Health has taken the spotlight, courtesy the pandemic and more and more brands are cashing on this change by aggressively bringing conscious products to the market. According to a recent report, India is projected to have an addressable base of 120 million health conscious consumers by next year. Consumers are adopting additional supplements in their diets to stay fit and are following a healthy approach. Wellness is turning out to be the fastest-growing segment and accounts for more than $1.5 Trillion of annual growth with an increase of 5-10% every year.
To know more about this industry, we spoke to Aanan Khurma, Wellversed.
Wellversed, founded in 2019 by Aanan Khurma, Aditya Seth and Ripunjay Chachan is a platform that creates and scales wellness brands.Wellversed aims to fundamentally transform nutrition and the way people consume food. Currently enabling 25 plus wellness D2C brands across its channels, it offers wellness and nutrition products across a gamut of lifestyle needs ranging from Diabetes care, Gluten Free, Vegan, Healthy Keto and Weight Loss requirements. Wellversed is a tech-enabled platform powered by a cross-disciplinary team of doctors, clinical nutritionists, biotechnologists, and food scientists. Health has taken the spotlight, courtesy the pandemic and more and more brands are cashing on this change by aggressively bringing conscious products to the market.
Impetus for growth
Recently Jubilant Foodworks acquired 25% stake in the company through a recent investment round. The funding has primarily gone into building a robust acceleration engine of brands on the 25 most prominent eCommerce channels in India and It aims to accelerate and invest in over 250 D2C Wellness brands by 2025.
Yuvraj Singh, an Indian Cricketer & Entrepreneur, also invested in Wellversed in 2020. He also came on board last year as Brand Ambassador for Wellversed for a period of 3 years. He deeply believes in Wellversed’s vision and works closely with the Founding team on Product Development, Marketing, and Branding. When asked how the brand plans funding and uses it to fuel growth, Khurma replied “The funds that we have raised in the past has been used to consolidate our technology deck and on-board more brands with us. Currently, we are accelerating 25 brands out of which five brands are owned by us, which we have built from the scratch and other 20 brands are third-party brands which we are helping them to reach a stage where they can become investable.”
Building the right business model
Innovative products and business models are the foundation of any successful business. However, a steady flow of funds is required in the early stages to turn those ideas into reality. When asked about challenges he faced during the fund raising journey, he told us “In the early stages, we started to create our own wellness brand Ketofy. And this was during 2017-2018, an era when investors were not comfortable with the idea of scaling business digitally. We got a lot of questions about how we will raise the ceiling of digital brands. The sentiment was prevalent, as at that time food aggregator platforms were building the digital network. We were consolidating all the delivery networks and luckily found a few early investors who believed that wellness will turn out to be a big thing in the coming decades.”
Khurama also highlighted the opportunity of the wellness space and said, “The wellness space has a lot of sub segments with specific ideologies. Even so, there are a lot of brands entering the space, there are still underserved niches that require certain specific products. And with rising individuality, it is opening up the market for a lot of brands. We contribute to 20-22% of the market share and in the wellness section it is around 3-4%. Not just products, a lot of wellness ideologies needs to be captured by the brands.”
Khurama shared with us the future plans that they are planning to put to action “As an enabler of wellness brands, we are focussing on two-three key segments. Obviously, functional food and supplement is a category that we excel in and we are slowly expanding to fitness equipment, sports equipment, skincare and haircare with an approach to club a great product with a core ideology. Rather than focusing on creating a product, it should focus on serving the need.”
He also added “With the consumer brands, needs will be limited. The products have to be placed in a light that people are willing to adopt it. Even if we are delivering a product that exists in the market, it has to be portrayed in the cast of light so that it can cater to a different audience.”