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Formed in 1990s in Lucknow, Organic India – a pioneer in the herbal revolution in India stands true to its promise. With 20 to 25 signature stores across India and a product line ranging from herbal tea infusions, herbal supplements to packaged foods, the company is gaining consumers, who believe in ’healthy conscious living’. Exporting their products to over 40 countries, with US being a major market, the company’s growth trajectory is only uphill. Hoping to inspire the next generation with the benefits of herbal, the company is launching new products too. In a quest to know more about their roadmap ahead, Entrepreneur interacts with Abhinandan Dhoke, CEO, Organic India. The man believes in taking fewer but bolder steps.
How has the growth of Organic India been over the years?
We have been around for 20 years; the journey has been very fruitful. The last two years have been mostproductive for our expansion and customer base. Our portfolio has also expanded. Earlier, we were looked as a tea company but now our herbal food supplements are gaining popularity. Our capsules are 100 per cent vegetarian, made from plant cellulose. Another category that is performing well is packaged foods. Our cow ghee, which has been around for four years, has really picked up now. It is due to people’s understanding of the concept of good fat. People aregetting more health conscious.
Has your customer base or target audience changed with the recent Ayurveda awakening?
Predominantly, we built consumer loyalty by our tea category. There has been a change in mindset in regards to the concept of tea. In India, tea is defined as an amalgamation of sugar and milk. Our Tulsi Tea range has helped in changing these habits. The consumer base with respect to tea has gone up. Our focus, while placing products in the market has been availability, accessibility and continuously engaging with consumers.
How does your retail presence look like?
Our products are now available in approx 15,000 outlets. We have not restricted ourselves to organized retail, we are in all the leading stores. We are promoting a lot of our products through online, so e-commerce and digital space is also critical for us. We are very strongly associated with Fabindia and we sell our products in all of their stores. I see us only growing, because the lifestyle of consumers is changing towards health platform.
How do you position Organic India in the market?
We are a mix of Organic, Ayurvedic, Herbal and natural products, which is unique. It completely defines holistic true wellness solution. We would like to be trustworthy and innovative global leader by providing genuine organic true wellness products and solutions for conscious, healthy living. Our supplements are made up of whole herbs,we do not do extraction from herbs, so they are available in the purest form. All the essential properties of herbs are retained. Our strategy is to establishstrong distribution footprint with panIndia presence.
What do you think the future of Ayurveda is in the country?
For Ayurveda, I see a sustainable and consistent growth. There have been several revolutions in India, including telecom, e-commerce, organized retail and many others . There is a spike, consolidation and then saturation seen in all of those. Ayurveda directly impacts consumer’s well-being, so the acceptance will be on high rise and would be sustainable.
Any new products orcategories that you plan to launch?
We are launching Virgin Coconut Oil, Amla Yummies, Ashwagandhadi Lehya and Organic Honey soon. We have quinoa – which is an emerging super food and high in demand. This category has a lot of potential. Our herbal supplements are high in demand and getting good response across the markets and geographies. In the future,we will expand actively in the wellness category, which is a long-term plan. Our focus would be to stay relevant & build community for ealthy conscious living.
How well are you placed globally?
We have our own subsidiary company in US that is a big market for us. Apart from that, we sell our products in 40 other countries. We are in Europe, Middle-East, Australia etc. International business is a big focus for us in the future.
This article first appeared in the Indian edition of Entrepreneur magazine (August 2016 Issue).