'The Indian supplement market is replete with a vast surfeit of dubious and fake products that are potentially detrimental for the body when consumed over a long period of time.'
The Indian consumer is becoming increasingly aware and knowledgeable when it comes to embracing holistic living with clean, plant-based nutrition and wellness products. The recent pandemic has catalyzed a visible social transition towards adopting healthier and cleaner plant-based lifestyles across the globe. Even in India, the focus on deriving nutrition from clean and green sources has grown considerably. In an exclusive conversation with Financial Express Online Aarti Gill, Co-founder and CEO of OZiva talked about the growth of the nutraceutical market in India, impact of Covid-19 and more. Excerpts:
What are your views on the nutraceutical market and what is the impact of Covid-19 on this segment?
The Covid-19 pandemic has ushered a major paradigm shift in human behaviour, especially, when it comes to diet and nutrition. The devastating effects of the pandemic have led people across the world to embrace a healthier and plant-based lifestyle that comprises eating fresh green vegetables, seasonal fruits, whole grains, nuts and other superfoods to meet their daily nutritional quota. There is also an increase in consumption of immunity boosting foods. Moreover, people everywhere are awakening to the idea of adopting regular workouts, physical exercises, yoga and meditation to alleviate tension and remain stress-free and disease free in these testing times. Also noticeable, is the rising trend towards adopting 100% plant-based and clean nutritional products that are proven to help people with better absorption of nutrients, easy digestion and a host of other benefits.
Given that the market is flooded with fake supplements, what are your thoughts in this regard?
The Indian supplement market is replete with a vast surfeit of dubious and fake products that are potentially detrimental for the body when consumed over a long period of time. As a conscious and aware consumer, it is one’s responsibility to procure supplements only after conducting diligent research and brand enquiry. Majority of global medical nutritionists recommend consuming only clean and plant-based supplements that carry zero side-effects on the body. OZiva is India’s first certified clean nutrition brand that specialises in extending a wide array of plant-based supplements and nutraceuticals that can effectively meet the various nutritional requirements of different consumer demographics such as fitness enthusiasts, pregnant women, children and the elderly.
There has been a huge focus on plant-based foods in India for quite some time. Do you believe the pandemic has further accentuated the demand for plant based diet?
With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, people are focusing increasingly on their diet as well as nutritional intake to boost their immunity & overall health. Eating a healthy and well-balanced diet that is well-replete with all the essential nutrients is the key to overall health. While the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that the global plant-based & herbal products market is poised to reach a jaw-dropping $13 trillion by 2025, and in India we are seeing accelerated growth for the segment. While most of India has traditionally been vegetarians, now we are seeing even more people adopting 100% clean and plant based diets for health and overall wellbeing.
What kind of marketing strategies did you adopt during the pandemic?
We have been concentrating on introducing products that meet the need of the hour. Immunity being the biggest concern for consumers across the country, we introduced Immunity Multi (plant based multivitamins for immunity) and OZiva Bettr series of plant-based vitamins and minerals. Plant based vitamins and minerals provide better absorption as compared to synthetic ones and are highly recommended by experts across the globe. We all are going through difficult times and we believe it’s more important than ever to take charge of your health. Through our content, we are aiming to provide helpful and relevant information through experts (for eg: breathing exercises for better lung capacity, Yoga Asanas that can help strengthen our immune system, etc)”. Being in the digital age – technology plays a vital role at every operational sphere. It helps us reach out & engage with customers all across the globe. In fact, we are the world’s first connected omni-channel nutrition brand where people can pick-up a product from anywhere and consult a human expert digitally.
How do you foresee the growth of ‘women nutrition’ in India?
A majority of Indian women are unable to meet their daily nutritional needs on account of a poor and insufficient diet. Over a quarter of women in the country suffer from undernourishment and exhibit a body mass index (BMI) of less than 18.5 kg/m. Moreover, an undernourished mother inevitably gives birth to an undernourished baby, thus, perpetuating an intergenerational cycle of undernutrition. OZiva has introduced a specific class of superior products that focus exclusively on enhancing women’s health across the different stages of her life. Protein & Herbs for Women has been specially formulated for women and comes packed with clean ingredients and herbs that promote better metabolism, hormonal balance, skin and hair. We also offer specialised products like HerBalance for PCOS, HerBalance for Menopause, HerBones (bone health) etc., catering to the varying needs of women.
You are venturing into the personal care category and kids’ nutrition soon. Let us know how you want to promote and leverage this in the market. What are the kinds of products that will be included in the category?
OZiva already enjoys an unparalleled presence in the clean, plant based segment offering products for holistic health spanning across categories like health, nutrition, beauty and more.
OZiva Clean Beauty range will offer products that provide the goodness of phytonutrients and clinically proven activities, backed by botanical sciences. The range consists of a wide range of skin and hair care products that are safe and effective without any harmful chemicals. We currently have Phyto Cleanse range (anti-acne products), Inner Glo range (radiance and glow), Youth Elixir range (anti-ageing), Absolut Even range (anti-pigmentation) and Naturelle Infusion (for hair growth and nourishment). We have more products in the pipeline.
OZiva Kids is all set to go live in September. Under this category, we will have specialised products for growing kids providing holistic nutrition.
What is the core proposition of the brand?
We have always been driven by one question- how we enable people to be healthier & better. We believe that perfection is a myth. We all are trying to be a better version of ourselves every single day. And we want to ensure that on this journey of being better, you have clean, plant based products. This core thought has guided all the work that we have done so far. We believe holistic health is about achieving a balance of mind, body, soul! Right from what we eat to what we apply – really impacts our health & wellbeing.
You have recently roped in Deepika Padukone as your brand ambassador. Can you tell us why you chose her?
Deepika Padukone is the perfect embodiment of our values of striving to be better in every way and adopting a holistic approach towards overall health, physically and mentally. Our philosophy of ‘har tarah se a better you’ resonates well with Deepika who has been extremely vocal about balancing physical and mental health. It is important to have clean nutrition along with maintaining physical health and mental wellbeing. And this association is the next pivotal step in our efforts to spearhead a national health and wellness revolution.
What are your expansion plans?
As a brand, we want to empower people to adopt a clean & holistic lifestyle. We have ventured into newer categories like personal care and kids segments. We will also be increasing our offline footprint to strengthen our omni channel presence. We will continue to invest in people, products, technology and as far as the OZiva brand is considered it will continue to grow.