Be it in everyday cooking or as an addition to ‘desi ghar ke nuskhe’ for health and beauty, turmeric has been every Indian’s go-to ingredient since time immemorial. HaldiVita is a cultural enterprise leveraging its many benefits and is using turmeric as the main ingredient in its range of packaged products.
Founded by Sameer Gupta and Ankit Khanduri, HaldiVita is on a mission to create Turmeric based healthy products, backed by research. Sameer Gupta tells us his tale of how it all came together from a vision to bring non-chemical farm produce to consumers.
Never too late to Start-Up!
With over three decades of professional experience now, I started as a Chartered Accountant in 1985. As the Controller – Finance & Operations for one of the biggest multinational publishing houses, Wiley, I was handling regions across India, Singapore, Australia, and Europe.
I went on to become the Chief Financial Officer at HCL Infosystems Ltd. Then came a short two-year stint in the United Kingdom as the CEO of a state-of-art BPO center handling processes for various telecom and retail companies. I moved to Oman for 14 long years to establish and manage the country’s finest and most profitable BPO center – Infoline.
I came back to India around 2015 and assisted various start-ups as a consultant. In the process, I met Ankit Khanduri, a mechanical engineer, and thus began our association to find a worthy agri-based product to start a venture of our own.
Striking Gold – Discovering the magic of ‘Suvarna’ Haldi
Scouting across the length and breadth of the country in search of a Farmorigin product to center our business around, our search finally ended in 2018. On a chance visit to Badrinath and then ahead to Mana – the last village on the Indian border, we came across Suvarna (Pahadi) Haldi.
It burst with flavors and tasted delicious but there was a lot more to it. We got some samples tested and realized that the curcumin content, a biological compound that gives turmeric its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, was 7-8.5% whereas, in the regular commercial haldi, these levels are as low as a meager 1%. But it wasn’t until witnessing the benefits of in my own life, that I thought of setting up HaldiVita.
I was highly overweight and a patient with diabetes when I came back to India from Oman. And was excessively dependent upon an allopathic treatment regimen until I was advised to consume Suvarna Haldi. Within 9 months I reversed my diabetes using a simple combination of Haldi, and Pranayam and avoiding preservatives in my daily life.
Witnessing these revelations of one such simple ingredient out of our daily lives, motivated us to give it a go and share it with the community.
From Haldi Doodh to Turmeric Latte – Growing with Sweat, Passion & Research
Choosing healthy products over readily available junk is not everyone’s cup of tea. But we chose to make it possible for everyone. While the world is going gaga over the advantages of ‘turmeric latte’, we Indians have been sipping on our haldi doodh for ages. But we wanted to go a step further.
There are approximately 30 types of turmeric found across our planet. Suvarna Haldi is found at the foothills of the Himalayas. Our Haldi takes 15-18 months to grow as compared to a shorter 6-month cycle of commercial turmeric. To aggregate and support farmers in the Chamoli district to grow Suvarna Haldi, we joined hands with the founders of NGO Agaas. Later, it also came to our notice that curcumin is not bio-soluble. It had to be mixed with other ingredients to make it so.
With the help of research and dialogues with well-known Ayurveda doctors, we could finally prepare our own formulation. We adopted this product in our daily meals and witnessed a positive impact within a short period of time. And thus HaldiVita was born.
HaldiVita is a mix of eleven ingredients including Suvarna Haldi. We wanted the taste to be loved by all, regardless of age. Most of the other products available in the market contained a very high content of sugar and preservatives, negatively impacting people’s lives. We made sure to avoid adding any extracts, preservatives, or additives in our formulation and introduced 3 flavors – Elaichi Pista, Cocoa, and a natural blend for people who love the unique taste of turmeric.
HaldiVita brings a mature blend of ancestors’ theories and modern science to the table.
Power to Empower – The HaldiVita Foundation
A turning point in HaldiVita’s lifecycle till now has been when it got incubated in IIM-Kashipur in 2019. And starting from scratch, finally, in 2020 we had reached a turnover of Rs.5-6 lakhs per month. But a business that makes nothing but money, is a poor business.
We started our venture with roots deep in research. We were never one for immediate solutions. It was always about identifying the root cause to nip it in the bud. To make an everlasting impact that brings about real change, we set up the HaldiVita Foundation.
The idea is to empower not just the farmers but everyone who’s aligned with our cause. We believe in not just financial empowerment but also decision-making empowerment. The foundation works closely with the farmers to help them improve their overall livelihood status and create awareness for sustainable farming.
We identify marginalized families and understand their problems in depth before designing a solution. The right educational opportunities, innovative farming techniques, E-learning, and financial assistance are all a part of the effort being made to make our farming community self-reliant.
Our vision is to elevate the lives of our farmers and their families.
Growing through what we Go through – The journey ahead
HaldiVita has its presence in around 18 countries and 15,000-20,000 counter-tops in India. Our operations and production were severely hit when COVID-19 surged. But we had the zeal to start over. Incubation in NIFTEM made our hopes soar high again.
With the support of a local MLA in Haldukhal, Uttarakhand, we started an initiative to assist the farmers in their crop production. Our small initiative revolutionized the lives of 80+ farmers there. HaldiVita believes that farmers are front-line warriors in our battle against climate change and empowering them would make a tremendous difference. We are bridging the gap with required inputs, providing farmers with the right seeds, and ensuring the best agronomy practices.
Partnering with eminent institutions like ITM Gwalior, CIAB Mohali, and ISF Moga, we will always be a quality research-driven organization. HaldiVita produces a wide variety of products including Turmeric Latte, Curcumin Shots, Herbal Cookies, etc. which are rich in nutrients and herbs, providing various benefits to the body-mind. Aggregating retail outlets, exporting to different countries and leveraging online platforms like Amazon, Flipkart, etc. we are sure to make it big.
Prevention is better than cure and this need motivates us to innovate our products that will eventually move our society towards a healthy lifestyle.
NICEorg wishes HaldiVita the best of luck in their journey ahead!
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Feature image credit: freepik.com