It was Toral Gosalia’s passion for a natural and sustainable living that led her to launch Earthlings – the first, unique organic store in Goa, that completed five years in December 2019 and is a witness of Goa’s changing consumer market with the constant movement of people from across the globe, making it deliver quality life via organic and natural products like food, cosmetics and clothes
Beginning with only five brands, her journey of growing with ‘Earthlings Live Naturally’ just completed five years on December 12, 2019, with now 73 brands across India and a whole lot of learning experiences under her belt. Toral Gosalia, founder and chief earthlings officer who kick-started her venture Earthlings Live Naturally, has truly succeeded in bringing together under one roof, pure and naturally cultivated products from across India, offering them to health-conscious, organic food lovers in Goa. Conducting business while helping scores of home-grown organic brands to find larger markets, her retail store has been converted into an online platform in September 2019, two months before she completed five years in this business.
It was her passion for a natural and sustainable living that led her to launch Earthlings - a unique and first of its kind organic store in Goa. Having realized that gluten-free, lactose-free, chemical-free were some of the key needs which people required to be made aware of and supplied consistently, she tried to create awareness about such food and brought a range of them under ‘Earthlings Live Naturally’. At present her online store has more than 15 curated brands, Toral is continuously adding companies and products which are ethically sourced and produced.
“The shift for us as a brand was seamless because we have been working on creating the online store for more than a year but the transition for our customers was difficult. Since our store focused largely on customised the online store felt distant. We are in continuous touch with our customers and guide them on their buying options. But yes, Goa is slowly changing with the dynamic and constant movement of people from across India and the world and is rightly poised to deliver quality life via organic and natural products like food, cosmetics, clothes and many more organic products,” observes Toral.
Looking back she recalls beginning her entrepreneurial journey with a handful of products and learning as the years passed on gaining a totally new outlook on business ideas, practices and trends. “Every milestone we celebrated brought in amazing recognitions, awareness and blessings from our fellow Earthlings,” she smiles, adding “We got tremendous opportunities to nurture good health by working with elite nutritionists, dieticians and some creative chefs which itself was a great learning experience.”
When Toral started she really had no specific agenda but for her, the growth was more linear than lateral. Agreeing that Earthlings didn’t grow large in terms of more stores or a huge income Toral points out that her customer base witnessed tremendous growth. These were the loyal Earthlings tribe which kept her motivated to keep growing with new brands and products.
The experience had been immense and having shut her offline store Toral went digital, starting her online store to facilitate a better reach across India with selected ethical brands and products. “The Earthlings store has recently been relocated to a digital platform in accordance to my vision of creating an efficient, environmental-friendly and global organic product discovery and sales channel,” deliberates Toral who brings with her a wealth of experience in retail business management, merchandising, branding and scaling up businesses.
“The awareness of all products organic and natural is fast-paced and there is a huge demand for quality products and we had the privilege of being one of Goa’s first organic retail store and bringing awareness to the public. The shift was slow but consistent as people today are health conscious, fit and quality minded,” states Toral.
Pricewise her products maybe 10 to 20 % above other similar, available products in the market, but because of the quality people tend to spend less on medical bills, she claims.
Explaining why organic food seems to be expensive she briefs that it’s not only about the product but the process that goes into harvesting and manufacturing such food, “Each field before it is cultivated needs to be cleansed of any residual chemicals which take roughly seven years. Without the intervention of chemical pesticides, the yield may be moderate and time-consuming. The packaging and quality has to be managed because there are no preservatives used, the shelf life is short. Factoring these costs in addition to labour, fees for organic certification which is roughly Rs 2-7 lakh, this makes the cost of the product higher.”
What about the competition? Toral quips sportingly, “I would like to mention that more than competitors there are other comrades who are taking the organic life forward and yes there are a couple of other stores who are now doing similar service.” She also mentions about the government support for the promotion of organic food. “The government is absolutely supportive of organic Goa and thus is giving benefits to agriculturists but I feel a forum is vital if awareness needs to be created at the grassroot level to understand the scope and to cultivate. If Sikkim can be declared a fully organic state, I feel Goa with its huge potential can easily achieve the same status.”
As an ambitious entrepreneur, Toral believes in growth. Also the co-founder of Mimosa Naturals, a brand committed to bringing natural and eco-friendly products, free from chemicals and toxic materials, to people’s homes, she adds, “Another exciting opportunity we worked was on creating our own manufacturing brand, Mimosa Naturals, making and promoting handcrafted cold-pressed soaps, essential oils and incense for the Indian and export market in which we continue to flourish.”
“Part of growth is sharing and we are happy to have shared our expertise to new startups venturing into the realm of organic retail in Pune and Goa. We are now poised to realise someone’s dream through our EA journey is never travelled alone, we always have companions along the Earthlings Consultancy across India for starting organic retail stores,” concludes Toral who, after over 15 years of entrepreneurship, started blogging for her own company and saw tremendous growth in her sales which inspired her to offer business blogging for brands which are keen on developing further business growth.