Dr. Vanita Rattan Podcast Transcript

Dr. Vanita Rattan Podcast TranscriptListen to episode here

Dr. Vanita Rattan: [00:00:00] I was pregnant with my first baby. We lost a huge amount of money, hundreds of thousands of pounds. It was devastating. I'd had contingencies in place. And then when the clinic closed, we need to diversify. We need to sell globally. I needed to make five videos a week on YouTube. We are able to collect data and create products that tailor specifically to what they want with the ingredients they want at the price point they want.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: And you know, it's all come because of social media, really. The rate of growth has blown my mind . I couldn't be more blessed, truly.

Amardeep Parmar: Welcome  to the BAE HQ, where we inspire, connect and guide the next generation of British Asians. Today we have with us, Dr Vinita Rattan, the founder of Skincare by Dr V, a cosmetic formulator. An author and your main follower on social media. How are you doing today? 

Dr. Vanita Rattan: I'm  very well. Thank you so much for having me.

Amardeep Parmar: So we've had a good chat before this, and we've talked a bit too much, now we need to hurry through the podcast. So tell me about your childhood. When you were growing up, [00:01:00] did you ever believe in yourself? Did you ever think you'd get to where you are today? 

Dr. Vanita Rattan: So I am from the typical immigrant household, which I think a lot of, us are.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: And parents generally were very strict. They had a high expectation, astronomically high expectations. And really your whole life was about fulfilling your, the goal set for you. So I'd say it was extremely difficult. Simultaneously, I had dyslexia, but I didn't, we didn't have a word for it at the time. I just thought there was something wrong with me.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: The words were jumbling up and I'd read them and I just felt slower than other people. I felt like other people. pick things up much faster than me. And if your parents, you know, they've got their own expectations of you, they have, there's not much tolerance for you not picking things up as fast as everybody else.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: So there's some fear there, I think. And then you associate this fear with study. And this was something that was part of my childhood. Then I went on this course, which I think transformed my life. It's Tony Robbins. I don't know if you've heard of [00:02:00] him. He, I mean, it was probably one of the best things I've ever, ever done.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: My uncle, you know, took us on it and all my cousins went on it. Actually, my entire extended family went on it. 

Amardeep Parmar: How old were you? 

Dr. Vanita Rattan:  I was 13 at the time. It was one of those formative years, you know, where you're dying to learn something new. You really want to be the best version of yourself. But, you know, you've got these blocks and you can't figure out.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: Why you're not performing at the same level as everybody else or superseding them when you are working much harder than everybody else. So I learned some key things there. Number one was don't worry about what other people think of you. Don't worry about what your parents think of you or your teachers.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: Only you know, your full potential. So that like that had me in tears, . And the second thing was, whatever you want to achieve, find someone who's already done it. Read their books, study them, learn about them. How do they think? How do they speak? What do they wear? How do they learn their German history, English or whatever subject you're trying to learn?

Dr. Vanita Rattan: And that's what I did. I found the smartest girl in [00:03:00] class. Uh, Heidi Evans. I dunno if you're allowed to name her. Genius. You know, Mensa student. I think now she's working at Harvard as a professor and she helped me with my English. English was the thing I really struggled the most with and she would mark my essays.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: She would say, you know, tell me how to tweak them and literally got me from a C to an A star. I did the same with everything, history, geography. I found the smartest girl in every class and I would ask them to help me. And, you know, thankfully they did, which is why I think it's really important to help each other because, you know, you really are pulling

Dr. Vanita Rattan: people up who need it and who are probably in pain. And once I did that, then I remember I won one of the prizes at Leyden on holiday school for girls, which again was a top school. So I was in this, it was the top four school in the country at the time, pretty much fully Caucasian open, you know, a couple of brown people.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: And so I wasn't, I didn't really fit in. It wasn't really my environment, but I had to succeed because that was the expectation. And that's why I think having high expectations of children's really is important because they will fulfill it. If you have low [00:04:00] expectation of your children, they will fulfill that too.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: And so I think that's where immigrant parents go right. Sometimes not always in the best way, but having expectations that's just 4 to 10 percent more than what the child thinks they can do is going to stretch that child. That's my opinion of it. So that really helped me. And so then I got into medical school and at this point, once I got my GCs, CS and A Levels and I realized that actually I was competing nationally, you know, I got my AT Stars two as for example, and I thought I'm in the N point, nor nor 1% of the country, and you feel instantly brighter just having that thing on a piece of paper to tell you.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: It's almost like proof in your mind. Oh, I can actually go into any room and talk to anybody and I can read the same books as you and converse on any topic that I want to. You don't feel slow anymore. And it's almost like you need that proof just to yourself. It's not even that you go around, you know, showing everyone else this proof, but it's just yourself that you think I can go and talk to anybody.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: It doesn't [00:05:00] matter, you know, how great they are, how much money they've got, what degree they have. I feel like I can converse with them. So that's why I think it's important to do well in school, to really study hard, not be distracted as much as I hated my parents for not letting me go to parties and not me, let me go clubbing and doing all the other things that all the other girls got to do.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: I think it was the right thing to do. I think, you know, you do get to do your partying and everything later on. And that really is the time to prove to yourself that you can achieve anything

