Why this 42-year-old Vadodara-based pharma group decided to foray into nutraceuticals

Vasu Healthcare was launched in 1980 by three brothers. In 2019, it forayed into nutraceuticals but it was only after the COVID-19 pandemic that this vertical has picked up steam.

Why this 42-year-old Vadodara-based pharma group decided to foray into nutraceuticals

Friday March 04, 2022,

3 min Read

The COVID-19 pandemic put the spotlight squarely on health – and it’s not moving anytime soon.

This shift has opened the doors to several opportunities for pharmaceutical and nutraceutical companies. According to the International Trade Administration, India’s nutraceutical industry is expected to hold at least 3.5 percent of the global market share by 2023 and is likely to grow to $18 billion by the end of 2025.

While several new companies have emerged in this space thanks to the growth potential, several established players are gung-ho about leveraging this trend. Among them is Vadodara-based Vasu Healthcare.

The company, which manufactures and sells pharmaceutical and personal care products, was founded in 1980 by brothers VB Ukani, HB Patel, and JB Ukani.

In 2019, it decided to launch a nutraceutical vertical, Vasu Nutra, but the journey was not hunky-dory as the pandemic struck the world in 2020.

Sagar Patel, the company’s director and second-generation entrepreneur who joined the business in 2005, says the business is gradually recovering and is on the path to “scale exponentially”.


Focusing on preventive healthcare

Vasu Healthcare, which exports its products to 50 countries, noticed a trend in the international market: preventive healthcare products. The company was earleir selling 200 health and personal care products, including creams, moisturisers, hair oil, syrups, pain-relieving creams, etc.

But the brand lacked a category that focused solely on preventive healthcare. This was the reason behind the launch of Vasu Nutra in 2019.

Sagar says that the demand for Ayurvedic products is high “not just in India but also abroad”.

“The aim of Vasu Nutra is to offer products made of the finest herbs and nutraceutical ingredients,” Sagar says.

The first product launched by the company was Bonton DQ, a combination of calcium and Vitamin D3.

The company picked up steam in 2021, as more and more people started taking note of their health and wellness.

“Awareness around healthcare helped generate greater demand and is also responsible for the recovery of the business,” he says, adding that the Safe Herbs category received maximum demand during COVID-19.

Apart from new brands, established companies such as Supreem Pharmaceuticals and Synthite Industries have also ventured into this category.

The healthcare arm has also launched a herbal supplements range that includes products such as Ashwagandha, Amalaki, Guduchi, Turmeric, and more in capsule form.

All products are 100 percent vegan and free of preservatives, Sagar claims. “We want to sell products which promote overall health and wellbeing while boosting immunity, energy, and stamina.”

Vasu Nutra plans to contract-manufacture in units across the country as the “needs and requirements for making these products are diverse”.

The company claims to sell two lakh units of Bonton DQ every year. Three percent of the sales come from online platforms such as Amazon, Nykaa, Flipkart, and Tata Cliq whereas the rest comes from offline channels like general trade and modern trade. The products are also listed on the company’s D2C website, Vasu Store.

This year, the company plans to launch 10 products in categories such as Dengue, PCOS, Menopause, Urinary Care, etc.

“We also plan to enter the oral care segment,” Sagar says.

Edited by Teja Lele