Owned by the OmniActive Technologies, Setu taps the growing nutraceutical industry.
At a Glance
Founder: Nihaal Mariwala
Year it was founded: 2015
Where it is based: Mumbai
Sector: Dietary supplement products brand
The problem it solves: provides dietary supplements
Funding raised: Undisclosed amount - Owned by OmniActive Technologies and Everstone
Stress and anxiety are a huge part of the modern world. Sedentary lifestyles with little or no exercise, exposure to digital screens, stress, an unhealthy diet have all increased the incidence of ailments like eye fatigue, indigestion and diabetes.
Increasingly, a large number of people are seeking new age natural solutions (evolved by science) to address modern lifestyle issues with the help of nutritional remedies.
Enter Setu, a homegrown brand that provides both single ingredient and multi-ingredient natural solutions for protection and healing purposes.
Setu was started by Nihaal Mariwala (26) when after moving back from the US, he realised how drastically his lifestyle had changed.
On the concept, Nihaal says, “The hectic nature of life means a rise in chronic lifestyle diseases like diabetes. Something had to be done. It wasn’t a single moment that led to starting up but more to do with a series of opportune moments. My family has been in the natural ingredients space for a long time and the transition to healthier food was incidental. It has allowed us to keep shifting shapes to suit the times.”
Nihaal belongs to the Mariwala family which runs OmniActive Technologies. He had spent some time working at the OmniActive’s New Jersey office, during which time, he gained exposure to US markets.
“We believed India will pan out in a similar way and the quality and size of market will continue to grow. We provide large scale financial and social benefits, particularly by working to decrease long term health costs by improving nutrient deficiencies and reducing the prospect of harmful diseases being a burden on our population and economic system,” adds Nihaal.
The solutions are crafted to strengthen body functions to solve and check conditions caused by present-day lifestyles.
Setu currently has 13 products that offer solutions for vision, heart, immunity, liver and diabetes. “Our modern health supplements, whose ingredients are sourced from Indian farms and are formulated using the best of scientific breakthroughs to help prevent and fight health problems caused by modern lifestyle,” he says.
Talking about the key challenges and how he overcame them, Nihaal says, “Customer acceptance is still a challenge – even though awareness is growing exponentially. Regulatory issues are the largest foreseeable challenges, and also public awareness and education. We have overcome these by investing heavily into creating awareness and educating customers on both the basics and intricacies of nature sourced nutrition.”
Setu has a team of nine and is supported by Everstone and OmniActive customer-facing teams.
The company claims to be growing at a healthy rate for ecommerce businesses and are actively exploring better ways to build the products and distributing them among the target market of health conscious people between the ages of 28 and 48.
The Drug Marketing and Manufacturing Association (DMMA) says nutraceuticals are a rising branch in the pharmaceuticals industry, and are estimated to clock a compounded annual growth rate of about 16 percent in the next five years.
It also adds that India’s nutraceutical industry is set to double in size to approximately $4 billion by 2020 as a rapid surge in the demand for dietary supplements from the upper and middle class drives the growth for the industry over the next five years.
There has been an increase in the number of brands tapping the market. Brands like Zenith and Pure Nutrition to name a few.
How is Setu different? Nihaal explains, “Our approach to formulations is clear. Ingredients that have clear clinical evidence supporting their benefits will be utilised in FSSAI regulation compliant quantities in the best possible delivery format for the needs of the target market. We will also be focusing increasingly on ease of consumption. We have already begun to occupy a unique and premium position through our standalone products and will build our portfolios to include new categories related to basic vitamins, proteins, skin and energy formulations.”
The products are available online through its website and marketplaces like Amazon, HealthKart, and Nykaa. Offline pilots are also in the works.
Setu is owned and by OmniActive Health Technologies, a natural ingredient supplier of choice to a dietary supplement, wellness and health food and beverage companies and Everstone Group.
For the future, it plans to build its online business to its potential. “We are looking at a growth of 500x per month in the next year. We are also working on a pilot offline plan with partners through Everstone. We also hope to build products to a bigger (2x) range within 1.5 years catering to multiple health needs in nutrition for specific target groups,” says Nihaal.