The adoption of unhealthy lifestyles and diets are leading to chronic diseases in people such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disorders. For these reasons, many people are switching to a vegan lifestyle, a plant-based diet, which is a stricter form of vegetarian i.e. vegan neither consume animals nor use animal products.
To encourage and promote veganism in India, Mumbai-based nutraceutical startup Unived Healthcare products has introduced a line of vegan healthcare nutritional products. Bootstrapped by Amit Mehta in 2010, Unived offers innovative and high-quality vegan healthcare products that are not only inspired by Mother Nature, but also based on years of scientific research.
According to The Economics Times, the nutraceutical industry in India is expected to grow to $ 6.1 billion by 2020. It is one of the fastest growing markets in Asia-Pacific region and the growth is fostered by rising awareness about health and fitness, an ageing population, and changing lifestyles.
When asked how their startup is making world a better place to live in, Amit says, “We have already embarked on that journey. When we started out, the desire was to not just bring out innovative, effective, and high-quality healthcare products – but also products that were capable of changing people’s lives for the better.”
He further adds, “It’s been 4 years, and we continue to be delighted when our products become an integral part of people’s life journeys. Take the runner who was diagnosed with a heart condition who is now able to run a half marathon every month after switching to RYR, our natural cholesterol management system. Or the vegan mountaineer who has used our Fybur soup to keep himself nourished and warm on the slopes of Mt. Everest. At the end of the day, though sales figures are rewarding, it’s these stories that motivate us to do better every day.”
Amit, who was born and raised in Mumbai, completed his BA in Psychology & Advertising from Bond University, Australia, and his MBA in Marketing and Strategy from Williamette University, USA. Along with Amit, the core founding team comprising of Ameya Gavandalkar, Siddhartha Dutta and Monica Becerril has been an integral part of Unived’s success.
Unived has 33 products under three verticals:
- Unived Healthcare – A broad range of dietary supplements
- Dear Earth – A complete bouquet of handmade, vegan skincare products
- Unived Sports – Sports nutrition for performance and endurance athletes
Dear Earth is a line of organic and vegan skincare products that are free of preservative, harsh chemicals, and animal cruelty. With Unived Sports, they want to fuel country’s athletes with high-quality and cutting-edge sports nutrition products.
He says, “With Dear Earth, we are doing our part in starting a meaningful conversation about the environment, conservation, and various issues that concern our future on this planet. In Unived Sports, we see a huge opportunity in raising awareness of sports nutrition, and providing our country’s athletes with fueling products that are world-class in quality.”
Unived uniquely caters to the vegan and vegetarian segment in India, as all their products are 100% vegan and vegetarian. Their research-driven products are certified by some of the world’s leading bodies such as PETA India and TheVegan Society – UK.
Amit says, “With our products, we are trying to improve standards of healthcare and nutrition across the board. We hope that the ‘no compromise’ standards that we adhere to with our products will soon become the norm in the industry. We are trying to be the cornerstone of trust and health in people’s lives everywhere. To make quality, research-based, preservative-free products that can bring happiness to every aspect of people’s lives.”
When asked about the challenges, he says, “Our products are ahead of the curve- this continues to be our biggest challenge, and our biggest opportunity. We make some of India’s most pioneering vegan healthcare products, like OVEGHA – the country’s leading vegan omega-3 supplement that is not made from fish oil. Dear Earth products have no artificial preservatives or unnecessary chemical ingredients. The RRUNN range under the Unived Sports is India’s first comprehensive vegan sports nutrition system for endurance athletes. However, the market continues to be dominated with products that are not comprehensively researched, or those that are made from mostly synthetic and unnecessary ingredients. Our biggest task is to break through this clutter.”
Promoting healthier lifestyles is a challenge in India because people understand the importance of physical activities but are unable to quit their unhealthy eating habits. He says, “Even as awareness continues to grow about the importance of scientific and wholesome nutrition, there is still a long road ahead in terms of educating people. We are trying to inform them about making the switch to well-researched and natural formulations to treat common health issues. Our message is about evolving beyond ‘quick-fix’ health solutions, and making holistic changes in lifestyle, exercise, and nutrition for long-term health benefits.
Since the venture was self-funded, they are very close to break-even and looking to invite equity participation from outside. Speaking about the future plans, Amit says, “In the coming year, with our focused communications strategy, we are trying to broaden our outreach. We will be trying to further awareness of scientific nutrition, and the value of preventative healthcare. We are also looking at further cementing our position as India’s leading vegan healthcare company. We will also be taking concrete steps towards expanding into new markets.”
Amit has a piece of advice for all emerging entrepreneurs, “An Idea is born out of belief – so believe in your idea and don’t doubt yourself, ever. Stay committed and focused on your goals. Continuously think of how you can improve your product and add further value to your offerings.”
Before parting, he says, “Success does not come easy, and certainly doesn’t come fast. Enjoy the journey, remain focused, be patient, rejoice each milestone and learn from each fall.”