Amardeep Parmar: And with medicine. Was that the expectations or was that you really wanted to do it? Or where did that come from? 

Dr. Vanita Rattan: Well, I remember at 13 years old, I was watching Richard Branson.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: He was my idol and I was like, I want to do business. 

Amardeep Parmar: He has dyslexia as well. 

Dr. Vanita Rattan: He was my idol. I just, just loved everything about this man. And I want to do business, but business is, has high risk. And, you know, Asian parents are not going to say go and do business when they'veput all these money to education. So they say, we came to an agreement which was [00:06:00] 

Dr. Vanita Rattan: you have to do medicine, but we will fund your first business. And so we came to like a nice understanding where I was like, okay, fine, then it's like a win-win situation. And that's how it came about. Having said that, I think medicine was the best degree I ever could have done. I love the degree. It was, I mean, there just isn't anything like it.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: You get, anyone can come to you with any ailment and you already have a good understanding of what's happening. You can read clinical data andsstudies. You can figure out the best treatments that are available to you. I mean, what's better than that for me? So I think it's just the best degree. 

Amardeep Parmar: So  your first business is actually very different to what you do now, right?

Dr. Vanita Rattan: My  first business was medical education. So the first business I did was at the time there was no YouTube. Imagine this is how far back we were. There was no YouTube. So imagine. You had to go and do assessments on patients, but you haven't seen that patient before because we didn't have a very good teacher to patient ratio when it came to 400 [00:07:00] students at UCL Medical School.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: So there was no video, you know, on say how to assess someone with pulmonary fibrosis, for example. And so what we did is we created a video library, the first ever video library of every patient that could come up for finals that were then assessed by a registrar from that field that didn't exist. And that was my first product.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: It did very well touch wood. And it gave me confidence to think, you know what? I can see where gaps are in the market. I can bring my resources together. I can create something that people love. This is my first ever project. I wonder what else I can do with that ability. So it was always, again, proof to myself, proof of concept that I can do business, that I can help people in areas that other people aren't necessarily looking at.

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah. And then, so you mentioned to me before you also had a restaurant in the early days. 

Dr. Vanita Rattan: Yes.  So then my second business was a restaurant. It was a teppanyaki live food restaurant. And that was a mistake for me because that wasn't my area of [00:08:00] expertise. 

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah. I was about to say why teppanyaki? 

Dr. Vanita Rattan: Why teppanyaki?

Dr. Vanita Rattan: I think we fell into the classic entrepreneur trap where you think, because you've had something that's successful, then you think you can almost do anything, you know, and I can do food and I can do this. But what you forget is in every area you have different players and you really want to find an area of business where there are high barriers to entry.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: It's difficult to get into, you need to have certain set of skills in order to do it, and there has to be a need, the need needs to be enough that is worth pursuing. Now, with fast food, even though it's an expensive business to set up, the barriers to entry are quite low, and so then we're competing with a huge number of people that are probably much better than me at cooking, probably much better than me at sourcing ingredients at better prices, you know, they're just much better than me at [00:09:00] putting a restaurant together.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: And that wasn't my area of expertise and maybe, you know, it was a very humbling experience to realize that actually, you know, you can't do everything, you know, you're not going to be great at everything and you're going to fail. And learn from this, never ever get into a industry where these are the conditions and they're working against you.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: So, it was a difficult lesson at 28 years old. I was pregnant with my first baby. We lost a huge amount of money, hundreds of thousands of pounds at a time where you're desperately saving to buy property and you're desperately saving to give financial stability to your children. It was devastating. I'm not going to sugarcoat it, but I think it's something I definitely had to go through.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: To be more prudent now.

