We are interviewing Mr. Vinit Shah, Anuj Shah, Dr Parin Shah, from Jiwadaya (Herbs @ Work).
Designation of the interviewees:
CEO, Project Head & Head Strategic Business Unit respectively.
About the founders :
- Vinit Shah is a B.Pharma, MBA from IIM, Indore majored in Finance and Marketing. Has over 15 years experience in Finance and Marketing and has worked closely with different trade channels, distribution networks of Medical as well FMCG companies.
- Anuj Shah is a B.Pharma, MBA majored in Marketing with cross functional exposure in production, business development, marketing, networking and human resources over a period of 13 years. He takes keen interest in quality improvements, business development and raising funds for Project Antaj.
- Dr Parin Shah – BAMS, MBA is an ardent believer of Ayurved, Research, Formulation Development and has a penchant for Panchakarma treatments.
What is the problem you are trying to solve?
Acidity is the most common and rampant disease in all classes as well as age groups. Life style is one of the major reasons for the same. 250 million people are affected with Acidity. 20-30% of the population are suffering weekly. Solutions available in modern medicine more symptomatic and chemical in nature and have adverse effects. In other forms of medicines the solutions are low on presentability, do not appeal strongly to the psyche, have delayed response etc.
We have made an attempt to bring together best of the two worlds. We have used the principles and knowledge of Ayurveda and the formulation development method and technology of modern medicine to develop this Innovative Natural Chewable Palatable Acidity Tablets for cure in Seconds, ANTAJ.
According to research reports and growth estimates Digestive Acidity market in India is estimated at INR 1750 Cr growing at 12-15% annually and will reach INR 3000 Cr by 2022.
What is the uniqueness about your Startup?
We are one of its kind company which is bringing together best of the two worlds. Especially visible in our Product Antaj for Acidity, which is a
- Palatable Chewable Tablet
- High Appeal on Presentation
- Cures from the roots
- Acts Fast on Acute and Chronic Acidity
- Flavoured in Mint, Vanilla & Butterscotch
- Had no Adverse Effects
Why do you choose crowdfunding?
A vast number of people are affected with Acidity and hence most of the people shall understand the need for such a product. Further, the same people who would contribute will also be able to try the same through our rewards.
Why should anyone or investor back you?
We are marketing the product in the Mumbai market and have been able to make the product available in 35-40% of the Medical Stores and around 70-75% of Ayurvedic Stores.
With help we look at making Antaj available at 65-70% of Medical Stores and 90% of Ayurvedic Stores. This will help people gain access to a product which is Natural and provides relief from the most rampant disease Acidity without any adverse effects.
Where can people back your project?
What would you do after raising funds?
We shall use the funds in the following manner:
- Team training for Product Awareness and Sales – 20000
- Improving Packaging, Presentation, Palatability – 14000
- Digital Marketing for Online Awareness – 20000
- Online Sales Promotion through Amazon, Ebay etc – 40000
- Patient Education & Product Details Handout Design – 6000
- Patient Education & Product Details Handout Print – 30000
- Sales People for covering ground in Mumbai – 60000
- Awareness Creation through Print Media – 70000
- In Shop Promoters for Product Awareness & Sales – 40000
What is the revenue model? Explain your thought process.
The product is priced at MRP 75. We need to offer 25-35% margin to the trade. Selling can happen through both the below mentioned ways:
- Push through margins
- Pull through demand creation
The product is also available on Amazon and is selling well. We have received some good reviews for the product on Amazon. Further we are thinking of many innovative ways of marketing. We shall be approaching restaurants and keeping a dispenser on their cash counters where people can check the same while moving out of the restaurant. We have even tied up with Clubs and placed the product in their consumer store. We are also approaching the likes of Big Bazaar, D Mart etc.
Who are the consumers that you are targeting? How is this going to affect them?
The masses as this disease is affecting across all sections of society, all age groups etc
What is the big picture of your startup? Will it lead to something bigger? If so, how?
At Jiwadaya, we provide Natural Integrated Healthcare Management through Innovative Product, Treatment, Nursing & Technology giving an easy effective adverse effect free alternative to Modern Science.
