In conversation with Divij Bajaj, CEO and Founder of Power Gummies

The key to becoming a successful entrepreneur starts from observing, adapting and responding to the needs of people around you and success shall follow.

Q.1 How did you come up with the idea? When did you start working on it?

Whenever I introspect over this question about how I came up with Power Gummies and how it all started, I think that I always had an entrepreneurial streak within me evolving through different milestones in my life. Be it through my school life, further education or even when I have tried my hand at different experimentations in life. The process of finding this mind-boggling idea was equally simple and similar to what I have always done.

The key to becoming a successful entrepreneur starts from observing, adapting and responding to the needs of people around you and success shall follow. My dad always said “People who sit back, get only what's left by those who get up and struggle” which has been strongly embedded in my mind.

The idea for creating 'Power Gummies' came when I wanted to find a solution to my mother missing out on her daily supplements, as they didn't taste good and were hard to take, much like medicines. It then struck me that why don't I devise a supplement that shouldn't look like another medicine and should be enormously tasty yet nutritious. That brought the idea of a brand that is “heath powered by happiness and backed by science “ as a mantra to life.

Going through all ups and highs, being unconditionally committed towards the goals have made me who I am today. During the early stages at Power Gummies, I was the sole representative for the brand, from procurement to the distribution of samples for the pilot trials and researching for gummy compositions with third-party labs, agencies and experts. Yet, I would say everything has been worth it. Power Gummies came to existence in 2018 and it's been a fulfilling journey since then.

Q. 2 Who are the target consumers? How is this going to affect them?

Lifestyle patterns play a major role in improving the quality of life and the prime parameter of a qualitative lifestyle is ‘being healthy’. As health has become an integral part of human life in this fast-changing lifestyle, adults are acutely facing the wrath of a dearth in nutrition due to lack of time, and no focus on nutrient intake resulting in deteriorating health. Hence, millennials and young adults are unable to maintain a well balanced diet in their daily life due to a hectic & fast-paced lifestyle.

Our products are for those who seek vegan, effective, innovative & convenient formats for nutrition. Power Gummies is a nutrition brand that creates tasty, irresistible nutritional vitamin gummies unlike other supplement formats that are boring, foul-tasting.

Q.3 What has been the impact of Covid-19 crisis on your business performance and growth?

In my opinion, a health revolution has been on the rise ever since the pandemic has hit. We have witnessed a change in consumer behaviour, as consumers are adapting to and accounting for healthcare products in their daily life. The Covid19 crisis has seen sales growing in folds during the last months creating value even amidst the lockdown. The digital consumer healthcare brands across verticals are projected to grow at an exponential rate during the coming months as well. The pandemic has reminded the importance of health to every person with CAGR doubling like never before on a global level. Bringing attention to what people are putting inside their body is not a tedious task like before, since people are organically looking for nutritional alternatives to build their immune systems.

Even, our brand has seen massive sales growth with a 6X increase in our valuation over just 6 months. This majorly is a result of how people are resorting to vitamin supplements and looking for alternatives to consume them. From where I stand, the nutraceutical space has been consistently rising in domestic markets with increasing demand from tier 1 and tier 2 cities. The grip of fear to be safe from the after-effects or getting infected from Corona or any medical condition is making people aware and conscious about their health and fitness apart from regular food intake which lacks nutritional value at times.

It is easier to raise funds from various ventures in present times with any healthcare brand which has a promising alternative to offer, at Power Gummies, we have raised our third funding in series within 2020.

I believe amidst this pandemic, people are wanting to shift to alternatives which can be stocked and are equally effective while being fun as well as easy to consume. The gummy alternative has proved to supersede all other alternatives in taste, interest, durability, water retention, weather adaptability, composition and effectiveness. The business is driving digitally as well during the Pandemic as people have started shopping more and more online from the safety of their homes. Our brand, Power Gummies has also observed a stark growth in sales overall especially in the digital e-commerce marketplaces. The Beach Body, our newly launched weight management gummies are also receiving a huge response which makes us believe pandemic has only increased our business and not affected it.

