Bhavna Anand Sharma, founder of Cureveda tells us about of her indigenous wellness brand of 100% vegetarian supplements, which is plant based, safe for long term use and devoid of side effects.
The health supplements market in India has been growing consistently in double digits and is projected to grow at over 20% CAGR till 2023. The global market for supplements is over USD 100 billion and only a fraction of that, around 5% lies in India. With rising incomes and aspirations, increasing incidence of lifestyle diseases and growing awareness – preventive healthcare market is expected to burgeon further.
Supplements however have always been an area of interest for 32 year old Bhavna Anand Sharma. Growing up in Chandigarh, Bhavna moved to Delhi to pursue B.Com. at Shri Ram College of Commerce. Post a brief internship stint at Standard Chartered assets management team, she worked as a strategy consultant in the finance industry at Deloitte in Hyderabad and Mumbai. In 2008, Bhavna moved to London to pursue MSc in Accounting & Finance at the prestigious London School of Economics where she also taught financial valuations. “In 2009, when I returned to India, I was looking for an opportunity to begin a business domestically. At the time the market for over the counter dietary supplements was completely untapped in India and the growth rate along with the market potential was immense. I also had exposure to global supplement brands along with an inherent interest for healthcare and fitness. At the young of 22, my journey in the healthcare industry started when my brother and I bagged the exclusive distribution rights in India for Nature’s Bounty- one of the top global leading supplement brands valued at over USD 6 billion, and since then there has been no looking back.”
Bhavna got married into the Baidyanath family who are also pioneers in the field of ayurvedic medicines which provided her with a great platform to learn. “Equipped with an MBA from Indian School of Business, in 2013 I started a Pharma company as an offshoot of Baidyanath which gave me a lot of access to product development, manufacturing, research institutes and bought me into close contact with almost 20000 ayurvedic doctors across the length and breadth of the county. I traveled extensively from big cities to the smallest of towns to get the pulse of the market and identify the gaps which existed. I helped set up the first independent ethics committee in Vidarbha to enable registered clinical trials by integrative medicine private practitioners. I have spent many an hours reading through Hindi texts on traditional medicine, and creating an innovation cell for developing new dosage formats and clinically researched formulations with quality herbs that have seldom been used in Indian preparations.” However she was always clear that her ambition was to launch her own private label in dietary supplements. She observed the global shift in supplements towards herbal formulas as they are safe for long term use, have minimal side effects and are also understood to have higher absorption.”
Bhavna started working on product development in late 2017 and initially launched an online Cureveda community which has over 5000 registered doctors providing free consultation and sharing articles, research and videos for consumer education. The product range was launched digitally in Jan 2019 and has had a great brand journey being awarded the Brand of India by Ministry of MSME only 5 months into launch and is one of the top 10000 websites in the country already. Cureveda has filled a gap in the supplement market for herb powered formulas that prioritise dosage, safety and efficacy. “Additionally, my biggest motivation has always been to create a proudly Indian supplement brand committed to creating globally competitive products – as there are very few players who understand herbs the way we do and even fewer who understand the interaction and synergistic action of herbs.” Currently the company offers therapeutic formulas for different healthcare and lifestyle conditions like obesity, insomnia, diabetes, arthritis, fatty liver. “We have a range of tablets and a unique dosage format called Elixirs which contains fermented herbs for best absorption of ingredients and long lasting benefits. We are one of the few companies that has invested heavily in registered clinical trials and have completed studies on products like thyroid, sugar level, piles, uric acid control, urinary infection. In addition, we do not make use of any metals and every batch produced is tested for international standards of toxicity. We work with only a handful of suppliers who can deliver raw materials to our specifications.” The entire range is 100% vegetarian, free of artificial colour or flavour, manufactured at GMP, ISO certified facility and sold in biodegradable glass bottles which are also the safest packaging choice to prevent leaching.
Looking ahead, the company will be launching a range of advanced natural nutrition supplements in a unique category. “We have been working on conceptualizing these formulas for over a year now and the ingredients that we will be introducing to the domestic market have never before been seen on a supplement shelf in India. Unfortunately I cannot divulge more details but I can assure you that these products will be first of their kind in delivery format, ingredient choice as well as results and sure to disrupt the market. Additionally, there will be a few products added to the therapeutic range using premium Phyto nutrients. We also recently acquired the USDA organic certification from Ecocert so in time there will be some extensions in that range.” Additionally the company hopes to expand offline retail presence this year especially in Tier 1 cities and hopes to start export operations before the end of this fiscal year.
This story first appeared in Sakal Times dated Nov 14, 2019 here: