As Indians become increasingly health conscious, they have gradually started placing extra emphasis on what they eat, how they feel, and how fit they are. The growing consumer awareness in India about the importance of nutrition in disease prevention has given a boost to the nutraceuticals market in the country.
Sushil Khaitan (58), a fitness enthusiast and an engineer by profession, was looking to enter the healthcare industry. Looking at the nutraceutical trend, he joined hands with Luke Coutinho, a nutritionist, and started PureNutrition in 2016 in Mumbai.
PureNutrition collects, processes, manufactures, and markets herbal nutritional supplements, cold pressed oils, protein powders, and herbal teas for people in the age group of 38 to 60 years.
“We continually develop and expand our range of organic health products in order to prevent, reduce, and manage diseases and enhance the overall health and well-being of people,” says Sushil.
According to a Research and Markets report, urban consumers represent 67 percent of the vitamin and dietary supplement market in India, compared to 33 percent rural consumers.
How it all started?
After working in the metal industry for nearly 30 years, Sushil wanted to do something different. Health conscious right from the beginning, he would participate in marathons to keep himself fit.
“Entering the nutraceutical sector therefore satisfied my business goals, as well as my desire to promote sustainable healthy living,” says Sushil.
Pure Nutrition was initially started as Herbs Nutriproducts, a company headed by Luke Coutinho, who was a nutritionist. Luke was working on some products for cancer patients when he approached Sushil with a proposal. Luke asked Sushil if he could invest in the company, which eventually led to the birth of Pure Nutrition.
“With my three decades of entrepreneurial experience and Luke’s vast knowledge of the nutrition industry, we are an ideal team with the perfect balance of knowledge, skills, and experience,” says Sushil.
Today, Pure Nutrition consists of 60 employees, including two Ayurvedic full-time doctors. While Sushil is the Director of the company, Luke is a part of the company’s board, and approves all the formulations of its products.
How is it different?
According to Sushil, Pure Nutrition products are formulated by plant-based or herbal supplements. Its products are a combination of Ayurveda and vitamin formulation. At present, Pure Nutrition is competing with brands such as Zenith and Setu in the market.
Sushil says, “Pure Nutrition specialises in the creation of nutraceutical products with high quality ingredients for outcome-based results. We create premium formulations of plant-based supplements that have notably higher bioactivity levels, which ensures better absorption in the human body as against synthetic products, which have little to no effect on the human body. This precise focus on creating extra-ordinary and bio-active formulations has also been a huge driver as far as customer retentions are concerned.”
But being a nutraceutical brand, Pure Nutrition has faced many challenges over the years. Lack of awareness about its uses among consumers and even healthcare professionals has been one of its main challenges.
Sushil says another challenge was setting up an ethical and economically viable brand that would deliver high quality products within the current market constraints.
“The market today has been flooded with low quality products that have poor bio availability, and there has been reports of fake supplements being sold in the market. As these fake supplements are sold at a lower price, it becomes difficult for us to justify our price to the potential audience,” says Sushil.
According to a research on global markets, the nutraceuticals market in India was valued at Rs 26,000 crores in 2017 and is expected to reach Rs 80,000 crores by 2023, with a CAGR of 17 percent.
Currently, Pure Nutrition sells its products on Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, 1MG, PharmEasy, Netmeds, as well on its website. Apart from Indian ecommerce platforms, the team claims it is also present on Amazon USA, the UK, Spain, France, and Italy, and will be shortly available in Germany. Its products are also available in around 90 stores in FMCG chains and around 300 pharmacy stores across India. It has two exclusive retail stores in Mumbai airport as well.
Revenue and future plans
Talking about its revenue model, Sushil says the company gets maximum sales from its nutrition supplement products, with 65-70 percent sales coming from it. The average price of its products being around Rs 1,000.
The company has third-party manufacturing outlets in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pollachi, and Coimbatore.
Due to the availability of many fake products in the market, safety has remained as much of a concern as the indiscriminate use of these products, which are sold over the counter. Sushil says Pure Nutrition follows the Certificate of Analysis (COA), and its products are approved by a third-party government approved lab. The company claims to have around 500 customers across India, with 50 percent repeat customers.
Pure Nutrition raised Rs 4 crore in seed funding in 2017, led by Asha Jindal Khaitan, a veteran in the health and wellness industry.
“We have clocked revenues of around Rs 9.25 crore by March FY2018-19 and are targeting a turnover of over Rs 20 crore by next year. We are also looking at the franchise route in order to grow and expand, and aim to open 100 stores across the country in the coming year,” says Sushil.
The company said it will soon be introducing protein bars, peanut butters, fruit jams, cookies, etc., and plans to concentrate on vitamin formulation for the sports industry in the near future.
It is also planning to roll out on-ground activities, which will include organising exhibitions and seminars in order to create awareness among the community.