The Journey towards building Namhya Foods:
Ridhima Arora started her journey towards a healthy lifestyle in 2014, when she lost about 30 kgs of weight from 86kg to 56kg in a span of two years. It is then, when she realised the gap in the market for “real” healthy foods. On one end of the spectrum were premium offerings that would really hit hard on one’s pocket, and on the other end were fad foods that had hidden harmful ingredients that often went unnoticed by the consumer due to lack of awareness and knowledge. “For instance, “consuming sugar-free “everything” comes with its own side-effects (aspartame can cause AHDH, weight gain). The “fat free” is the new cause of diabetes (hidden sugars). We hardly know all of this unless we reverse the packet to check the nutritional contents and are well acquainted with the ingredients.”
A lot changed, when her father was seriously ill due to liver cirrhosis. In fact, she realised the gap between the food industry and the health care industry and how there has been no role of food in the treatment of different diseases. While her father recovered with precautions on food and going #BackTotheRoots with all her research on food, she decided to take this up full time after quitting her corporate job.
“In the world full of pesticides, insecticides and fad diets, we are trying to rebuild and reboot the natural way of eating that is full of goodness of Indian herbs. You can call them “superfoods”, however our grandparents grew up with these foods. For instance, our Sattu based breakfast cereal is an instant mix but a healthier option or our Ayurvedic tea with herbs like Brahmi, Ashwagandha that not only replaces regular tea but also provides nutrient value. Namhya is an effort to bring back the golden heritage of long-forgotten basic Indian food that also blends with today’s fast-paced lifestyle.”
“Currently, the products are sold online through our website as well as through platforms like Qtrove, Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Ebay and Etsy (for international shipping across 186+ countries).”
Q: What challenges and opportunities has Covid19 brought for Namhya Foods?
“Due to Covid19, the only place we have had a hit is the disruption in the raw material that we source directly from the farms. While we could manage the regional herbs, procuring herbs from distant places like moringa from Chennai has been a task.”
“Thankfully, we did have some inventory that balanced the whooping demands we have had in the last 2 months-about 62 percent growth! I think times like these will make our brand much more relevant as everybody has started realising the importance of eating healthy- the right way and going back to the roots.”
“We are very positive about our brand’s future and the whole dynamic shift the food culture in India will be go through!“
Q: How did you face the challenge of manufacturing your products especially to meet the increased product requirements?
“Being in the essentials category, our business never stopped but we had to brave up to the challenges at the manufacturing level . We had to immediately ensure that all the safety norms are being followed in the facility as per the government guidelines. We have overworked in the last 2 months since we were running with only 30 percent of our workforce.”
Q: Did you make any turnaround strategic change?
“We have shifted our retail model to channel partnership program where the resellers take bulk orders online and the couriers are directly dispatched to them.”
“From a logistics point of view, we have improved our procurement procedures and market demand analysis. Since our business is online first, our deliveries have been consistent. Only that we have changed our mode of payment to pre-paid to avoid any cash transfers amidst the pandemic.”
“We have also launched “The Nutritional Coaching Program”. While being in the health foods business has been a great journey, we have also understood that there is a gap in understanding nutrition and food. There’s a lot of help needed there, especially, now when everyone is getting conscious yet confused about it!
“We have understood the need of guidance in this space and have started the nutritional coaching program which is not just restricted to a diet plan but a holistic approach to changing lifestyle and food habits, step by step.”