Amardeep Parmar:  How did you  cope at the time? Because obviously lots of people talk about failure and it's a big reason why a lot of people don't start the business right. They're scared of this failure, [00:10:00] but you've been through that failure. Then you continue to do things afterwards and especially being pregnant, like you said, and all of the money as well.

Amardeep Parmar: But then how did you get through that pain or like even to then have the belief in yourself to then start something else afterwards? Because like you said, before you started, you're on cloud nine, right? We're amazing. We can start this business. We can do whatever we want. We can start a teppanyaki restaurant.

Amardeep Parmar: And then afterwards you're like, oh wait, now there's a very real risk that if we start this again in the future. What about that same thing happens again, and then how do you get out of that? 

Dr. Vanita Rattan: So I think  because I'd already proved to myself before that I can be successful, I had that to fall back on.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: Had I not have had my first business be successful or had I not have done a very difficult degree or, you know, achieved in my mind, then maybe I might not have bounced back. Number one. Number two, I'd say I'm. I'm optimistic. I'm an optimistic type of person. I feel even now, I feel like I can do anything.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: I have to bring myself back and go, no, actually you can't do everything. But I think I am quite that type of person. And my dad's always said, pray for [00:11:00] the best, assume the worst. And so I just protect my downside more. And so there was protection, even with the restaurant, the downside was that we weren't going to be destitute.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: We weren't going to be on the street. It was, yes, we would lose our life savings. But I also at the same time had my medical education business, which was, which was keeping us afloat. And at the same time I was working in the lab at the weekends. So we were quite close to opening up the clinic as well. So,  Uh, even though it looks terrible and we did lose a lot of money, it was painful.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: I'd had contingencies in place that if, you know, we were going to be okay, you know, we're not going to lose everything. And I would always say that to anybody, any business you want to start, never put yourself in a situation where you could lose everything because you need to have enough in the tank to come back again for,

Dr. Vanita Rattan: you know, in case it doesn't work out, I'd also say the big mistake I made here was because it was with Westfield. We were, we had to use the most expensive materials. And that was a [00:12:00] mistake. We, you always want to start scrappy, start cheap. That's how you start a business. And so we made that big mistake as well.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: So, I think I think, I think that's how we got out of it is just, at the back of my mind, this was always, this could potentially have always failed. And even now, like, I think any of my business at any point could potentially fail. Do I have contingencies in place? And I do. So, you know, for example, my first property wasn't, you know, let me go and buy my house.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: My first properties were, how do we buy high yield investments that if my business fails? That we have income, another stream of income, and that is unheard of. Like normally people will go and put all their money into their home, whereas we have a small home, but I wanted to make sure that we had another stream of income in case, you know.

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: Business goes under. So I think it's just a different way of thinking and planning and preparing in case it happens. 

Amardeep Parmar: And then with  the clinics, obviously that was your main business for a while. 

Dr. Vanita Rattan:Yeah. 

Amardeep Parmar: How did [00:13:00] you apply those lessons to making sure that clinic was successful? 

Dr. Vanita Rattan: Uh, so clinics, I think we have, that was a very lucky situation because even now to this day, there still isn't a treatment designed for hyperpigmentation and specifically for skin color, even to this day.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: Okay. And this was, this was 10 years ago. So we were full, like we could not cope. I think we were actually, I think our biggest mistake was that we were too full and we were working like over time. And, you know, we didn't really need to put contingencies in place in case it didn't work because, you know, it was, we were working flat out.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: So I think we were lucky then at the same time, I still had my medical education company at the beginning just to make sure that there's, there's. you know, the clinics were going to be successful. So I think that's how I, we buffered the situation. 

Amardeep Parmar: And what made you so passionate? Like, obviously now people who see Instagram or your TikTok, they can see how much you care about skincare, but where did that come from?

Amardeep Parmar: Why are you so passionate about skincare?

Dr. Vanita Rattan: So my parents owned a cosmetic company called Pharma Clinics and it [00:14:00] was their lab in which I was learning. I became an apprentice in their laboratory before I built my own laboratory for the clinic now for skincare by Dr. V. 