This is coming through Products, Treatment centres and technology Technology in terms of apps that will provide for the Nursing through reminders, patient awareness & education, real time healthcare solutions through Video Conferencing with doctors, removing the time and distance issue for healthcare
Our Vision and Mission is as under:
- To Exploit the Knowledge & Principles of Ayurveda and use it for betterment of Mankind by making best use of Modern Technology
- To have 100 products, 10 clinics and an online Platform for Patient Doctor Interaction by the end of 2020
Presently we have 26 products and are coming up with our second Clinic and Panchkarma Centre. We are in the process of revolutionizing the entire healthcare system whereby people shall start looking at wellness rather than treatment.
What is the success story of your startup in your own words?
We started with studying the approach of Polyherbalism. The concept revolves around use of many herbs to increase the result of the formulation. We studied effects of over 100 herbs that can be used to act against acidity and then filtered nine among them which are the most effective. The research team incorporated ingredients which are mentioned in Ayurvedic Texts like Yesthimadhu, Khajur, Guduchi, Shatavari, Amalaki, Sunthi, Kali Draksha, Kariyatu and Aragvadha.
We wanted to address the Aesthetics correctly since this was one of the reasons that could keep people from accepting Ayurvedic products. Hence we worked on the packaging, which you can see is attractive, self-explanatory, uses modern methods of packaging.
More important was to address the look of the dosage form. Hence we decide on the tablets which are modern day dosage forms, which could be easy to carry and could be use anytime. We went a step ahead and decide to make it chewable so as to make it even more convenient that you would not even need water to gulp it down.
We now had an uphill task of developing Antaj CHEWABLE TABLETS tablets. The advantages of this unique formulation were manifold. The slow and sustained release from the mouth would make it effective and quick acting along with being long lasting. We also had to fight competition which was claiming that their products gave relief within minutes. Hence, chewable tablets would start acting from the mouth itself. They would be converted to liquid before reaching the stomach and would start acting immediately.
But Ayurvedic ingredients are bitter and it would be very difficult for us to make a formulation that is palatable. I.e. it should have a great taste for a patient to be able to chew it.
We met Ayurvedacharya’s and Formulation Development Experts who would guide us on the same. Experts in Ayurveda and Ayurvedacharyas suggested use of Sitopala (Khadisakar) and few other ayurvedic ingredients which would add to the taste. Formulation Development Experts had other views of adding substance like Aspartame. However, we did not wish to add chemicals especially ones which could have harmful effects.
Under the guidance of Ayurvedacharyas, Formulation Development Experts and Laboratory Experts our Inhouse research team started formulating Antaj tablets which would be chewable. But using various ingredients only hardened the tablets making it rough. We then made use of indigenous material which would make it smooth. After this we conducted dissolution studies. The results were good.
We then made a trial batch and distributed the tablets to over a hundred patients suffering from acidity. The results were good but patients insisted on for more palatable formulation. We never wanted to settle for anything less.
So our team again started working on various Ayurvedic Texts like Charak Samhita, Sushruth Samhita, Texts by Vaghbhat and also got in touch with our suppliers who could supply us with better ingredients which would not only mask the taste but also help us in improving the texture. After a couple of month of constant and determined efforts we finally came up with a formulation that is chewable and in accordance to all the norms of herbal tablets.
After compiling all the data, suggestions, research, trials the team met for a discussion on the path ahead. The first point suggested by experts was to eliminate the herb Kariyatu which is one of the bitterest ingredients in the formula. But research texts suggested incorporating this herb for its enormous therapeutic benefits. So keeping the formula which is result oriented was inevitable. With the formula fixed, we started exploring modern and commercial manufacturing procedures like decoction and microencapsulation to achieve desired results. After months of permutation and combination of process and materials we devised a unique method which achieved final outcome of very PALATABLE CHEWABLE TABLETS.
We developed Antaj – a NATURAL CHEWABLE PALATABLE tablet which is quick acting and at the same time provides relief for even chronic complaints.
Antaj tablet it now available in a flavoured mix of Mint, Vanilla and Butterscotch. We intend to introduce few more flavours and also to introduce an Effervescent Variant.
This is one such herbal product which is not just bringing a symptomatic relief unlike other OTC products available in the market which are more chemical in nature, but provides a solution to the cause of the problem.