Q.4 How has Covid -19 impacted the health and wellness industry in India? How has the market been, pre and post Covid-19?

With the current situation of COVID 19, this industry is growing in folds that now people are themselves paying the necessary attention to what they are putting inside their body. Consumer awareness and education which were primary draining aspects of this industry are now happening organically. The healthcare companies have reported an upsurge of 40-50% year over year increase in sales of multivitamins, as people are moving towards immunity-building products and preventive products. An important Pre & Post-COVID challenge is increased competition in the market although we are the pioneers who introduced gummy supplements in India. Additionally, the health industry is expected to grow the highest in CAGR amongst all the domains in India as this Pandemic has made everyone realise the importance of health.

As I said, the nutraceutical space has been consistently rising conventionally in Indian markets, customer segments even from core tier 2 or tier 3 cities apart from developed cities have started becoming aware and conscious about their health and fitness apart from regular food intake which lacks nutritional value at times. Especially, the current focus in the Indian nutraceutical industry is a matter of attention not just to the business ventures but also to the Indian government as the next underdog growing industry is transforming the country into Self-reliant India. As the Union budget 2021-22 announced last week with a major boost to healthcare and infrastructure by our honourable Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman. The government's actions and plans launched to invest in open the doors for new healthcare startups to come in place. The Indian healthcare market space has undergone drastic acceleration within the last quarter with development of Covid vaccination as well.

On the global business front as well, investors and venture funds are betting big on established health and wellness brands and adding them to their portfolio. There is a need for nutritional alternatives for people apart from regular pills. The high population density of the nation is also another factor which puts light on how the industry is going to perform on a total basis.

Q.5 Tell us about the product lines? Which is the highest selling product?

Talking about the product lines, we saw there is a problem with adults facing issues with their hair & nail health. The most common underlying cause of hair loss in male and female is poor nutrition and deficiencies of biotin and other micronutrients. This is a consequence of remaining unaware of the fact - ‘what you put inside your body plays an integral role in how you look’. After meticulous research with our health & nutrition research partner team - Mprex Healthcare Pvt. Ltd. under the supervision of chief scientist Dr Gayatri Ganu, we came up with an effective and powerful composition, 'Gorgeous Hair and Nails' having 10 essential vitamins along with Biotin and Folic acid to solve these problems. As a brand, we are very careful about the efficacy of the product and our intensive clinical trial justifies the same. With our clinical trials, we found a 22% increase in hair growth rate and a 35% decrease in hair loss.

After an amazing response with our hair and nail variant, we were all set for disruption in the weight management arena with the gummy format but we wanted to hit the right chord and come up with a very efficient and effective product. And fortunately, it clicked with our second variant – gummies for “The Beach Body” having the goodness of green coffee, Vitamin c and L-carnitine.

When it comes to revenue, within the first year of launch, the company demonstrated a strong product-market fit and achieved an annual revenue run rate of over Rs 8 crore today. It stands at 21 cr today and we're grateful for all the love the brand has generated.

Today, we have reached a milestone of touching over 2,00,000+ lives and sold 30,00,000+ gummies with a single variant being able to build public trust and gave rise to a community of loyalists within two years of inception.

Q.6 How is it different from the product offerings of other players in the health and wellness segment?

Our product offering is in itself completely different from other players in the Indian health & wellness market space being in a gummy format. We are the pioneers to introduce gummies in the Indian markets and our 3 pillars are - customer trust, utmost commitment and right awareness.

There are a plethora of offerings in the form of pills, powders or other supplement products in the market yet we have been able to build a customer base who is aware now on how easy health is on-the-go with Power Gummies. Like I mentioned earlier, people have started liking gummies as a quick self-care and health regime, it being less messy and easy over other product offerings. The taste of gummies apart from being effective is the winning factor which makes altogether a different concept and separate target customer segment.

This has helped the nutraceutical industry to grow evidently as people like to eat and prefer taste over taking pills during these stressful times and confined in their fixed spaces, the taste gravitates them to gummies for a stress-busting chew in the day. This has led to one-third growth in the nutraceuticals category. The opportunity for people to stock them up for a longer period saves time during the hustle and relentless work from home schedules has also helped.