Amardeep Parmar: I can't help but think like Dexter's laboratory in my head here.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: No, it's not that. So, yeah, we don't need that much space. About a thousand square feet just for the initial lab. And then, and now we use contract manufacturers because now we have to buy, you know, 10,000 units at a time. Whereas before, you know, you're doing small batch. So it's different. You don't need like a massive space.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: It's small. The, the information you need in order to make it happen. That's the difficult bit. So the beginning bit of opening a lab is very difficult because you have to buy hundreds of ingredients. Um, and they've all got different expiry dates, different kg. You don't use everything. You're going to have waste.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: Um, you can't afford to lose too much money. You know, that's the difficult bit with a laboratory has to be sanitized. But once you've overcome all of that, it's amazing. You know, having your own lab is like, for me, it's a playground. It's like I get to, for example, the other day, my followers said, Dr. P, we need [00:15:00] something for pseudofolliculitis Barbie, which is basically razor bumps that happen very often for black males, because 

Dr. Vanita Rattan: what happens is when they shave, they have curly hair. And when you shave at an acute angle, the hair becomes sharp and it re- pierces the skin, which then leads to an inflammatory response in the skin, which is painful and leads to hyperpigmentation. Again, to this day, there is no product that's been made specifically for black men who have razor bumps.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: It doesn't exist, right? So as soon as I found that out, I went to my laboratories, I started ordering the ingredients that we needed. And now this weekend, I'm putting the ingredients together. I'm going to send it out to 20 of our followers to try, see if they like it. Then we proceed to clinical studies, et cetera.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: And then within four months we'll be, we'll be able to manufacture. And that's based on Wikinomics. That's my following telling me what they need. I've got the laboratory and the funds in order to make it happen. And I can manufacture the thing within four months. You know, it's a very lucky situation where social [00:16:00] media works now and having people who trust you and want to help you.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: And. You know, wanna be on the journey with you. I don't take any of it for granted. 

Amardeep Parmar: Um, were the clinics, were you always making our own products or? Initially, so the products came first.. And part of the clinics. And then you said during the pandemic the clinics had to close. 

Dr. Vanita Rattan:  Yes. 

Amardeep Parmar: Now fully the products, right?

Dr. Vanita Rattan: Yeah. Some of the products, pharma clinics were making for me, some of the products I was making. And then when the. clinic closed during, so during the pandemic, you know, remember it was like three lockdowns, but at the same time we were paying for everything, you know, overheads, we didn't get a furlough scheme.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: We didn't get any rent breaks or anything. So we were losing a lot of money. And it was a very scary time again, because at this point, this was my only business. So me and my husband had to sit down and have quite a difficult conversation, which was what do we do now? And I said, if this carries on like we don't know at this moment, remember at that point in time with limited data, limited information, partial information, we have to make decisions on this partial information.[00:17:00] 

Dr. Vanita Rattan: Plus you're trying not to let your fear take over your decision making process. So we decided we, what we have to do is we need to diversify. We need to sell globally. Um, I'd started a little bit on Instagram and a tiny bit on YouTube, but we hadn't really gone in, you know, hard. So we had to then set up on TiktoK.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: I needed to make five videos a week on YouTube. I had to. Make content. 

Amardeep Parmar: You say you needed to, right? 

Dr. Vanita Rattan:Yeah .

Amardeep Parmar: Where did that come from? 

Dr. Vanita Rattan: That desire? It's like, well, we had to make money to survive. 

Amardeep Parmar: For of people wouldn't necessarily think from product was, okay, I need to go to YouTube. What made you go down that path?

Amardeep Parmar: And you mentioned before how.. yeah

Dr. Vanita Rattan:  It makes sense.  like, say for example, you've got a skincare issue. What are you going to do? You're going to type into Google, right? Like I've got dark circles. What do I do? You're going to type into Google. Then what happens? You're going to have either blogs are going to come up or videos are going to come up from YouTube because of the way search engine works.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: And If you're at the top of YouTube, then you're going to listen to what that person is telling you. So it just makes perfect sense to me. And instead of teaching one person at a time, I can now [00:18:00] teach a hundred thousand people at a time. So you're leveraging your time. And plus with product, you're de linking your time to money.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: So that's the other important thing is in the clinic, you can only see one person at a time. You know, you're, you're selling your time for money. Essentially, that's what you're doing. It puts a cap on what you can earn by doing that. Whereas if you do product, it's scalable. You don't have a cap on your, on what you can achieve and you're highly leveraged because now I can teach a hundred thousand people at the same time instead of one.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: So it made perfect sense to me. That was like, fine. You've got this amazing tool. Like I need to take full advantage. I would highly encourage anyone who has something to teach if they like being on camera and they enjoy teaching. This is the time to be doing it is to create your. community, create a following, create people that you can improve their lives.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: Yeah. I think that the opportunities are endless. I've, you know, my mom wanted to do it. I told her to go for it. My daughter wanted to do it. I told her to go for it. Like I don't tell anyone to go for it.

