Meet Shweta Shah, an entrepreneur and nutritionist to celebs like Katrina Kaif and Deepika Padukone
Shweta Shah began taking early interest in how food affects the human body when she lost 15 kg as a teenager. During ninth standard, she recalls accompanying her mother to a seven-day-long programme to an ashram, where they taught about the power of food. Soon, her mother, who religiously followed diet-related advice from the sessions, not only beat arthritis but also helped Shweta’s father overcome diabetes.
It was her mother who suggested that Shweta pursue a career in the field of nutrition as it will go a long way in helping herself and family members stay healthy, aside from making a living.
With nearly two decades experience as a dietician, Shweta has founded three wellness and nutrition brands, with clients including celebrities like Deepika Padukone, Katrina Kaif, and Rakul Preet Singh, Sakshi Dhoni, and sports personalities Gautam Gambhir and Harbhajan Singh.
Shweta holds a postgraduate degree in dietetics and applied nutrition from Nirmala Niketan in Mumbai. She says she was always determined to guide people towards a healthy lifestyle by checking what they eat. She believes the power lies in teaching how not to be in need of medicines.
A mother of two young children, Shweta quit her full-time job and started freelancing in 2011. She went from door-to-door and quickly gained a good clientele base and reputation through word-of-mouth.
“In 2014, my brother suggested that we combine my knowledge in diet and nutrition with his expertise in artificial intelligence, and thus launched a mobile application called EatFit247. He was concerned with seeing me visiting clients’ places personally,” she shares.
Started with about 600 unique recipes, Shweta helps design meal and water charts for specific health needs and occasions like wedding and eventually began connecting with clients virtually on calls.
Besides this, Shweta is building two other wellness brands -- Fitza and Nutrolife. Available on both Android and iOS, Fitza offers personalised subscription-based meal planning services for different medical and health conditions. Packed with over 2,000 all natural recipes developed by Shweta, it is in pilot phase at present, and she hopes to launch it officially soon. “It is my brain in the form of an app,” Shweta quips.
Her latest venture, Nutrolife, is a direct-to-consumer (D2C) brand offering organic immunity powder. While this has been in use with her clients for over seven years, she says lockdown became the perfect time to package and ready it for a formal launch in the market, and is available on Amazon.
The COVID-19 impact
While most businesses suffered losses and layoffs during the pandemic, Shweta saw increased engagement and concerns. More importantly, for the entrepreneur and celebrity dietician, it helped her overcome the biggest challenge of her career.
A firm believer in the ancient Ayurvedic practice and science, Shweta always found it difficult to direct her clients towards these traditional practices.
“People think weight equals fat and were focused on 1,000-calorie diets and other western concepts and would just hound calories. COVID-19 is helping me convince them that Ayurveda and being natural is the way to go,” she says.
Shweta started with just a pen and paper and zero initial investment as there were no clinics to invest in and was later joined by Himanshu Shah and Kiran Jain as co-founders. Today, she is seeing at least three to four new clients every day and manages a team of 22 people to run three brands.
"I am not money-minded with these ventures and the goal is to help people protect themselves," she concludes.