How This International Player is Set To Lead the Fight Against Obesity in India

India has seen a rise in the number of food-related health problems – obesity being a major one.

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By Sanchita Dash

Entrepreneur India

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Walk in the streets of India and in every bylane you'll find pakodas being slipped into a pot of oil and with a crackling sound, fresh hot pakodas will soon be ready for a huge crowd waiting to fill their stomach. And this savoury delicacy is not the only one to find its way into the Indian palate.

While it's delicious, one cannot dismiss the fat that is layered in these dishes. So, there are no surprises that Indians have also seen a rise in the number of food-related health problems – obesity being a major one.

The United States of America has had a long standing problem with obesity, but India too, unfortunately has been rising the ranks and holds a position in the top 10 countries in the world, struggling with obesity.

This is why the international player Nutrimost, that fights obesity with its products, is today looking at entering the Indian market as its first international expansion and instil responsible eating habits among Indians.

Entrepreneur India spoke to Chad A. Wissinger, General Counsel, NutriMost, at Asia's biggest franchising show – Franchise India 2017, about how the brand is looking to capture the Indian market.

Huge Hit in the US

Started by a doctor in United States in 2007, NutriMost gained popularity in a short span of time. Specializing in clinically supervised weight loss, NutriMost has 38 nutritional supplements, which are all organic products. Talking about how the brand spread in the US, Wissinger said that with successful testimonials, NutriMost had them work as their own ambassadors. One of their most successful franchisors is actually one who overcame obesity by using their products. Talking about their growth, he said, "We are largely owned by people who are clinicians, doctors etc. We have a similar plan for India, we are looking for franchisors who have interest in weight loss. We will be giving sub-franchising throughout India"

What Brought Them to India

The company has now chosen India as its first major market to expand internationally. India had their attention for international growth, because of rising middle class economy and their growing interest in spending on health and wellness. Wissinger further explained, "During our research, we also found out that obesity is an increasing problem in India with high rates, largely because of western food chains, and that's how we thought of our first major international expansion in India. It's a great opportunity."

Wissinger also mentioned that they have high expectations from India. "India has room for 150 locations, which is about as many as we have in the US," he said.

Food Tech – An Important Nutrient

With over 40 years of wide experience in clinical research, Wissinger said that what differentiates them in the market is their research software, which is called NutriMOst Intelligence. It takes all the macro-nutrient details from thousands of different kinds of food and recommends products to their clients based on their medical history. "If you're a 65 year old who needs to lose 50 pounds and you have a history of cardiac problems in your family, our program will customize your recommendations and will make sure you avoid any red meat protein, and it will automatically send you mega rich fatty acids to use it as your protein. And we do that for dozens of medical conditions depending on each individuals experience. So, the food and the supplement are hand-tailored under our programs," he said.

Wissinger emphasized that brand does none of the gimmicks like recommending shakes or frozen foods or shipments to your home. He said that the whole purpose of the program is to teach you to shop better at grocery stores and to eat better at restaurants or wherever you go.

"Our philosophy for our customers is to live your life the way you should, without buying food products from us repeatedly," he said.

Technology has played an important role in their growth journey. They rely on the tech and innovation to make sure they are on the top of their game. "We have a database of tens of thousands of different types of foods and all their nutritional properties," he said.

With inputs from Komal Nathani

Sanchita Dash

Entrepreneur Staff

Former Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur India

In the business of news for 5 years now. Making my way across India thanks to my career. A media graduate from Symbiosis, Pune, I have earlier worked with Deccan Chronicle (South India's leading English daily), T-Hub (India's largest incubator) and Anthill Ventures (a speed-scaling platform). 

Stories, movies and PJs are my thing. 

If you hear 'The Office' opening score randomly, don't worry it's just my phone ringing. 


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