Tuesday, December 5, 2023
Cover Story

NISHA GREWAL Inspiring Entrepreneurial Triumph

Monica Sethi Darpan, 22 Sep, 2023
  • NISHA GREWAL Inspiring Entrepreneurial Triumph


Nisha Grewal's unwavering work ethic forms the cornerstone of her success, enabling her to establish a multimillion-dollar skincare company. Founder of Ambari, a Vancouver-based publicly traded company in luxury skincare, Nisha's vision was to create quick, easy-to-use skincare products that delivered noticeable results overnight. Throughout her journey, she has aspired to lead by example and create a brand that not only inspires other women but also makes them feel good about themselves. 

Growing up, she was always motivated and determined to give her best in every task she set her eyes on. Her early years instilled in her a mindset geared toward success, inheriting a solid work ethic from her father. Her mother, on the other hand, consistently encouraged her to have an expansive vision for herself. This amalgamation and her knack for breaking down her objectives into manageable steps paved the way for her to go after her dreams and ultimately realize them.

During her undergrad, she pursued a business degree from UBC. She followed it with a Level-1 CFA designation with the aim of becoming an investment analyst at a major bank like Goldman Sachs. "Financial markets fascinated me, and I felt my background in business gave me an edge over others," she shares. Alongside, she was networking and exploring different options to start her entrepreneurial venture. 

In 2016-17, she identified a gap in the beauty business, which was booming then. "I realized that despite so many skincare and beauty fads, and numerous celebrities launching products left right and center, there was a need for effective skincare products that could help transform the skin after just one treatment," says Nisha who was keenly aware of the enormous scale of the beauty industry, with giants like LVMH, Estée Lauder, and L'Oréal dominating the global market. She further elaborates, "My intention with my products was to provide a practical approach to self-care that required less than a minute at night and delivered visible results by the following morning.”


Even in the early stages of conceptualization, she had a clear vision of building a fully operational business and aimed to propel her brand into the mainstream. She aspired to take her brand to the next level and see her products sold by the world's largest retailers. To achieve this, she partnered with a renowned chemist based in the US, a legend in her own right credited with creating more than 100 products available at Sephora. 

Although Nisha wasn't a skincare expert then, her Indian background and the skincare regimen she followed while growing up gave her valuable insights into the specific ingredients she desired in her products. For instance, she knew she wanted to replace retinol, which bothered her skin, with bakuchiol, a natural alternative that delivers the same benefits but is gentler. Additionally, she aimed to incorporate neroli water for hydration, opt for more potent AHAs and PHAs, and utilize glycolics and lactics instead of fillers, as she was confident that these ingredients would effectively work their magic and contribute to skin transformation. She dedicated time to reading several white papers that helped her gain an in-depth understanding of different ingredients and facilitated collaboration in developing these products, a process that spanned three to four years. Upon completing the testing phase and collecting numerous feedback responses, she was sure she had an excellent set of products.

Throughout this timeframe, Nisha actively engaged in various aspects of the brand's development. For example, when she was dissatisfied with the design concepts presented by design agencies for the bottle, she took the initiative to communicate with the bottle designers in Italy directly. She conveyed her precise vision, centred on a simple, minimalist, yet luxurious aesthetic inspired by Tom Ford Neroli Portofino Cologne.

In February 2021, she introduced her products exclusively at Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Ave, followed by a launch at Bergdorf Goodman two months later. Ambari additionally is now carried by Europe’s largest retailers and is growing steadily. These strategic moves perfectly aligned with her overarching vision of having her products available with the world's most prominent retailers. The significant milestone for the brand occurred a few months later, when Kourtney Kardashian, chose to partner with Ambari. Kourtney and Ambari carefully curated the event, "Poolside with Poosh," held at Kourtney's home, serving as the platform to introduce Ambari skincare products to Kourtney's inner circle of friends and family, generating substantial buzz, excitement and anticipation surrounding the products. Kourtney advertised this event along with Kim Kardashian and others on their social media accounts. 

Since its inception, the company has enjoyed remarkable success and made its initial public offering (IPO) in July 2022, a massive step in its growth. It all started when Ambari's products gained global popularity and showed promise of reaching a billion-dollar valuation. This caught the attention of venture capitalists who wanted to invest and help the company grow. Recognizing the potential to accelerate their growth with this investment, Nisha took the company public, raising millions of dollars and entering the public stock market.

At present, Ambari offers a product lineup consisting of four items: a moisturizing cream, a deep-cleansing mask, an overnight serum that also functions as a toner and exfoliant, and a morning toner, all available in the United States and Europe.

She is currently leading the development of an AI app known as "Scarlett," firmly believing that it has the potential to transform the beauty industry. The app will be able to scan the face, detect any impurities, and recommend products that can be bought within the app. Additionally, she intends to implement this technology in various retail stores.

Having come this far, Nisha's journey is a compelling example of successfully translating a brilliant idea into a remarkable success story. Her conviction that a robust work ethic can propel one to great heights, regardless of the field, has played a pivotal role in establishing a multimillion-dollar company within a short timeframe. Having succeeded as an entrepreneur, Nisha dedicates her time to volunteering with The Forum Mentor Program, a platform that enables her to share her experiences and offer guidance to other up-and-coming entrepreneurs.


Kamal Sharma: A Cultural Trailblazer Preserving South Asian Heritage

Kamal Sharma: A Cultural Trailblazer Preserving South Asian Heritage

From being the first person to sell original Bollywood movie prints to hosting entertainment shows that garnered a cult following among ethnic communities to introducing concerts that brought legendary South Asian artists to Vancouver, Kamal has been a pioneer in shaping the South Asian cultural landscape.

Surrey Getting the Short End of the Stick

Surrey Getting the Short End of the Stick

Dr. Randeep Gill, chairman of the Medical Advisory Board for Surrey Hospitals Foundation, shares his firsthand experience from the ER at Surrey Memorial Hospital, providing insights on what the city needs versus what it's getting when it comes to an issue that directly impacts its residents' survivability


Darpan Vaisakhi Special 2023

Darpan Vaisakhi Special 2023

Darpan's special Vaisakhi issue is out now. Read about the Birth of Khalsa, find great recipes, and after a 3 year pandemic hiatus the Vaisakhi parade returns to the City of Surrey. 

Darpan special Vaisakhi issue 2023

Darpan's special Vaisakhi issue is out now. Read about the Birth of Khalsa, find great recipes, and after a 3 year pandemic hiatus the Vaisakhi parade returns to the City of Vancouver and the City of Surrey. 

South Asian Women: Breaking Barriers and Going Places

South Asian Women: Breaking Barriers and Going Places

Keeping up with the tradition, this issue marks the fourth year as DARPAN celebrates the achievements of seven women steering clear of stereotypes and forging their own paths. While each comes from a different professional background, they are all resilient, hardworking and fully committed to their calling in life. 

South Asian women breaking barriers: Tarannum Thind

South Asian women breaking barriers: Tarannum Thind

In 1997, Tarannum immigrated to Canada with her family and tried her hand at different study programs. She auditioned and got selected to host a multicultural show on Channel M in Hindi and Punjabi. It began the professional journey of one of the most sort-after, familiar, and personable South Asian media personalities in Vancouver and beyond.