Amardeep Parmar: And what's interesting is you mentioned earlier [00:19:00] how you're not of the kind of the native generation where people grew up on social media, right?

Amardeep Parmar: You said you didn't have Facebook or university. 

We have a Kodak, you remember the Kodak? You don’t remember ‘cause you're like oh..

Amardeep Parmar: I was a kid, I was a baby.Yeah..

 

Dr. Vanita Rattan: Yeah, So back then there was no Facebook. So Facebook happened. I think like off, like when I got married, I was 25 when Facebook arrived. So imagine guys who guys rowing up with Instagram now, for them, it's normal. Just, oh, I want to go to this club. I want to go to this restaurant. What are people wearing? Let me Instagram it and see what people are wearing.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: You know, we were calling like, so what are you going to wear? What are you going to do? So it was just a completely different era. So then to figure out right now, you need to get good on this platform. You need to be able to add value to people's lives. You need to be interesting. How do you even film?

Dr. Vanita Rattan: Like, are you going to be comfortable putting your body on camera? I don't know. And how do you edit it? All these were new skills and you can do it if you have a growth mindset. If you go, I can achieve anything. If tomorrow [00:20:00] there's a new platform, I'm going to figure it out. I'm going to read a book on it or some videos on it.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: I'll figure it out. If you have that kind of mindset, you will overcome it. But if you have a fixed mindset and you go, no, that was never part of my era, that's another generation. Uh, yeah, we don't do TikTok, then you losing on a massive opportunity, but also when it comes to your children, you're not going to be able to relate to them.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: So a big reason why I can talk to my daughter, like things that she sees on, on TikTok, on my TikTok. She, we can relate to it. I can actually watch her face, see what she liked about video and even tweak it to her liking. Whereas I wouldn't be able to do that if I didn't, wasn't in that mindset in order to do it.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: So even though we didn't grow up with it, I think we can adapt to anything if we want to. 

Amardeep Parmar: And with your own TikTok strategy and your social strategy now, like you're quite famous for going into different shops and analyzing what the ingredients are and whether they're good or bad. Where do those kinds of ideas come from?

Dr. Vanita Rattan: Our followers.  So I call them, our people are called My Dr. E Stock Family and we, They just tell me what they want, literally what product they want, [00:21:00] I will make it. What videos they want, I'll make it, you know, and then I get to do a poll. So for example, with my book that we launched, we conduct the largest ever polls conducted on skin of color.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: Thousands of people responded to these polls and that data then went into these books and now we've sold thousands of copies of these books. So we, because we have access to Hundreds of thousands of people. We are able to collect data and create products that tailor specifically to what they want with ingredients they want, at the price point they want.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: And you know, it's all come because of social media really. 

Amardeep Parmar: And in those early days when you didn't have much of a following, how was it then? Because obviously then you have to try to work out how am I going to get people engaged? How am I going to get people to care about what I'm doing? I'm another person, social media, what makes me stand out?

Amardeep Parmar: How did you plan it at this early days? 

Dr. Vanita Rattan: I still, it changes every month, like which platforms I'm performing best on at the moment, I'd say TikTok I'm performing the best on, which is really shocking to me. But ultimately, you know, The one [00:22:00] that I love the most is probably still going to be YouTube because YouTube long form content are for people who really have a problem and a need that they are dying to learn about.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: They want to know the in depth nitty gritty of that condition or that issue. And so, it's a different type of person you're going to meet. The questions they're going to ask you are going to be more in depth. Um, and they probably would have watched quite a few of your videos and bought your book and invested.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: So I personally think, yes, do TikTok if you are starting, it's fine, but don't forget, think of it like, imagine someone was walking down the road, right? TikTok is a little bit like, you don't know what you're going to see. And it's like. Are you, you're going to find it interesting. You might even watch 10 of them, but are you going to go and be engaged with that person?

