How this digital-first brand is building a one-stop destination for all things home and health
Mumbai-based digital platform—a brainchild of former CFO Sachin Parikh and former Amazon and Unilever executives Neehar Modi and Anvi Shah—is building a marketplace for home and health needs.
“We believe that everyone wants a greater quality of life and health and home are the categories that can help you upgrade the quality,” says Sachin.
Founded in June 2021, Pratech is a content-led digital-first retailer with a focus on two categories, home and health. The trio believes that D2C (direct-to-consumer) health and wellness is on the cusp of digital disruption, similar to where the Indian beauty industry was five years ago.
“What has happened is that the needs of the consumers have changed from macro to micro. There is no household buying anymore, instead individual needs are taken care of which is where emerging D2C brands come through. A large brand cannot cater to those needs because the market size is not there. They want to cater to volume. They cannot cater to those individual niches that keep emerging,” explains Sachin.
“Consumers are hyper-aware, and they demand convenience, relevance and agility, from the brands they purchase from,” he adds.
Neehar leads Pratech’s home vertical while Anvi is responsible for its health vertical. Both segments have different business models, the startup says.
“Home is a $40-45 billion market in India, and it's still growing. One of the things that caught our attention when we were looking at this category was that home is divided into categories and sub-categories, and each of them are hamlets in themselves,” says Neehar.
Under the home vertical, Pratech has launched its own brand called ‘Tesora’ which offers home and kitchen small appliances like air oven, air fryer, electric kettle and bladeless tower fan.
These products are developed in-house and are sold through the Tesora website, and marketplaces like Amazon.
“Millennials and gen-Z are coming into purchasing power, and these new-age consumers do not just want to buy things that work well but also want aesthetic products which are elegant. It is not just about functionality or robustness anymore,” he adds.
A brand under Pratech—Hyugalife—is building a platform for educational content on wellbeing and nutrition, authentic products curated by renowned experts in health and wellness, and personalised and assisted shopping for customers who want to know more about healthy living.
“What we are looking to do is create a market for health instead of just selling a few products within the existing market share,” says Anvi.
Hyugalife aims to host over 1,000 brands across categories including women’s health, Ayurvedic and plant-based supplements, kids health, sports nutrition, vitamins, minerals and supplements, health foods among others.
The startup will also have a concern-based category.
“There are some incredible new brands in this space that are really solving consumer problems, but are unable to drive the right level of education with the consumer. We will be helping brands to distill and deliver accurate and easy to digest information, backed by experts,” says Anvi.
“Until we do this, only Facebook and Instagram will continue to make money,” she adds.
While building Hyugalife, Anvi onboarded nutritionists, paediatricians, general physicians, and experts to build a basic framework which guides the customer in their shopping journey.
To ensure the product quality, and to make certain that no counterfeit products make their way on the Hyugalife marketplace the startup would only be sourcing products either from core brands or their primary dealers.
In April 2022, Pratech Brands raised $3 million in a seed round led by Sequoia India’s Surge. Surge is Sequoia Capital India’s rapid scale-up program for startups in India and Southeast Asia.
In the home category, Pratech aims to launch more brands in niche areas while also increasing Tesora’s SKUs (stock keeping units) from the four current ones to 50, Sachin tells YourStory.
“Electronics is a big space that even 50 SKUs is not a lot but for each SKU, the market size is so big that it is a large business that we are building. Now, the goal is to accelerate, to push the pedal,” says Sachin.
The startup is also looking to hire a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), among other team members. The startup currently has 40 employees.
Within the next 3-4 months, the startup is also looking to set up four functional warehouses for home and health to maintain the supply chain and have faster deliveries.
(This story was updated to change Neehar's and Anvi's prior experience in the second paragraph, and correct a typo in the sixth paragraph.)