“Food safety can damage reputation of manufacturing co”

OZiva is India’s first Clean Label Active Nutrition brand that offers plant based as well as other nutritional products along with a fully digitised ecosystem intended to enable  people live a healthier, active and fitter life. Founded in 2016 by IIT & INSEAD alumni, Aarti Gill along with nutrition & functional fitness specialist Mihir Gadani, it has built an ecosystem that brings the best of ancient physiological sciences such as Ayurveda, modern micronutrients and an instantaneous digital ecosystem together. We are now the  world’s first connected Omni-channel nutrition brand where people can pick-up a product from anywhere and consult a human expert digitally. Currently an under Rs 50 crore  brand that has grown 7 times  in last 12 months on the back of new categories and building a strong technology & content based ecosystem, we aim to capture a significant portion of the  potential market by offering a multi-dimensional, holistic fitness approach,  Aarti Gill, co-founder & CEO, OZiva, tells Nandita Vijay. Excerpts:How would you describe the current scene for the health nutrition segment in India and globally?In India, we are still in the nascent stage  but having said that, there has been a growing awareness on preventive healthcare. Eating clean and nutritious foods is one of the major pillars of preventive healthcare which undeniably helps in being healthier & better. The conversations around nutrition have been constantly evolving, be it India or globally. When we look at global trends, people have realized that nutrition is more than just a protein-oriented diet and there is a wholesome approach to consumption of food that needs to be followed. Along with a protein intake, vitamins and minerals are also necessary for the healthy functioning of the mind and body. While people are aware about Sports Nutrition, Active Nutrition as a segment is picking up in India.     What are the visible trends in this space?Apart from the metros, we have seen an increasing awareness of nutrition in Tier 2 and 3 cities where the focus is on natural, clean & plant-based nutrition. Based on the statistics, we have also seen that plant based nutrition  be it for everyday fitness, skin, hair etc will certainly see a tremendous growth in the coming years.What are the challenges you sight in this sector?When it comes to health nutrition, the major challenge as well as opportunity will be ‘Authenticity’ & ‘Clean Label’. People are becoming increasingly aware of what they are consuming & prefer products that are natural, cleaner without any artificial ingredients.What are the key strengths of your brand?For us, our products combining modern science with the basic concepts of ayurveda. We combine different clean nutrients along with powerful botanical extracts to bring the benefit of both the sciences to the human body. We believe it is  important for nutrition to be natural, clean and  plant based  which is free from any artificial ingredients, sweeteners, preservatives. This is  something that people can make a part of their lives for longer term. Apart from products, our entire ecosystem offers diet consultation, content around healthy living/eating which is important to educate and  inspire people to be a healthier and  better version of themselves. How has OZiva performed so far in the market?Being a relatively young startup, we have grown 7 times  in the last 12 months because of a strong customer value proposition (CVP). We double our monthly numbers every 6 months and we continue to expand our CVP through differentiated products and categories. More than 70% of our customers are women looking for an active, healthy and  meaningful life. Where are your products manufactured?We have an in-house R&D team that works on the formulation of potential products wherever the need is identified. We carefully select vendors from across the globe for sourcing the right ingredients and  then work with US FDA registered manufacturing units in India for production. Our products include Clean Protein blends, Plant based Micronutrients and Plant Nutrition for Special Dietary Needs Furthermore, the brand understands that good health is never confined to weight alone but extends to other aspects of well-being covering  skin, hair, beauty, which drives its plans of product diversification to include more plant, natural and wholesome food based products. How do you arrive at your formulations and how large is the company’s scientific team?My co-founder — Mihir, has a biotechnology background. He is the driving force behind the philosophy that drives OZiva. He leads our inhouse R&D team of around 5 people and we work with multiple experts from the industry. Being a clean-label brand, it is very important for us to source the right ingredients from across the globe. These ingredients are first sent to NABL accredited labs for rigorous quality checks which include nutrient profiling, any filler ingredients, heavy metals & toxicity check, potential allergens. Only after all the quality parameters are met, the ingredient is finalized. We manufacture at GMP certified & USDA registered units. OZiva is currently a under Rs. 50 crore brand that has grown 7X in last 12 months… Please expand what are the growth drivers?Our vital growth drivers are our strong product portfolio along with an engaging health & fitness ecosystem driven by content & technology. When it comes to Clean Nutrition, we are leading in women’s fitness, skin & hair nutrition category with strong customer value proposition. As OZiva grows further, we will continue investing in people, product, technology and brand.Which age-groups are responsive to your range?Though we have products for children and for both men and women of all age group. Majority of our customers are women between the age group of 18-45 looking to lead a better, cleaner & active life.How is the company positioned to take a global reach?Currently we are more focused on the Indian market. Having said that, since we are a digital first brand and we do get a lot of interest from people across the globe. What is the kind of tech infusion that has gone into the company?Today anyone who buys an OZiva product can connect with a nutritionist via our tech platform and get information on diet, workouts, etc for free. We are the only brand in India, with such an offering. Also, we keep creating content on health and  lifestyle to inspire and  educate people to lead an active life.How easy is to get the right manpower to work for this segment?Finding the right people is always an important task for any company. But if we talk about our sector particularly, it is very important to get people who keep themselves upgraded on the latest research & development happening in the segment. For us the first priority is the culture of  fitness and  attitude, because things are dynamic in today’s world that makes one need to continuously invest in learning.

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