Yummy gummy: this entrepreneur offers daily vitamins that are a blend of Indian herbs and Western ingredients
Most women ignore their health as they put the needs of their families above theirs. A woman’s biological makeup requires different nutrients to keep her healthy through every stage of life.
However, various studies point out that the most common nutritional deficiencies in India come from inadequate intake of vitamin D, iron, vitamin B12, and folate.
Stress, unhealthy eating habits, and a sedentary lifestyle all contribute to these deficiencies. Regular signs of deficiency like acne, hair fall, fatigue, insomnia or food cravings are rarely treated at the root, and women shy away from taking supplements due to various reasons – nonchalance, lack of time, or hesitancy to pop a pill every day.
Gummies for good health
The nutraceutical space is changing the way people are looking at their daily dose of vitamins. Nyumi, a startup with a focus on women, was launched by Ananya Kejriwal Agarwal last month. It has launched five nutraceutical products in the gummy form to target the most prevalent women-centric issues: immunity, hair, skin, sleep, and urinary tract wellness.
Nyumi, a play on the term, ‘new me’ aims to convince women of the need to take these daily doses of goodness to transform into a “better and healthier version of themselves” with products that are formulated with a blend of Indian herbs like haldi, amla, and tulsi with advanced Western nutrients like biotin and hyaluronic acid.
Ananya is a techie-turned entrepreneur having completed her engineering from Olin College of Engineering, Boston, and has an MBA from Harvard. She worked in the tech sector in places like Microsoft, with her last stint at mental wellness company, Headspace.
Passionate about the intersection of tech, wellness, and design, Ananya believes that bringing research and development into the wellness space led her to start Nyumi. That coupled with the idea of using ancient remedies with western ingredients backed by scientific evidence led to a holistic approach towards women’s health.
“We set about building something that is actually enjoyable and helps women cultivate good habits. My design thinking led to ‘how do we invent this?’” she says.
After a team of German and Indian experts spent more than two years on R&D, they discovered that a blend of Indian herbs and Western nutrients could build vitamins that were not only effective but also pleasant in taste.
Tasty and healthy alternatives
She agrees that the nutraceutical market is growing fast. As per International Trade Administration, the nutraceuticals market is expected to grow from $4 billion (in 2017) to $18 billion by 2025.
“I think this is because more women are facing a host of health issues ranging from PCOD, PCOS, and others because as a whole, you see a huge amount of health issues and are becoming aware of the need for supplementation and having that balance in their bodies,” she adds.
Nyumi has come up with a combination of products to match different parts of their life cycles and focus on their nutritional needs. For example, Ananya says, the alternative for people who suffer from recurrent UTI is either cranberry juice that’s rich in sugar or pop a pill. Nyumi offers them a gummy vitamin that keeps it at bay.
“We already have four more products in advanced stages of development. We want to be with women all the way – from maturity to menopause,” she says.
Nyumi targets women in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, and Ananya says the products have been resonating with women across the board, even those in their 50s. They are manufactured at a factory in Pondicherry in partnership with a German company. The products are priced between Rs 800 and Rs 1000. Apart from its own website, they are available on ecommerce platforms like Amazon and Nykaa.
Ananya’s marketing strategy banks on relevant social media content, paid advertising, influencer marketing, and increasing popularity through word-of-mouth.
“Our differentiator comes from our R&D. I don’t think any other brand has focused on product development like we have, and that too across two countries. It’s not just the formulations, but we make sure that every ingredient we source is of the highest quality,” Ananya says.
Nyumi is currently bootstrapped with investment from Ananya’s family office.
“We will continue to build products to serve the life cycle of women, because we want to be there at every stage, whenever they need us. We are also looking to launch Nyumi in global markets within a year and continue to help people discover our products,” she adds.