"Our apprehension was that we may have to give deep discounts to consumers and trade to influence offtakes. Consumers are willing to pay for high-quality products that deliver results and taste great," candidly shares Soumava Sengupta, CEO, BUILD., a sports nutrition and health supplement brand focused on fitness
The promoters of Pursuit of Wellness have been associated with the sports nutrition category for over 10 years as importers and distributors of some of the top international brands in India. Given the import duty structure in India, the price to consumers for high-quality, safe products is very highly-priced. The founders behind the brand identified that gap and decided to launch a manufactured in India brand using the best international ingredients to deliver an international quality product at affordable pricing.
BUILD. is a D2C brand from Pursuit of Wellness that offers sports nutrition supplements. Its manufacturing facility is GMP certified and experienced in the manufacture of sports nutrition products. It also has a tie-up with an offline distributor of sports nutrition, that gives access to the 1400 outlets servicing the consumers. BUILD. as of now stands self-funded and debt free on the business.
The company has a website that caters to online shopping. The in-house marketing team sets the brand strategy and activity calendar. The brand develops products for the Indian market with a special focus on miscibility and taste to give the best consumer experience.
How are you different from the existing competitors?
· Most of the large players are international brands who sell products developed for their home country in India. We have developed products specifically for the Indian market.
· Our competition has been promoting the products for gym goers. This has not allowed the category to grow as fast as it should in a country like India.
· We know protein science very well and that it should be used by all people who lead an active lifestyle to help them repair their muscles and recover better.
· We are different because we want to unshackle the category from the gym and educate consumers, on why protein powders should be an essential part of their fitness regime.
What challenges are you facing in running your business?
The biggest challenge in the category is to educate consumers that protein powders and supplements are for everybody. India has had a history of products that are fake or made using substandard ingredients. Consumers are wary of side effects and also think that it is not meant for me. The challenge is to break this mindset and educate consumers on how to recognize and buy genuine, high-quality products
How has been the people`s response so far?
The consumer response has been excellent. The taste, miscibility and easy-to-digest features have been universally appreciated. We are ahead of our annual business plan, both in terms of sales and distribution. The two KPIs are instore availability (distribution width) and repeat purchases from the stores. We have just started our own website on September 1, 2022. We will get a grip on the results of that by the end of December 2022.
How do you look at expansion?
Our expansion plans are built on three pillars:
o Enter into more product categories
o Open new stores and expand into white spaces
o Segment the market further by benefit spaces to offer more customized solutions In each product category
What has been the biggest learning so far?
Our products are not priced at the bottom of the price pyramid in India. Our apprehension was that we may have to give deep discounts to consumers and trade to influence offtakes. But that has not been the case. Consumers are willing to pay for high-quality products that deliver results and taste great.
What is the market size and opportunity?
The overall Sports Nutrition Category is estimated to be around Rs 1800 crore growing at 18 per cent CAGR. In the next 5 years, the category is expected to cross Rs 4000 crore.