Dr. Vanita Rattan: It's kind of like a funneling mechanism. It's a good way of getting to millions of people quite quickly, but long term strategy, if you do want to get into social media, think about YouTube. And I know it takes the most amount of time, but then guess what, because it's such high [00:23:00] barriers to entry, your time, not everybody's doing it.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: Whereas TikTok, you know, you're going to probably 10 X number of people on, on YouTube. Making content.

Amardeep Parmar: It's for example, my background, right, with the Medium account. So people who don't know, Medium is like the long form, like, version of Twitter. And the biggest people in Medium have got maybe like a few hundred thousand followers.

Amardeep Parmar: But each of those is paying members, which is a huge difference. It's much more investment. And if you compare that to somebody who's going to sit there and read an article, which you generally consider a lot of people don't really like to read that much anymore, things like that, they're way more invested in, in say, seeing a TikTok or reading a tweet.

Amardeep Parmar: And that's where sometimes people mess up because they say, look at that overall big picture number of, I've got this many views and a million views for a TikTok versus a million views on a YouTube video is totally different. 

Dr. Vanita Rattan: Totally different. 

Amardeep Parmar:  And it's saying things or impressions on LinkedIn versus an article being read.

Amardeep Parmar: And it's the thing that I see like a lot of people mess up because they're trying to compare to things that aren't the same.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: Correct. Apples and [00:24:00] oranges. But also, what are you trying to achieve? That's the other big question is what is your end goal here? Is it to have as many eyeballs as possible?

Dr. Vanita Rattan: In which case, just do TikTok. Don't do anything else. If that, I mean, you're going to get the most number of eyeballs there, but are you trying to teach YouTube. Or do you have something that's like a restaurant or something that's aesthetically gorgeous and an experience, and you really want people to see it on a daily basis, then you would do Instagram.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: So like pick the area that is going to serve your needs because not everyone can do everything. It's exhausting. I do three platforms and you know, it's a lot. I probably wouldn't recommend, you know, it for everybody, pick the one that is going to give you the outcome that you're looking for.

Amardeep Parmar: And what's interesting as well is most people on YouTube to complete places.

Amardeep Parmar: So many of them are thinking about that as a way to make money themselves, like through those platforms, whether it's YouTube for the program, Google ads, things like that. Whereas what you're doing that's different is that you're using that as a lead generation for your business [00:25:00] in more of that way where you can have things unbiased for free and just just getting that trust of people, right?

Amardeep Parmar: And sometimes what people are very quick to do is to kind of use that trust to then try and sell other people's products very quickly. And I think that's the way a lot of people think about it. The better way to do it in the longer term is what you're doing, right? So create your own products. If you can sell other people's products using your brand, then you're making them money.

Amardeep Parmar: If you're advertising, right? So if you're, for your Instagram platform, you're advertising, people are paying you a thousand pounds per post. Then in the person paying you must be thinking, I can make more than a thousand pounds from that post. Otherwise it's a waste of money, right? And if you make your own products, Then instead of that other person getting all of that Delta, you get it yourself.

Amardeep Parmar: And that's a smart way to think about it in many ways, right? And if you start constantly selling other people's products, you start damaging the trust you have with your, your people, right? And but at the same time, you're leaving money on the table.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: I do. So I'm the, I'm one of the few influencers who don't accept [00:26:00] sponsorship for anything.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: And I've had. I've had blank checks from like the big companies and I said, no, because the second I take that money, how do you know what I'm telling you is correct or not? As much as you may even like be invested in me and you've watched me every day and you've watched me, my kids and everything. How do you know if I really love that thing or not?

Dr. Vanita Rattan: And I'm sure lots of influencers do love them. And that's not any criticism on people who do accept the money because, you know, it, it's hard work putting a following together. So I get it. It makes complete sense. But for me personally, if I was my follower, I would want to know that everything I'm telling you has, there is no money behind it.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: There's no other, uh, incentives and is purely coming from love. And I want to be able to feel that and I want to know it. So that's, that's the following that I want to create. That's my ethos, but I'm not judging anybody else for the way that they have done it, because honestly, creating your own product is not a small thing.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: It, you know. My lab cost me hundreds of thousands of pounds to [00:27:00] get to put together the every time I make a product, it's thousands of pounds just for R and D. So it's not like something that, you know, 13 year old can just go and do. It's it's a very difficult process to get right. And also you could, you could spend all that money and get, go through R and D and still fail.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: And now you've lost, and now you're in a hole. So it's really easy to say like, go and just go make a product. And in my head, I think it's really, let me go make a product. But the reality is anything that you do other than white labeling is gonna take a lot of time and a lot of money, a lot of resources.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: So yeah, so there's a double edged sword, isn't it? 

