Founded in 2018, Bhookha Haathi Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. is one of India’s fastest-growing alternative foods-based B2B2C health and food tech company.
Bhookha Haathi Replace takes its consumers one step closer to a healthier diet by offering them nutritious, wholesome and tasty choices as an alternative to the nutrient-deficient ingredients in their daily diet. Sourced directly from farmers and producers, their range of proprietary health food products celebrate pure, powerful, healing and health-promoting ingredients which are 100% natural and organic without any preservatives, added colours or artificial flavours. With the help of its proprietary AI (Artificial Intelligence) software, Bhookha Haathi provides subscription-based personalized health solutions at an affordable cost to consumers who wish to substitute or replace their existing dependencies on consuming expensive, processed, strong and chemical-based medications to 100% natural compositions. These compositions are based on dried fruits, nuts, herbs, spices, seeds, grains & honey. These not only cure many long term and hereditary diseases but also resolve many nutritional deficiencies and have no side effects at all.
We at Bangalore Insider had the chance to catch up with Kusum, the founder of Bhookha Haathi. Here are the excerpts of the interview.
What made you start your start-up and what problem does it solve?
The company was founded on the vision to create products that help solve the widespread problem of tobacco chewing that continues to be a prevalent vice in modern India. Bhookha Haathi hopes to eradicate this century-old vice by offering a range of healthy dry-fruit based replacement products. We believe that a healthy lifestyle starts with selecting healthy food and are constantly thinking of our consumers, looking for innovative ways to help them make healthier food choices through our alternative food products.
Today Bhookha Haathi is pioneering the way with a range of dry-fruits, nuts and herbs based healthy refreshers and oral fresheners that not only boost energy, work well as digestives but also help in getting rid of unhealthy and harmful chewing habits. The brand’s popular range of dry-fruit and nut-based health booster powders are a great alternative to unnatural protein and vitamin powders commonly available in the market. Consumers can also choose from our range of specialty honey that is a healthy replacement to the sugars used in tea, coffee and other daily usage. Home remedies and herbal infusions made using the Bhookha Haathi range of naturally sourced, organic honey can also be used to boost health and energy apart from strengthening the immune system.
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this start-up?
I come from the creative field, I have worked as an art person in the advertising industry and have around 18 years of experience in creating brand solutions for some well-known brands in the country. I have held various leadership and strategic level positions in my past stints with Images Bazaar, Triton Communications and Sahara Group to name a few. Before the initiation of this start-up took place, I was consulting National University of Singapore and World Toilet Organisation, Singapore for their various projects in India. I also pursued my other passions, painting & photography, created a good body of work for online & offline exhibitions and completed some photography projects as well. I still indulge in painting and photography whenever I get some free time in hand.
Where is your start-up based out of? Why do you think that is the best place for you?
Our start-up is based out of Bangalore. Earlier Bangalore was considered the hub for the IT opportunities available in the city, but now the city is getting famous for being the birthplace of both B2B and B2C start-ups and for giving way to young entrepreneurs. It is easier for budding entrepreneurs to avail the resources required to run a business because of easier access to relevant talent pool and raw materials the city has to offer. Bangalore is home to many successful start-ups in the country such as Flipkart, Zoomcar, Ola, BigBasket, Myntra, Swiggy, Freshmenu, Dunzo and the likes, so we believe we are in good company.
As a start-up founder, what are you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?
We are aiming to make Bhookha Haathi synonymous with all-natural personalised health solutions for our customers. Our short and long-term goals are the ones that keep me awake at night. Our visions are as below:
Vision 2030: “Our vision for 2030 is to be able to provide a personalized nutraceutical replacement to major ameliorate health conditions with affordable nutrition and technological interventions.”
Vision 2050: “There are around 232 million tobacco-users in India, of which 30 percent are into the habit of chewing tobacco. While recently in the Budget 2020 our Honorable finance minister of India had announced that by 2025 the current government wants to eradicate TB (tuberculosis), our vision since inception has been always on the same lines for 2050, where we would want to reduce the consumption of tobacco by more than 50 percent.
Who are your competitors and how are you better than them?
Currently, there is no direct competitor for us as we are the only company in India which is providing end to end products; from consulting to delivery of personalised nutraceuticals. Although we do believe that during our journey ahead, we will cross ways with companies like Nestle, Amway, etc. who are currently dominant in the existing market space. However, as said earlier, these companies are not of much competition to us, as we are more focused on 100% natural personalised nutraceuticals with the help of our AI & ML technology.
How hard is it to have a work-life balance as a start-up founder and how do you manage it?
As a start-up founder, it is indeed a difficult task as you have to juggle many roles not only at home but also at work. The key to managing them is to prioritise and keep ticking off the list as you go along.
Have you raised funding? If yes, then we would like to know the details. If not then please tell us if you are looking to raise.
Bootstrapped so far, we have plans to raise funds in the coming months to scale up our operations, expand our customer base, and advance our proprietary AI technology.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about you? Why do they have that? What’s the reality?
I am an introvert by nature and it is not very easy for me to go up to people, talk to them and network. I am considered as a very serious person and because of this people get the wrong notion about me being intimidating. In reality, I am a really fun-loving person and once I open up and people get to know the real me, they see my funnier side, and they get to realise how wrong they have been all along.
What gets you excited about this company?
The way we foresee our company using our proprietary AI technology, has never been done before and the best thing is, we are the only ones who can build further on this technology as we have patented the same. We are very excited about it as it is going to change the future of personalised preventive medicine, supplements market and the way people will benefit from it.
Tell us how a day in your life looks like? Your schedule for a day right from the time you get up till you hit the bed at night.
My day is divided into multiple activities and schedules! I wake up early and start my day with a small session on meditation & yoga followed by preparation of meals for my family. I am at my office by 10 am, whereby my first half is dedicated towards brand planning and execution of the same. Post lunch I am involved with the R&D team for development of new products. I reach home by late evening at around 7pm followed by dinner preparations, post dinner I spend some quality time with my family and hit the bed by 11:30 pm.
Tell us about your team and how did you meet each other?
Abhimanyu and I have a common sports background and had met each other through a common acquaintance and, over a few cups of coffee, ended up sharing our thoughts on the need for 100% natural & affordable nutraceutical solutions in replacement to chemical based supplements. Rest of our senior level team members are mostly old colleagues we both have worked with at some point or the other during our career span in the industry.