How this entrepreneur made Rs 3 Cr revenue in 1 year with his fitness and wellness store
In 2016, biotech graduate Suresh Raju started, a nutraceuticals manufacturing business, in Hyderabad. From an early stage, he realised consumers would increasingly look to lead wellness-oriented lifestyles and care about nutrition and fitness.
To reach customers effectively, he felt he needed a customer-facing, omnichannel nutrition store that would act as a marketplace for various nutraceutical products - not just those made by Genomelabs.
In 2020, this led to the formation of Fitday, a wellness marketplace for functional foods, medical foods, immunity boosters and health and wellness products.
“Following an omnichannel approach, we set up an online platform fitday.in, and three brick-and-mortar stores in Hyderabad. In just a year, Fitday’s revenue from online sales and store walk-ins has been Rs 3 crore. We are expecting to reach Rs 10 crore next year,” he tells SMBStory in an interview.
A Fitday store
Nutraceuticals are substances that come in the form of chewables, gummies, lozenges, etc., containing vitamins, minerals, proteins, fibres, probiotics, amino acids, etc. They can play a vital role in immunity boosting.
Increasingly busy lifestyles, rising patient awareness, body image considerations and pill fatigue are among several reasons for the rise of nutraceuticals in India. A study by Assocham and RNCOS estimated the nutraceuticals market in India could reach $8.5 billion by 2022 from $2.8 billion in 2015.
Fitday is tapping into this by making Genomelabs’ and other leading manufacturers’ nutraceutical products available easily to consumers. Collaborating with manufacturers like Nestle, Isopure and Optimum Nutrition, the self-funded brand hosts over 1000 SKUs on its platform.
Around 60 percent of the products available at Fitday are made by parent company Genomelabs while the rest is sourced from other brands.
“We partner with brands that believe and practice the same principles, i.e, sourcing organic and locally-grown produce, and using chemical-free raw materials to create affordable nutraceuticals. Fitday also offers fitness and nutrition consulting,” Suresh explains.
The Genomelabs facility in Hyderabad
Building awareness on nutraceuticals
Suresh’s goal has been to create well-researched nutraceutical products and build awareness on the crucial role they can play in boosting health and immunity.
He says 70 percent of weight loss can be achieved through diet and the rest through exercise. According to him, it was a challenge building awareness about the importance of nutrition and dietary supplements such as nutraceuticals. This was especially true among people looking to boost their health and immunity primarily through exercise in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Suresh also stresses on the fact that Fitday is not merely an aggregator.
“Besides our products and services being available online and offline, we have highly-qualified nutritionists who offer free counselling and help guide customers with what suits their needs best. We also have machines for free BMI analysis and dieticians for creating personalised diet programmes,” he says.
The road ahead for Fitday
Although other fitness and wellness centres and hospitals have their own dieticians and health consultants, Fitday believes it is different as it is building a complete ecosystem for well-being right from product research, formulation, manufacturing, product sales, fitness and nutrition consulting.
Presently, Fitday supplies nutraceuticals across the country through its ecommerce platform. With the COVID-19 pandemic influencing the market to opt for healthy nutrition and supplements, Suresh is looking to set up 50 stores pan India in three years.
“The demand for nutraceuticals and functional foods is already witnessing an upward surge, with consumers opting for immunity-boosting supplements as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he says, adding:
“We are looking to create a better quality of life across ages, tackle malnutrition that arises out of improper diet and eliminate lifestyle diseases. We consider this from a socio-economic angle and not purely as a business,” he says.