Our overall ambition is to take fitness to the next level," maintains Anil Bhaskar, the visionary architect of the group and now Chairman and Managing Director of the Healthfarm business empire, and one who is known for his deep insight in the subject of healthcare and nutrition, his impeccable entrepreneurial acumen and his sharp business sense.
Speaking to Corporate India, in an interview, Mr. Bhaskar insists that being fit today is a vital need for everyone. People can't cater to the exact nutritional requirements of the body from their normal food due to their busy schedule; therefore, supplements are essential for everyone to attain the true fitness goal. And as far as army men, police squad, sportsmen and sportswomen are concerned, their need for fitness emphasizes the importance of supplements. Little wonder that the market for supplements is growing rapidly throughout the world.
Notes Mr. Bhaskar, "At Healthfarm, we aim at taking fitness to the next level and we offer nutritional supplements, organic herbs, multi-vitamins. Intending to provide authentic and high-quality food supplements to athletes, bodybuilders and active people, we offer a wide range of products consisting of protein powders, mass gainers, weight gainers, multivitamins, Ayurvedic Medicines, men wellness products, tablets, energy drinks, fat burners, meal replacements and immunity builders - and that too at very economical prices."
Excerpts from the interview:
Corporate India: There are many manufacturers of such fitness products at home and abroad. How do you differentiate your company from them?
Anil Bhaskar: We are committed to the excellent quality of our products, sustained innovation and remarkable customer service. Hence we have taken three routes to achieve our objective and emerge as an above-average unique company by striving hard not only to maintain but strengthen our numero uno position among sports and nutrition brand stores. As the quality, safety and efficacy of the final product depend on the quality of raw materials, we don't compromise on the latter. We depend on the best- quality raw material imported/Indigenous. Again, we check the imported/Indigenous raw material in our laboratory before using it.
Secondly, at Healthfarm, quality and safety are top priorities. In fact, quality is not an accident in our company, it is a way of life. Our commitment to quality starts with scientific research and safety checks. This involves testing and analysis at every stage - right from the raw material to finished products. At every stage we take utmost care to ensure that our products are totally free from contaminants and are of the highest quality. We have our own high-quality testing laboratory, which is operated by a team of highly qualified individuals and technicians. Our testing team is dedicated to ensuring that every product that leaves our facility meets a high benchmark. Thirdly, investing in the latest technology and experience, we can ensure that our customers receive products that are safe, effective and of the highest quality.
Are you planning to export your products or remain content by selling them at home?
Certainly, we have already started planning to sell our products in overseas countries - particularly in the US, Latin America, Middle East and Africa where there will be very good demand for our supplements and Ayurvedic Medicines. With a view to catering to the global markets, we have already established our presence with growing strategic alliances in the US, Latin America, Middle East and Africa
What is the export potential for Indian sports nutrition products in overseas markets?
There is huge export potential. According to the latest research study by the Dublin-based Research and Markets, the global sports nutrition market is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.05 percent. The growth is mainly due to the companies resuming their operations and adopting a 'new normal' while recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic impact which had earlier led to restrictive containment measures involving social distancing, remote working and the closure of the commercial activities. Things are getting to normal and the sports nutrition market is expected to reach $ 51.02 billion by 2026.
What about the Indian market for sports nutrition?
AB: In India also, the importance of sports is steadily improving, which is evident from the increased participation of Indians in the Olympic, Commonwealth, Asian and other Games including cricket. Of late, the sports nutrition market is experiencing strong growth. According to the Research and Markets research report, North America was the largest region in the sports nutrition market in 2021 and 2022. Going ahead, Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest growing region. India is also a part of this region where the demand for sports nutrition has started rising briskly. Healthfarm would like to participate actively in this demand upsurge.
So what are your future plans?
Innovation plays a very important role in sports nutrition. We are going to established at Jalandhar a well-equipped and resourceful research and development centre to develop new products which will enable us to penetrate overseas markets effectively. Our R&D centre is staffed with capable and innovative technical experts who are busy developing new products. We aim at establishing our brand in line with renowned international brands like Glanbia Plc, Pepsico Inc, Cliff Bar & Co, Musclefarm, Post Holdings Inc and Ultimate Nutrition. We intend to expand our business going ahead so that we can reach the milestone of Rs 500-crore sales turnover during the next five years and cross Rs. 1000-crore mark within a decade.
Family biz with professional touch
Healthfarm is a family-run group with a difference - members of the Bhaskar family of Jalandhar who are part of the management are professional managers through and through. The man behind it all is first-gen entrepreneur Anil Bhaskar, Group Chairman and Managing Director. He was a senior marketing representative for a leading pharma company for years.
