each other, we talk about work. It's kind of like in our DNA in our kind of mindset that when we meet we're like, I don't wanna talk about work right now let's just like this is the one moment where we're not we don't need to talk about work. Which sounds so counterintuitive because you're like surely when you're together that's when the most work gets done. But you know, because of COVID and because we've been we've been growing the business away I started in Paris, she was in London, then now I live in my London flat she lives in my family home, we've always been away building this brand so we've actually adopted that work ethic or we can just work like this and actually that's what helps us succeed because we're not in our face all the time you know I can like he hung up and then have like a three hour break from Mickey today you know, and those are really important and I think the second thing is about we also like don't want to like you know like annoy our parents a bit and stuff like that because it can be a little bit long because my my mom because my dad I took him a lot that with work and it'll be Nikki and and it's actually after a while it's like I don't want to feel like all we talk about is is like me Nikki and I work of working moms like okay dude guys come on my life isn't all about work so she's actually a little discipline maker she'd when we do do that she's like, Guys, come on. No work on the table. No work on the dinner table. Now actually helped us quite a bit I think.
Farah Nanji 1:09:47
Awesome. Awesome. Okay, Nikita, what is your typical hair care routine and what are some of the yoga poses you do to strengthen your mane?
Nikita Mehta 1:09:55
Oh, I love that. So typical hair care routines. Our oil, my Once a week without fail, usually overnight, you know, massage it in and I'll like to braid it or put a turban on so it doesn't look like a pillowcase. And then I'll wash it just like a quick rinse then shampoo only like the top, like a clarifying shampoo just like on the top. And the Holy Week shampoos super hydrating of fable and main. And then I'll either condition or I'll put on a mask, like for extra nourishment because I have really dry frizzy hair. But what I really find like the most effective with her health is like the before and after ritual. So like boiling before shampoo. And then the aftercare is that you should never, you know, comb your hair when it's so wet not with a brush, use like a wooden comb or, you know something why tooth and also never wrap your hair, especially when it's wearing a towel, you can get like a specific hair turban, because that's when the most breakage happens. don't realise that we always think oh, it's like, oh my god, I have fallen in the shower. And we only think of the shower. But the whole ritual is not just what products you use, it's how you take care of it. So that's what I do. I always wash my hair less as well probably once, maybe twice a week. So that definitely helps. Because I have Scott produce natural oils and scalp his skin and you just have to let it breathe, you can't keep putting products on it. And why oil is so great. It's really hydrating. So just how water is so good for our skin oil is amazing for our scalp. And when you have a hydrated healthy scalp, it's gonna lead also to natural hair growth.
Farah Nanji 1:11:36
So any particular like is it coconut oil or?
Nikita Mehta 1:11:42
olive oil is a fantastic highest form of vitamin C. There's been garage cast oils fantastic for thicker looking hair ashwagandha for strengthening your scalp and coconuts. Definitely incredible as the sesame coconut is most widely used, especially in southern India because it's cooling. So if you are someone with a lot of likes, you know heat in your body, you'd want to use cooling hubs. But I'm a Vata type in Arvada, which is always very cold and has a lot of heating hubs. And the massage really helps that too. But most of these Indian hubs are really small art so they kind of adapt to your scalp. I mean, it's fantastic too, if you've got itchy, flaky, dry scalp as well. So yeah, I love these Indian ingredients. And then for yoga, anything with an inversion, you know, I mean, Aakash, you probably can pronounce the names better than I can. But there's a lot of breath work kapalbhati, which really helps circulation, downward dog, shoulder headstand, anything that helps. You know, we're standing straight. So there's not much blood flow to our brain right now. So naturally, inversion is going to help, and that will help stimulate circulation, which will help with her.
Farah Nanji 1:13:05
Fantastic. Well, that's a great question from Jessica. So thank you, and thanks for the tips Nikki. So moving into our last section is our quickfire round. 60 seconds, no more than six seconds on each question. So we will start with you, Nikki, describe our cache in three words.
Nikita Mehta 1:13:24
ambitious, tolerant, and dare I say cool.
Farah Nanji 1:13:33
Okay, fair play. We're going to give you the same. The same question. I cash just to make it fair. So describe Nikki in three words.
Akash Mehta 1:13:42
creative and ambitious, and kind hearted. Just kind of one mode.
Farah Nanji 1:13:52
Okay, awesome. Nikki, you've mentioned that you love books. So I'm curious. Are you reading anything right now? Or can you give our listeners any recommendations of a great book?
Nikita Mehta 1:14:03
Yeah, I'm reading change your thoughts and Change Your life by Wayne Dyer. Literally everything we spoke about today, in one book, base mentality chain, which I think is a must read for anyone.
