Fitness is becoming a craze in India. Losing weight or gaining muscle are major reasons why people go to the gym. To achieve these goals, cardiovascular exercises and weight training are recommended. But diet is a major factor which can make or break any fitness plan.
Trainers recommend creating and following a personalised diet plan which is in line with a person’s fitness goals. For example, if somebody is trying to build muscle, he/she has to consume more calories in a day than he/she burns. If fewer calories are consumed, then the person usually cannot build muscle irrespective of the weight, strength, or resistance exercises being done.
With our high-intensity lifestyles, it is challenging to follow these meal plans and consume the right proportions of micro and macronutrients. Thus, dietary supplements are becoming popular because they are usually easy to mix into regular foods or beverages.
They provide a big boost to the nutrition in the food items being consumed. They come in many forms such as whey, creatine, protein blends, amino acids, protein bars, and more.
With India gearing up to consume a lot of dietary supplements, entrepreneurs Girish Joshi (31) and Sarvesh Moghe (31) decided to capitalise on the opportunity. In 2014, the duo launched Xpresshop Online Store to source and sell supplements over the internet. Joshi and Moghe invested Rs 50 lakh to open up shop.
“India has a huge market for supplements, and it is growing by five percent every year. As normal fitness enthusiasts, Girish and I aimed to provide the best one-stop shop solution for buying genuine supplements,” says Sarvesh Moghe, Co-Founder, HealthXP.
After three years, the duo rebranded their business ‘HealthXP’ and started calling it an online health nutrition platform. Now, customers can purchase a wide range of dietary supplements from the website and also read articles on fitness and workouts. They can find free fitness plans to adopt as well.
The duo picked the name ‘HealthXP’ because they aimed to provide “express delivery for genuine supplements. In this regard, HealthXP stands for ‘health express’. It has the following broad offerings: supplements, resources, plans, and communities.
The brand signed Indian actor and bodybuilder Sahil Khan as their brand ambassador. From here, the Mumbai-based business rapidly grew and went on to record a Rs 50 crore turnover last year.
“We are known for delivering genuine sports nutrition supplements to health enthusiasts at a very affordable pricing. We offer a wide range of health products across categories and major brands,” says Girish Joshi, Co-Founder and Managing Director, HealthXP.
“My role in the company includes strategy formulation, managing sales, and working on the expansion and handling investor relations of the company. I am also the Director of TeckZilla Software Solutions,” he adds.
Joshi comes from a technical background. He started his career as a software developer before becoming an entrepreneur. This is the case for Moghe as well, who is a technical specialist in automation solutions.
“For our supplements store, we have tie-ups with all the main importers of supplements. They are Neuvera Wellbeing, Kar Enterprises, Arena Impex, Bright Commodities, World Impex, and more,” explains Joshi. “On our resources centre we provide free articles with valuable data on various exercises.”
For those needing a fitness plan, HealthXP hosts a number of instructional plans and videos. “Our plans have directions for doing exercises in the correct manner. We also have daily physical exertion plans, nutrition data, email and text inspirations, fitness tracking, and more,” Moghe says. Customers can also read success stories of fitness enthusiasts on the website.
Since fitness trends can be influenced by digital experiences, the business is staying in touch with digital media to stay relevant. “We leverage digital media to reach consumers from every part of India. We are aggressive in strategically promoting the brand through a number of digital plans,” Joshi says.
“Onboarding Sahil Khan as the brand ambassador was part of our digital plan since he has a strong social media presence,” he adds. “We also do influencer marketing to reach a big number of relevant audience. Further, we do advertisements on Google Display Network and Facebook. We are also into sending emails, SMS and web/app push notifications to subscribed users.”
Gains and losses
With their holistic approach to fitness, HealthXP won ‘Best Health Startup of 2018’ at the Indian Health and Wellness Summit Awards. But the journey has only started. The market for nutrition supplements is large, and the cost of products play a big role in deciding who succeeds and who fails.
“We keep our prices very economical as compared to our competitors. We also focus on offering the most relevant health supplements to consumers as per their fitness goals,” Joshi says.
But the large number of fitness and supplement brands makes it difficult for any business to stand out. For HealthXP, building their brand image as a trustworthy and health supplement-focussed brand was a challenge.
“This was mainly due to the widespread counterfeit health supplements in the country. Additionally, since we maintain competitive pricing, striking the perfect balance between a healthy revenue and affordable products is challenging,” he says.
Joshi believes that a large number of health startups shut down in 2017 due to their strategy to survive on negative margins. “This never helps businesses to sustain in the long run. That’s why we never do business on negative margins, negative cash flow, and negative working capital,” he says.
In the near future, HealthXP plans to collaborate with top fitness brands of India. It then wants to launch its own brand of supplements. Joshi says that the business also plans to enhance its presence through the expansion of warehouses and offline stores across India. “Making HealthXP one of the biggest marketplaces in India’s fitness industry is our primary aim. Simultaneously, we will make efforts to reduce the presence of counterfeit health supplements and harmful drugs in the market,” he says.