Rise of Namhya Foods: Candid discussion with founder Ridhima Arora

Namhya Foods

Ridhima Arora: Getting the flavor of the corporate world.

An Engineer & MBA by profession, Ridhima Arora started working with one of the leading Mobile handset brands Lava International as a Category Manager and has rich experience in Brand Building for domestic as well as export markets. Working in the corporate world has made her a pro in understanding consumerism and creating strong consumer brands. Also,

The inception of Namhya Foods Venture

Ridhima herself has been a fitness enthusiast by herself ever since she passed her high-class schooling, a trained Yoga Instructor, and a practicing nutritionist. Thinking about anything beyond engineering or a doctorate was quite difficult during the early days and was difficult to think about making money out of your passion. However, being a fitness enthusiast helped her in thinking about a startup with such an exclusive product line.

There were some health issues in the family, which gave birth to this venture; therapeutic ayurvedic food can do a lot of healing this has been experienced in the recent past and is happening now also; we need to develop the level of trust in our ancient ayurveda and not just relying on allopathy; develop conventional ayurveda product and later develop lifestyle Ayurveda products. This degree of trust in Ayurveda needs to be inculcated among the modern youth.

Namhya Foods is on a mission to cure people naturally

Today, most diseases are because of a sedentary lifestyle; genetics doesn’t play much contribution. Any health issue takes about 8-10 years to become a disease, it is our ignorance that makes it more chronic; if we become more proactive in addressing such problems in the initial days of occurrence; things would never worsen. Health issues like high blood pressure, Cholesterol, thyroid, PCOS, and PCOD; are all lifestyle issues and can be taken care of if we can improve our sedentary lifestyles. Namhya Foods aims to help people overcome these lifestyle health challenges and create a preventive healthcare brand that can become part of routine life and take care of consumer’s health.

Understanding today’s consumer is important because there have been brands existing in this Unani, Ayurveda space; but it was important for us to understand why modern consumer is not inclined towards brands. Our research helped us understand that it was imperative to create a modern lifestyle brand offering the same goodness as Ayurveda.

Challenges for Namhya Foods: Ridhima has overcome so far

Challenges were there while starting, and challenges are there today also; the brand is evolving, so things will never be the same always in this dynamic world; some of them are internal challenges and some are external challenges. The life of an entrepreneur is all about juggling between these two kinds of challenges.

One major internal challenge we face is Working Capital for Namhya Foods, which is common for most of the start-ups who are starting up with their savings. This challenge is still there, as we are scaling up; the level of investments required is much higher than what it was at the beginning.

Namhya Foods

Another challenge came from the external environment, where so many FMCG giants were operating, it was initially very difficult to niche for ourselves, though now things started to move but still this would exist till we can create a certain level of brand pull.

The third challenge was creating an initial level of trust in the product, being in a therapeutic space; product efficacy was extremely important which could be either justified through clinical trials or testimonials, getting clinical trials was a long & capital-intensive process; so we relied more on getting the accurate testimonials and promoting the same on all possible platforms.

Today, business is at a different level and the challenges are of course very different. One challenge is getting the right kind of people on the team for Namhya Foods is critical as can or breaks the company, especially at this point.

Namhya Foods has never been held back by initial failures

There have been failures initially, but it is important to learn from failures and keep improvising every day as a process. Failures have never been able to pull us back, everyone in the team is self-driven and is keen on taking this venture to the next level. This is where a lot of people fail; they start only because they wish to start as it is appealing and glamorous; it takes a lot from you to make a startup successful. As an entrepreneur, you need to have passion and zeal to drive the venture whatever the condition is.

Story of Creating a Hero in the Product Portfolio for Namhya Foods

Women’s health tea for PCOS & PCOD has been Namhya Foods’ key driver, product efficacy has been truly amazing and has helped numerous consumers to get rid of PCOS & PCOD issues, results have been beyond expectation, which eventually helped in easy product acceptance among the female target audience. Also, there was a lot of word-of-mouth promotion for this product, as women were sharing product feedback among their peer groups and referrals were getting converted into sales.

Having the right Product name, with product ingredients & benefits mentioned alongside gave a lot of clarity to the consumer and gave a strong reason to buy.

Namhya Foods Diabetic Tea, Liver Tea, and Lungs Tea are all therapeutic and functional teas; the name itself says a lot, and is easy to understand what are meant for. Creating such product nomenclature has made it easy to understand the product benefits and ease the decision-making for our consumers to an extent.

Communicating the product story: Marketing it the right way.

We have been operating in a space where we are curing health issues through therapeutic ayurvedic products, so communicating the product benefits in the easiest and most convenient form is what has been working for us. The entire content strategy is all about educating the consumer about how products can help them overcome specific health issues.

This content was going online as well as on the pack. Namhya Foods’ content stories got picked up by PR agencies and news agencies, which eventually helped in creating awareness for the brand & the product as well.

Creating education on health has been the core strategy for Namhya Foods, which is still being practiced and is still working for the brand.

Product Pricing Strategy for Namhya Foods

Products at Namhya Foods are made of authentic Ayurvedic herbs, which come at a premium price; this cost must be accounted for while working on the pricing. So strategically, pricing has been over the artisan tea or flavored green tea but kept it below any premium tea.

The idea is to make it affordable for most of the audience, since has a therapeutic value attached to it, so we want more and more consumers should make this part of their lifestyle without thinking too much about pricing; therefore, the attempt by Namhya Foods has been to make it affordable.

Advise to the young & budding entrepreneurs

There are a lot of opportunities in every category; the market is always ready to accommodate differentiation and innovation, it is on you how you identify the cavity in the market and capitalize on it.

Don’t be in a hurry, take your time to develop the right product mix before attacking the market. Ensure there have been enough product trials and product testing, you must be 100% sure while you are taking the product to the market. Once the product reaches the market, then you should be focusing on reaching a greater number of consumers each day.

Don’t rely too much on attracting funding initially, focus on delivering value and quality to the consumers; the rest of everything shall fall in place itself. Once you can stabilize the product and achieve a certain revenue level; then you may attract funding to scale the business further.

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