But in 1987, the bug of entrepreneurship started biting him and he made up his mind to do something on his own. Interestingly, his wife Rashi not only agreed to his risky plan but encouraged him to go ahead. Admits Mr. Bhaskar, "But for her powerful affirmation, I would not have ventured to take this jump."
Anil Bhaskar looks after the overall management. But his major responsibility and contribution are to ensure strict adherence to quality standards and a continuous focus on research and innovation. He has an engineer's sharp mind and his deep knowledge of marketing strategies, along with his penchant for the latest technology and the highest quality of products, have laid the strong foundation for the Healthfarm group's singular success.
Executive Director Karan Bhaskar, an M. Pharma, takes care of production, purchase and finance. while Executive Director Bhuvan Bhaskar, a B. Pharma and an MBA (Marketing), looks after sales and production.
Rashi Bhaskar is the uncrowned queen of the Healthfarm business empire. Whenever there are any differences of opinion on any business issue, her decision is considered final. She maintains, "Though at home we are a loving family, at the factory and office we act as business executives and all our decisions are taken professionally."
HOW IT BEGAN
It was a calm and cool morning in 1987 when Mr. Bhaskar, then a wellpaid sales representative of a leading pharmaceutical company, decided to quit and branch out on his own. His wife Rashi fully supported him without worrying about how to run their home in the absence of a steady salary. The couple set up the Trojan group, taking up a crusade of its own for the health and wellbeing of the nation. The group first promoted a smallscale company, Bison Pharma, for the manufacture of Pharmaceutical and Ayurvedic Medicines in Jalandhar, Punjab.
In 2002, A new manufacturing unit established in sansarpur terrace, kangra, Himachal Pradesh. As the business expanded and Mr. Anil Bhaskar and Rashi
were joined by their sons Karan and Bhuvan, a new brand, styled Healthfarm, was created under the banner of the Trojan group in 2012.
Stresses Karan Bhaskar, “We have forged ahead unhesitatingly, with no looking back ever since.” Adds Bhuvan Bhaskar, “Our quest for excellence in the fields of Ayurvedic Medicine and Nutraceuticals has been the benchmark behind all the endeavours that led to the inception of a network of various manufacturing units.” Pater familias Anil Bhaskar notes, Healthfarm group consists of as many
as seven companies Trojan Pharma, Divine Pharma, Bison
Organics, Divinity Healthcare, Bison Pharma, Herbalways Ayurvedic and Neutraherbs.”
TOP U.S. SOURCE
A visionary in a hurry, Anil Bhaskar in order to ensure that Healthfarm made rapid strides entered into strategic alliances in the UK, Canada and Malaysia, thus opening the way for the group to penetrate overseas markets. Going a step ahead, Healthfarm joined hands with Florida (US)-based Raw Nutrition to bring the latter's quality sports supplements to India. Raw Nutrition, owned by Dr. Dominic Iacavone, Matheson Janesen and Christopher Bumstead (who is a four-time Olympics champion) is known for its premium quality, scientifically backed formulas and commitment to innovation. As Mr. Bhaskar notes, "Our partnership with Raw reflects Healthfarm's commitment to bringing innovative and effective products to its customers. Raw supplements (Protein EAA, Intra-workout and Pre-workout) and whey protein are highly popular in the US.”
Thanks to a widening product range and rising demand for its products, Healthfarm has made rapid strides on the financial front. During fiscal 2020-21, the group's sales turnover amounted to Rs 80.83 crore on which it earned a profit of Rs 5.39 crore. During the next year (2021-22), the sales turnover crossed the milestone of Rs 100 crore to reach Rs 101.41 crore, with the profit also rising to Rs 6.31 crore.
During the year just ended (2022-23), it earned a higher profit of Rs 7.80 crore on an expanded turnover of Rs 124.89 crore. In fact, Anil Bhaskar projects the group's turnover and profit to reach the Rs 200-crore mark and the Rs 10-crore mark respectively in the current year ending March 2024.
Prospects for the group going ahead are all the more promising. Reveals Mr. Bhaskar, "Divinity Wellness is all set to establish a new factory in Jalandhar on land spread over 5 acres, which will be a significant addition to our Ayurvedic Medicines and nutraceuticals output." The new factory is fast coming up and is expected to go on stream by December 2023. It will be dedicated to producing high-quality nutraceuticals and Ayurvedic medicines, reflecting the company's strong focus on quality and excellence.
The group plans to expand its presence in the global market by exporting supplements to the US, Latin America, Middle East and Africa. "These developments will pave the way for a bright future for Divinity Wellness, with the potential for further growth and expansion in the coming years," confidently concludes Anil Bhaskar.