Farah Nanji 1:14:15
Fantastic, will read now
Nikita Mehta 1:14:16
I built this by Guy Roz basically, is really great about founders and how, you know, based on his podcast as well, but really, really insightful to different people's journeys. And I learned a lot from that.
Farah Nanji 1:14:29
Awesome, awesome. I'm gonna go read that one. What's something you both like to do the old fashioned way?
Akash Mehta 1:14:40
Niki, you go first.
Nikita Mehta 1:14:42
I like that, I'm not big on text and stuff. So this is more like probably my personal life. But I like to write letters like nobody does posts anymore. So I do a lot of writing, like even thank you cards. It's After sending like, you know, an email or a text, I find it a bit more impersonal.
Farah Nanji 1:15:05
Akash Mehta 1:15:06
I think, for me, it's kind of like, yeah, like my, the going back to kind of to do less than daily managing, I like to just write it down on a piece of paper, I'm not very good at putting all these like ideas on like, the calendars and keep all digital, even though I'm very just a person that's like to see it physically and write it. And there are certain things you get from writing down on an actual physical thing, I think is quite important, but also the idea of like, once this is done, I just quench it up and recycle it. You know, like, I love the idea of like, it's done. Not still on my emails.
Farah Nanji 1:15:42
So yeah, definitely. Or just taking a pen and literally just taking something as they say.
Akash Mehta 1:15:47
In different colours.
Farah Nanji 1:15:48
Yeah. Yeah, definitely. Nice. So how do you both like to discover your wild?
Nikita Mehta 1:15:55
I love that mind to dance easily, like anything that helps me activate, unleash, you enter Tyga. You know, I literally I think as women as well as the Empress in terms of like, just generations of what we can't do this, it's really important to access that wild, wildly, you know, feminine and divine force of our being to and I really, really feel alive and, you know, free through dawn, like just movement.
Farah Nanji 1:16:26
Akash Mehta 1:16:27
For me, it's kind of like very obvious, but it's whenever I'm in nature, whenever I'm connected to the soil, for animals, especially like I was anytime I'm in Africa, which I tried to go once a year. I wasn't last December in Namibia the year before in Kenya, when I'm actually in the wild itself in the safari is when I'm the most connected to my own wildness.
Farah Nanji 1:16:50
There's something very special about sunrises in the athlete's name.
Akash Mehta 1:16:55
properly, actually, you hit the nail head. It's really that kind of cycle of being with the eyes. The world wakes up and likes, you know, being out in the open 5am in the land. safaris ours. Yeah.
Farah Nanji 1:17:06
100%. Okay, and final question, what are you both most grateful for this month?
Akash Mehta 1:17:15
This month, I'm most grateful for my new place I'm moving into. Yeah, it's nice to have a new home. Yeah, for sure.
Farah Nanji 1:17:25
Nikita Mehta 1:17:27
For me, it's definitely a mindset. I think I'm really grateful for being more present. Like it sounds weird, because you should always be in the now. But this month, I just feel a peace, a lot of things. So very grateful for that.
Farah Nanji 1:17:42
Very good. Well, guys, thank you so much for joining us today on mission makers. We've loved having you on the show, you guys have shared some amazing tips. So thank you both so much for your time. And I am definitely going to have to try some fable and mean, in the hair of my own rituals as well.
Akash Mehta 1:18:01
Well, thanks so much for having us and for such a very inspiring and discussion. Thank you.
Farah Nanji 1:18:08
It was incredible catching up with Nicky and Akash. I feel like we could have talked for hours. And I absolutely love how they've centred spirituality and protection of the planet around their brands. And the individual journeys that they've both been through to get to this point. leadership in a family business or as a millennial is tough. And Formula One actually really demonstrates this a lot. Case in point right now on the grid, there's a huge difference in ages between the drivers. And a lot of the younger ones do come from a family background and motorsport. And they're all received very, very differently from lunch stroll to make Schumacher or even call or science. It's really interesting observing how these guys are handling that under such a global lens of scrutiny, and also seeing the older generation like Hamilton defend with everything he's got against the younger and incredibly hungry Max Verstappen. So talking about f1 we've got some amazing guests coming on the show this season, so be sure to subscribe to the show on Apple, Spotify, YouTube, and wherever else you listen to your podcasts. Thank you again for listening and for writing in. We love hearing what you guys are thinking of the show so do feel free to reach out to us at @missionmakers or at @DJ.n1nja on Instagram. And if you're interested in supporting the show and getting some really cool rewards like DJ lessons, and seeing some of the episodes ahead of time, then don't forget to visit www.patreon.com/mission makers
Lessons To Fuel Your Mission
Your name reflects your soul's purpose
A brand can be founder led but not founder reliant
Don't let age become a limiting factor in your life
It is only by being fearless that you can truly change the world
Give back and you shall receive more than you could ever have hoped for