Naturevibe Botanicals is a US-based health and organic food products company in India that offers organic products.In an exclusive conversation with Rishabh Chokhani is the CEO of Naturevibe Botanicals shares more insignt on the venture.
Rishab is a managemnt gradute. US. Born in a business family that is into pharmaceutical manufacturing and exports, research and development of compounds, distributors of cosmetic chemicals, Chokhani founded Naturevibe Botanicals in 2017.
His passion for health and wellness started with his own transformation from being obese to being fit and healthy. Following his passion, he plans to start operations in India under a subsidiary of Naturevibe Botanicals, to sell and promote greener ways of living by providing the best natural alternatives and organic food.
What inspired you to launch an organic product company. What were your initial challenges and how did you overcome those?
My own journey from being obese to fit inspired me to promote a healthy and organic way of life. During my weight loss journey, I realised that the quality of food present in the market is quite poor and unnatural. I saw this as an opportunity to spread awareness amongst people about the difference between conventionally grown toxic food and organically produced healthy and GMOfree food. We used the science of botanicals and the virtues of Ayurveda to introduce Naturevibe Botanicals as a brand which offers the best quality food and products to the customers worldwide.
During our journey, we also faced a couple of initial hurdles. While establishing the brand, the main challenge we have faced was the underdeveloped supply chain. Besides, there is a constant fear of yielding less organic produce due to primitive farming processes to prevent pest attacks. Another major challenge in organic farming procurement comes at a higher price because of the labour costs and training required for farm maintenance.
Another challenge was to educate the public on the benefits of organic and health food and to address their notion of organic food being expensive. We used the power of social media and other marketing tactics to solve this.
What is your assessment about the organic products market in India. According to you, what are the factors propelling growth in this segment?
There is a lot of scope for development and growth of organic food and products in India. First and a foremost factor contributing to this growth is the increasing health awareness among the people. As people are getting more conscious about their health and its effect on their medical expenses, they are realising the benefits of consuming organic products. Therefore, the demand for this market will certainly grow.
Another factor that has certainly led to the growth of the organic food industry is increasing the working-class population and urbanization. This has led to an increase in per capita income of the people thereby enabling more number of people to opt for healthy choices and organic food products.
India ranks 9th in organic cultivation. So, last but not the least, the support from the government will indeed give a boost to this sector. India is the 3rd largest country to have the biggest wild harvest area for organic producers globally with the support from more than 80,0000 organic farmers. The government of India and State governments have defined a way to improve the administrative systems of natural items along with designing various plans to boost organic farming. The Indian organic food market is expected to grow over 25 per cent, with a total of 0.4 per cent of the country's agricultural land being designated for organic farming, providing extensive scope for expansion.
Is this bootstrap venture or have you raised any sorts of funds so far?
It is a bootstrapped venture, as I invested $5 million in the company which was Initially used for raw material and machinery procurement. These funds have also been used for marketing purposes.
How strong is your distribution and order frequency? Do you also work with modern retailers as the part of your distribution strategy? What new markets you plan to explore this year?
We sell in India through ecommerce platforms like Amazon. While in the United Stes, we sell in some brick and mortar stores, however, we are still exploring this option in India.
Apart from strengthening our operations in Asia and America, we plan to expand our business to European and Australian markets.
Who do you see as your competition?
India is the land of Ayurveda and we among many others who are promoting it. However, Naturevibe Botanicals is one such brand that is made in India for Indian and understands the needs of an Indian consumer completely. We believe that there is much more than nature has to offer to us in the form of oils, food, herbs, etc. this is what we are trying to bring about with our brand.
How do you see the tier 2 market evolving for organic food consumption?
Yes, we have seen growing consumption trends in the tier 2 market as well. The increasing awareness about the benefits of organic farming has certainly led to increasing demand for organic food consumption in Tier 2 cities. Besides, the increase in disposable income of the people residing in that market is also one of the factors for families to spend more on organic and naturally grown produce.
At last, kindly highlight your growth plans?
After acing the US and Indian Market, we look forward to expanding our business globally and aggressively starting exports of our products to Europe and Australia.
Last but not the least, we have a turnover of $10 Mn and we aim to close at 50% higher this yea