Female Founder Spotlight: Dr. Tanya Unni, Dr. Tanya Skincare

Tell us about yourself and your background.

I come from a unique upbringing where art, culture, academics, and an Ayurvedic lifestyle intertwined seamlessly. Following my medical training, I found myself increasingly drawn to identifying and solving various issues. This passion only grew stronger with time.

Having delved into acting in my youth, I admired how actors maintained their skin, hair, and youthfulness. This fascination, coupled with my medical background, led me to specialize in skincare during my postgraduate studies.

Becoming a mother introduced me to new challenges, particularly when my son dealt with eczema. Seeking a solution, I discovered the effectiveness of homemade Ayurvedic remedies in maintaining his skin health. This transformation marked a pivotal moment for me, inspiring me to provide genuine, effective solutions for my patients.

Thus, my journey in research and development began with a mission to blend ancient wisdom and natural ingredients from all over the world with modern scientific advancements in skincare.

What inspired you to found Dr. Tanya Skincare and take the leap into entrepreneurship?

Driven by a desire to simplify and democratize skincare, my foundational ethos remains rooted in accessibility. With a pre-existing chain of medical services, my innate passion for skincare and enhancing individuals’ well-being emerged strongly.

Drawing from my upbringing, personal skin challenges, and maternal experiences, I embarked on a journey of research and development to innovate solutions. Unafraid of risks and always eager to experiment, the birth of the brand, Dr. Tanya Skincare, emerged after years of dedicated exploration and study.

What makes your products unique to the market?

With clean, science-backed formulas that have unlocked the powers of ancient ingredients sourced from all over the world, our carefully curated line of skin and hair products offers a unique competitive edge and economic potential in the Middle East. Here’s why:

  • Quality Ingredients — Carefully researched, hand-selected, and formulated by Dr Tanya herself, we stand proudly behind the quality of our products and the intention behind every ingredient. At Dr Tanya Skincare, we ensure that our products and formulations are held to the utmost highest standards, undergoing rigorous testing for stability to ensure their quality and efficacy.
  • Climate Adaptability — We understand the unique challenges posed by the Middle Eastern climate, including dryness, heat, and sand. Our skincare range is developed to combat these issues by providing intense hydration, protection, and repairing properties to nourish and protect the skin.
  • Minimalistic and Elegant Packaging — We believe that skincare should be a sensory experience, and our sleek and contemporary packaging reflects the modern aesthetic preferences of the Middle East. Our minimalistic design will enhance the appeal of your store shelves and attract customers seeking a luxurious and sophisticated brand that doesn’t compromise on quality. 
  • Dermatologically Tested — Our products undergo rigorous testing to ensure their safety and efficacy. We prioritise the wellbeing of our customers by offering dermatologically tested formulas that are gentle on the skin, suitable for all skin types, and free from harmful additives. 
  • Eco-Friendly and Sustainable — Sustainability is at the core of our brand. We utilise eco-friendly packaging materials where possible and follow sustainable practices in our manufacturing process. This aligns with the growing environmental consciousness of the Middle East market as we strive to be at the forefront in packaging research to take care of our globe.
  • Cultural Sensitivity — We deeply understand and respect the diversity and cultural sensitivities of the Middle East. Our brand celebrates inclusivity and represents a global perspective on beauty, making it an ideal choice for customers seeking skincare that caters to their unique needs and preferences.

How did you work out what products to sell? And how to produce/manufacture them?

I always knew that I wanted to have them manufactured in Australia. Living and working in Australia it was only natural that I manufacture my products in Australia in a local facility as I believe in Australian quality ingredients and standards that we deliver for people. Being an environmentalist and being in that our products are manufactured in an eco-friendly facility and I wouldn’t want to manufacture anywhere else.

Being a Doctor I have the opportunity to hear from patients on a daily basis about their pain points and I wanted to give them solutions that I believe will work.

Each and every product has been created to solve a problem. The products were mainly created for my patients to solve their ongoing skin problems.

How long did it take from idea to manufacturing your first product to your first sale?

It took 6 months to have the product manufactured in Australia and our first sale was within a week of the product launching online in Australia.

What has been your biggest success since launching?

Before completing 12 months I was already outside Australia and was given the opportunity to be present within the Middle East.

What has been your biggest challenge and how have you overcome it?

The biggest challenge has been getting into new markets, new culture, language barriers and time-zone differences and the distance when travelling to the Middle East from Australia.

What does a day in your life look like?

I do school drop off every morning as I am a mother of two young boys and then I go to work as a GP everyday from 9-5 and see my patients and consult. Between my GP work I am conducting meetings with my team.

What advice would you give to founders launching a startup in the beauty/skincare industry?

If you’re getting into the skin industry do a good market study and have a business plan and identify your team.

What is your favourite quote?

Having a winning mindset is the key to be successful; Make time for yourself and your skin

What are your goals for the next 5 years?

  • To establish the brand and raise awareness about the importance of using consistent good quality products and investing time in self-care and making our products available for people to use so that they are able to look after their skin and achieve their skin goals.
  • For the brand to be available and accessible to people to address their skin concerns and achieve optimum outcome.
  • As a company I want the brand to be a multinational company and be available globally to customers and retailers, as I strong believe that this skin brand would be really suitable for people with coloured background as their formulations are carefully crafted to suit all types of skin.
  • As a Doctor and a person who has a strong fascination with science and research I want to go through ancient ingredients throughout the world and conduct research and unlock the potential of locally sourced ingredients to address the beauty needs and applying medical evidence to support that.

Where can readers find out more about yourself and the products?

Our website drtanya.me has more information about our brand story and our products

As a businesswoman and entrepreneur, I am passionate about sharing my journey including the highs and lows on my Instagram @drtanyaofficial

Editor-In-Chief of Bizpreneur Middle East