Furthermore, we stand ahead in virtue of effectiveness and building on the right composition along with best pharma-grade manufacturing facilities. No other brand in the Indian arena provides that level of quality. We manufacture with utmost precision that does not require individual pillow packing like all our other rivals. The products have a temperature tolerance up till 40* C. Our highest quality ingredients give us a better shelf life of 18 months. A lot many other brands have single vitamin-based gummies catering to single issues. However, we promote overall well being with each of our gummy composition and these are fixed after several clinical trials with our health & nutrition partner team- Mprex Healthcare Labs Pune.

For instance, with our first variant, the composition came to existence as a market product after clinical trials showcased assured results that Power Gummies, 'Gorgeous hair and Nail Vitamins' are safe, effective in hair fall reduction, can accelerate hair growth and strengthen hair with overall hair and scalp health improvement in healthy females and males in 90 days. As a brand, our utmost commitment is to communicate what we can provide on a real basis and customer satisfaction should be served. And yes, we are ahead in the game already with aspects of taste and composition of gummies consisting of multivitamins.

Q.7 Where are Power Gummies products available?

Power Gummies is available at our official website - which deliver worldwide and at all major e-commerce marketplaces - Amazon, Flipkart, Purplle, Nykaa, Pharmeasy, Seniority, Healthkart, Smytten, Zivame and more. Furthermore, offline it is available on leading modern retail chains like Modern Bazar stores, Freeshle, Guardian pharmacy, AM-PM stores and more.

Q.8 Did you face any challenges when you entered the market? Who are the competing brands?

The foremost initial challenge was to break the stigma that tasty gummies can not suffice or bring in nutritional value as we always had bitter or bland alternatives taking care of our medical or health-related issues. Creating that customer awareness took over a long period and still we are creating the buzz for it via Social Media, the most engaging platform to reach our target audience.

Another challenge was to correct the customer expectation, we remain just and truthful with our customers and never over-promise to give results overnight which also was a struggle for us as we had to reform the customer's expectations that has been structured to seek results instantly. However, we have been upfront with our suggested minimum consumption format and the time it takes to see effective results.

Like our time taken to show efficacy is 90 days for both of our variants as of now which showcases that the effectiveness of our product requires a direction for regular intake to show proven results as per the clinical trials. The price points have also been an effort to make people understand in comparison to other brands as we have best pharma-grade manufacturing facilities.

Q.9 How is 2021 treating the business, would you like to share the January sales growth?

The company has performed tremendously in the last quarter with crossing over 1.80 cr of monthly sales in January 2021 and from Mid of 2019 till now the company has seen a surge of 6X growth in its valuation doubling up in the past 3 months itself making noise amongst various VC circuits. We raised three funding rounds consecutively within 2020, marking a hattrick for our startup and observed a steady growth in FY20 with an Annual Run Rate of 21 cr.

Talking about keeping 2021 in the picture, our projections and analysis showcase our sales to cross 5 cr a month by the end of this year with a tremendous increase in website tractions. We are geared up to launch 2 new variants this year which will take the industry by storm, one of it being gummies for period pain relief. The stressful times through the lockdown phase, pre & post covid vaccination have made people try out various precautionary healthy resorts, which makes us see a favourable market scenario concerning growth and expansion as it directly surges the nutraceutical market.

Q. 10 What are your future prospects?

We plan to launch over 40 variants which are under the pipeline in several stages such as composition fixation, clinical trials and development stages. We plan to launch them over the coming years by creating the right set of customer base establishing awareness and education. A healthy POWER sphere is what we are curating, which is to bring to the world a Power - Portfolio of nutritional gummy variants that anticipate and satisfy peoples; Power- partners where we build mutual loyalty; Power-People, a platform for a great place to work where people are inspired to be the best they can be. Most importantly, Power - Planet, enabling everyone to be an aware, responsible, healthy & happy global citizen that makes a difference.

Easy, Tasty & fun Health is our commitment to this world.

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