This hemp startup is bringing back the benefits of ancient plant-based remedies into the mainstream
As a patient of an autoimmune disorder, Abhinav Bhaskar chanced upon medical cannabis or Vijaya leaf extract as an effective option for fighting not just pain and inflammation but also a host of problems he developed due to prolonged use of heavy medication. This led him to start Ananta Hemp Works in 2020 along with his friend Vikram Bir Singh with the aim of taking the golden benefits of hemp to more and more people.
“The more I researched, the more I realised the numerous benefits of this plant,” he says. Deeply rooted in Ayurveda, the Delhi-based startup is a hemp-based wellness, personal care and nutrition focused venture with a revolutionary line of products catering to personal care and wellbeing at affordable prices.
“We make all of our items with the view that everyone should have access to better personal and nutritional care. Each product is created with utmost attention and research,” adds Abhinav.
Hemp, Hemp, Hooray!
Ananta has three main product categories – nutritional range, personal care range, and wellness range. CannaEase and Imroz are their sub-brands that focus on wellness and affordable personal care.
"We started our venture with the goal of spreading knowledge and awareness about the ancient plant and making its products accessible to people who can reap the benefits of hemp in its varied forms,” says Abhinav. Here’s a detailed list of their innovative product line:
Nutrition - All the hemp products like hemp hearts, hemp seed powder, hemp seed oil and more are extracted with care to ensure that the hemp’s nutritional value is not compromised and remains intact. Hemp is an excellent source of protein and many other valuable nutrients like omega, minerals, etc.
Personal Care - With a wide range of personal care and cosmetic products like hemp body butter, hemp face serums, hemp soap bars and more, Ananta offers an excellent alternative to products that heavily rely on chemicals.
CannaEase Petwell - This includes a set of products that help pets stay healthy and improves their overall well-being with an all-natural alternative.
CannaEase Wellness - Hemp seed oil and Hemp leaf extract assures relief from skin disorders, digestive disorders, heart diseases, strengthens immunity system, brain function, insomnia, pain and other lifestyle disorders among innumerable benefits for the wellness of the body.
Imroz - This body care focused brand uses natural ingredients that are cruelty-free and is affordable/economical, for all. Hemp seed oil contains naturally occurring anti-inflammatory qualities and is high in vitamins and antioxidants. It is an excellent moisturiser because it contains linolenic acid and linoleic acid, which are the primary Omega 3 and Omega 6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Apart from hemp, Imroz’s product range has several other natural ingredients like kumkumadi oil, bhringraj oil, papaya, kakadu plum, tea extracts, shikakai, and many more.
Overcoming the hurdles of cannabis
Hemp’s vast potential is slowly being reckoned with, despite being shrouded by many regulations and guidelines because of the nature of the cannabis plant. Another big hurdle was the lack of awareness and knowledge of the industry.
“As a business, we have been very conscious of always operating within regulations and helping people understand the real benefits of this miraculous plant. So first we had to educate ourselves, and be sure of the best possible practices before we could launch the products,” reveals Vikram Bir Singh.
“The taboos and myths surrounding the ingredients are more deeply ingrained than one may realise, and dealing with them presented a significant problem,” Vikram adds. As a 100 percent doctor-focused brand,is working towards building an ayurveda community and ayurveda doctors' community.
Growth and funding
The operations started out with a relatively small team and were completely bootstrapped. Currently, Ananta Hemp Works is available at around 22 marketplaces, and over 120 doctors are associated with the startup.
Rajesh Kumar Gupta, part of a global FMCG giant has shown confidence in Ananta and has picked up stake in the company in March 2022. “With his pioneering experience and wisdom, Ananta is all set to take a leap now with and make a mark in the hemp industry in India as well as internationally,” says Abhinav.
Talking about future plans, Abhinav shared that they aim to create an accessible, affordable range of personal care products, whilst creating the biggest Ayurveda doctors' community in the world.
“We want to make hemp-based medicines mainstream. The benefits of hemp should reach maximum people who need it, whether it's medicines or personal care. We want to revolutionise the space of hemp medicine and skincare by providing great quality products at affordable prices,” he adds.