Amardeep Parmar: I  think it's also a long game versus short game, right? So if you have the money to invest in creating your own products, then you can go for the long game straight away. But a lot of people don't have that, right? And that's where. They can do the shorter game, but it's making sure you don't see the short game as the long game.

Amardeep Parmar: Because then you're always dependent on other people's brands. You're always dependent on other people, right? [00:28:00] But once you get your own product, you still need to be dependent on people because you need them to buy your product. But it's more in your control and you can make sure that you're giving a product which you believe in, rather than needing like, oh, okay, I need to make money this month to pay my mortgage.

Amardeep Parmar: Do I accept this person that I don't really believe in or not? In the long term, you don't want to be in that position. But at the same time, in the short term, you can understand why people do that because it makes sense and it's. Also a lot of people are doing this on the side of their jobs and things like that and it's, it's a different game in the position where you are, where it's your full time income, you've got a family, all these different things, where you can invest, you can play that long game.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: You're right. I like it Short term versus long term. 

Amardeep Parmar: I think that's one of the things a lot of creators and people on YouTube, TikTok, whoever needs to think about is that, do you want to be doing what you're doing now? In five years time, or if not, like, what are you kind of doing to sow the seed for that future where you are more in control?

Dr. Vanita Rattan: Agreed. Like taking on from that point, I actually think a lot of us are quite reactive, uh, and we almost on a day to day are living based on what's going on around us. I think a lot of us don't strategize and think, okay, 12 months from now, [00:29:00] what do I want my life to look like? Five years from now, what do I want my life to look like?

Dr. Vanita Rattan: And really get into the nitty gritty of it, like. Do you want to be in a relationship? If so, who would that person be? Or where exactly would you live and what would your house look like? And what would you be doing on a day to day basis? You know, like really map out your life. I'm a big strategist when it comes to my own life and I would definitely advocate it so that you're not a victim of what's happening around you.

Amardeep Parmar: You've set yourself up for the next question. You know that, right? 

Dr. Vanita Rattan:  Oh gosh. 

Amardeep Parmar: So usually I don't ask people what's their five year plan because I'm going to ask you now, because you say, you know, your five year plan is. So where do you want to be in five years time? Where do you see your products being?

Amardeep Parmar: Where do you see Dr. V being? 

Dr. Vanita Rattan: Do you know what? The rate of growth has blown my mind. I, I would love to say that I think linearly I'll have this many million followers and I'll, you know, be having this many products in five years, but the rate of growth is exponential. And so whatever number I'm going to give you, I, I [00:30:00] truly believe it'll be 10 times that number.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: So what I'm going to, I actually have to flip it on itself. And what happened for me was the most important thing for me was financial abundance and independence. And then the second thing for me, very important for me is giving back. So actually where I see myself in five years is probably giving the majority of what I have away and getting maximum bang for my buck.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: Meaning I want to help the most number of people with the resources that I have. I'm probably going to be focusing more on girls. And children, because that's the, it's an incubator at that point. And if you, I mean, we can talk about the patriarch is what we've had our conversation on the way, but yeah, I probably going to be focusing a lot more on, on helping and educating girls and doing everything I can in that space.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: I've got some really exciting projects that I can't talk about yet, but. Yeah, I think this is, that's probably, that's where I'm going to see myself five [00:31:00] years from now. So it's not really going to be a financial goal because I feel like Touchwood, I've pretty much, I'm happy with, with the way the work is going and business is going, but now I just want to take that money and put it back into the community and back into children.

Amardeep Parmar: Are there any exciting projects you can share that are coming up soon? 

Dr. Vanita Rattan: Oh, there's some really big ones, but I can't really talk about it yet until I've hashed out all the details and you know, I don't want to say something and then it doesn't happen. So I don't want to set myself up for failure. Yeah. I think I'm just going to talk about it every month as we go along.

Amardeep Parmar: Okay. So for this month then what have you got exciting?

