True wellness comes from within, and no one knows this better than Noida-based nutritional supplements company.
Founded by Abhishek Gagneja in 2019, it aims to solve the age-old problem of obesity and unhealthy lifestyle-related diseases in India through its specialised products aimed at weight management, sports nutrition, and general wellness.
“You will be shocked to know the prevalence of diabetes has increased by 30 percent in the last decade. Cardiovascular diseases account for over 27 percent of deaths in India now as compared to only 9 percent in the 1990s. The cause is obesity and a lack of nutrition. It’s an epidemic bigger than the COVID-19, with over 40 percent of the adult population now in the obese category,” explains Abhishek in a chat with YS Weekender.
He continues, “Studies have shown that Type II diabetes is reversible with the right nutrition and physical activity, and I reversed my pre-diabetic condition with the help of nutrition. This is why I started Yoga Brands.”
A technology professional with 17 years of experience, Abhishek ran a bespoke digital and ecommerce agency in the US, which provided turnkey solutions to startups and entrepreneurs before he launched Yoga Brands.
The success he witnessed of the US-based wellness brand M Nature and his interest in nutrition inspired him to launch Yoga Brands in India.
“Our vision is to build India’s top hyper-focused brands in health and wellness and make 10 lakh people healthier in the near future. We are also planning to launch an AI-based health mobile app. Our path to a happy and healthy life is directly proportional to our living habits. When our mind, body, and spirit are in alignment, we are happier, more productive, disease-free, and content with life. Our products, including supplements, nutritious superfoods, and fitness guidance, help achieve the desired results,” he says.
Abhishek’s knowledge of nutrition and his expertise in helping startups aided him in setting up Yoga Brands. But, he asserts that listening to the first-hand experiences of people he knew was the primary driver behind it.
“Many on the quest to be healthier suffered from serious health issues after ingesting counterfeit and sub-standard products marketed in India. My friends and family would ask me to bring supplements from the US when I was travelling. With Yoga Brands, we want to ensure Indian consumers have access to properly labelled and top-quality products at par with international brands,” he explains.
Products on offer
Under the Yoga Brands umbrella, two brands — Ketogen and Goodlife Nutrition — work on a direct-to-consumer (D2C) model through its website and marketplaces. Its third brand PRO NUTRITION is available in over 40 multi-brand wellness stores and is on the way to further expansion.
He explains these three brands as:
- Ketogen has products focused on fighting obesity, including Lean Smoothies, Lean Gummies, Night Burn, and Slimming Complex.
- Goodlife offers plant-based therapeutic products to help with hair loss, diabetes, nutrition deficiency, and other lifestyle-related ailments.
- PRO NUTRITION is a range of sports supplements like Whey Protein and EAAs, which help athletes and fitness enthusiasts boost their performance.
Abhishek says, “Our formulations are a combination of science and the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda made with globally sourced ingredients. We have implemented the farm to bottle concept in a few products, setting us apart in quality and results. We also provide free diet counselling with all the products to help our customers achieve their goals faster and maintain a healthy lifestyle.”
All Yoga Brands’ products are formulated by a panel of experts that include international nutrition scientists, Ayurveda acharyas, and athletes in India and the US.
He counts the Slimming Complex and Night Burn as its most popular offerings in the Ketogen brand; Saw Palmetto and Insulin complex in the Goodlife brand; and Whey Protein, Peanut Butter, and Raging Bulk under the PRO NUTRITION brand.
Abhishek puts the success of its products down to its amazing taste, quality, and positive results for customers.
“There is also the sustainability and morality aspect, which drives consumers to pay comparatively higher prices for more sophisticated food options. I believe Yoga Brands succeeded in ticking all these boxes – as is evident from our quick growth. But we want to keep improving, inventing, expanding, and innovating in this nutrition and health food space,” he shares.
Abhishek believes that considering Yoga Brands’ high quality and standards, and its farm to bottle concept, it does not have any direct competition. However, in the overall category, Abhishek names Plix, Cureveda, and Healthyhey as similar brands/products.
Challenges and growth
Coming from an IT background, the biggest challenge for Abhishek was starting a consumer brand. Whether it was sourcing quality ingredients, making constant modifications to formulations, importing the products initially manufactured in the US to the Indian market, adapting to Indian FSSAI Guidelines, and maintaining consistent quality, he is candid in saying that everything involved a great deal of time and effort.
However, it seems to have paid off as reflected in the positive customer feedback and results the brand has received.
Having started with an initial investment of around Rs 50 lakh, Abhishek has pumped in Rs 1.5 crore to date. Since its inception in 2019, and despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Yoga Brands’ sales grew by 300 percent in comparison to its first year.
A report released by Ernst & Young claims the Indian dietary supplements market grew at a CAGR of 15 percent to reach Rs 331 billion in FY21, making Yoga Brands’ market entry timely indeed.
Next, it is planning to expand its team and product offerings to cater to the categories of hair and skin ailments. While there are no plans for a physical store, Yoga Brands hopes to launch limited experience stores, which will curate exclusive concepts related to health and wellness. Abhishek believes this will be the first-of-its-kind store in India.
He signs off by highlighting, “The products by PRO NUTRITION are formulated in the US, made from premium ingredients sourced from the US and India, and are packaged in India. The supply chain of our D2C brands has no distributors or retailers, so this prevents counterfeiting.”
“Goodlife and Ketogen offer a wide range of quality-assured health supplements in various categories. All the product formulations are tried and tested with a proven impact on the nutritional aspect of the human body. Being customer-centric, we offer free counselling to all our customers to help them derive the best results and value from our products,” he adds.