Dr. Vanita Rattan: So this month we worked on food banks. So this was really exciting actually. I'm working with Sufra this month. So I don't know if I told you my money that I make from YouTube ads goes to charity. So over the winter months, it was, is pretty hard in the UK.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: And so I focused on food banks. And I went there yesterday just to see how it all worked. You know, usually you go and you just donate food or you donate money, but you don't actually see how it works. And you know, there's this real peace there where people are just, [00:32:00] I don't know, it's this energy and just so much love.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: You can feel it in the air. It's almost palpable. I was telling my daughter about this and she really wants to go and I was telling all my friends and everyone wants to go and help. And it's just, I think a lot of us want to help. I think a lot of us, it's inside us that we want to do something and it makes us feel good.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: And so this is what I would try to do is to try and shine a light on Sufra to show like, this is what you would expect to do. You know, this is what you would do when you go, you know, it's not a scary place. This is what is going to happen. It's a safe place for kids to come and help too. And, That, that was my goal for this month.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: 

Amardeep Parmar: Okay, so it's going to be time for the quickfire questions. 

Dr. Vanita Rattan:  Oh, no. Can we not? 

Amardeep Parmar:So the first one is, who are three British Asians that you'd love to shout out that people listening right now should be getting in contact with or following? 

Dr. Vanita Rattan: Okay,  so I'd say Shivani, uh, my niece actually is my first one. She's the one that got me on TikTok.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: And I think it's really important for us to listen to people younger in our families, they often know more than we do, especially when it [00:33:00] comes to social media. So she really got me onto the Tik Tok. So big shout out to her. The second one, I would say Omer and Sachin, both of them have been my photographers and videographers for all my events, all my.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: campaigns, shoots, everything. I rely on them so heavily. I think they're incredible, just such amazing people to work with. So shout out to them. And of course, Anisha, who does all my events, she is, you know, you find some people in life who have the same energy levels as you, and they just work at the same level as you.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: And they just, you know, just. You just make magic happen together. And every time we sit down, I feel like magic happens. So for me, Anisha's a big one, but there's so many as well. And you just like limited me to three. I think my mom would be really angry if I don't say her as well. My mom is amazing.

Amardeep Parmar: So next one is if people listen right now, who wants to reach out to you and they're looking for help or guidance. What should they reach out to you about? 

Dr. Vanita Rattan: So  for me, [00:34:00] skincare is my whole thing. Skincare for skin of color. There's a lot of products in the market that aren't great for skin of color. And as everyone knows, I'm non sponsored and I will tell you the best and the worst in the market.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: So I think people do reach out to me with that, but actually even better is if you tell me what the problem is, and then I will make a video on that problem. And so instead of just helping one, I can help, you know, hundreds of thousands. And that's always going to be my goal is how, if your problem is oily acne prone skin, let me make a video on that and I can help lots of people.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: That makes more sense in my mind. So tell me what videos you want me to make that works out better for me than any other way of freezing it. 

Amardeep Parmar: And on the other side, is there anything that you're looking for right now that you could, that you need help with.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: Do you know what? I'm really blessed.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: I'm not going to lie. I think the, the, the love I get from our following and from our family is something else. It's something else. They, they steer me in everything from products I need to make, mistakes I'm making. If I've done a faux pas or I have made a mistake or I've offended somebody, they will call it out so quickly.

Dr. Vanita Rattan: And I can [00:35:00] apologize really quickly. You know, it's. Who else has that? I don't even like, I'm so lucky that I feel like I don't even need to ask anyone for help because they're already helping me on a daily basis. I couldn't be more blessed truly. 

Amardeep Parmar: And then finally, have you any final words for the audience?

Dr. Vanita Rattan:  I think I just gratitude. I think I'm just so grateful and I will never take any of you for granted and I thoroughly love what I do and I'll continue to do it for as long as you want me to. So thank you so much for all your support.

Amardeep Parmar: Hello, hello everyone. Thank you so much for listening. It means a huge amount to us and we don't think you realize how important you are because if you subscribe to our YouTube channel, if you leave us a five star review, it makes a world of difference. And if you believe in what we're trying to do here,

Amardeep Parmar: tao inspire, connect and guide the next generation British Asians. If you do those things, you can help us achieve that mission and you can help us make a bigger impact. And by doing [00:36:00] that, it means we can get bigger guests. We can host more events. We can do more for the community. So you can play a huge part.

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