“Covid-19 has taken health and fitness understanding to a different level”: Anand Agarwal


Businessfortnight had an interview with  Anand Agarwal Founder and CEO of By Nature. He is a renowned athlete, fitness enthusiast, serious marathoner, and avid cyclist. Sharing his views on Indian lifestyle, diet and healthcare, Anand Agarwal shared with us some enlightening insight about his current work. His company, By Nature, is working on 100% natural, plant-based and chemical-free products.

Here is a full insight into the interview:

In the post-covid-19 world, the consumer’s focus has shifted more towards a natural and holistic way of living. it has been witnessed that there is a growing preference for a healthy lifestyle, did you see the same growth and receive demand from the consumers?

Covid-19 brought us face to face with the reality that everyone is prone to issue irrespective of age and fitness levels. While, during wave1, we felt safer compare to other parts of the world, wave 2 was a crude reality check and brought us to our knees. During this difficult period, people realized the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, which is holistic including mind,
body and soul and based on a natural way of living and doing things.

Since the inception of our brand, By Nature, our brand philosophy has been to only deal with 100% natural, plant-based and chemical-free products. We are seeing increased inquiries and orders coming from every nook and corner of the country. As someone with a strong conviction in the natural way of doing things, I feel it is a very positive trend and is here to stay. Consumers are not only realising the benefits of natural and holistic health but are also embracing it. We have seen 300% growth in our website visitors, Revenue from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities has doubled in the last 9 months. There is rapid growth overall.

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Share something about the background of you and your company
Our brand ‘By Nature’ took birth in 2017, out of our strong understanding and conviction in the natural way of living, of the holistic benefits derived out of consuming natural and plant-based diets, which results in physical wellbeing leading to a beautiful and peaceful mind.

At By Nature, we believe in 3 things:
· Nutrition should be fairly simple
· Our lifestyle issues can be resolved through clean nutrition
· The best nutrition can be had when nature & science come together
We selected our partners who shared similar beliefs and followed ethical farming practices. We even selected our employees who has similar conviction. With this powerful ecosystem, we initiated our brand journey, with complete honesty to
our customers, our suppliers and all other stakeholders. Talking about us, I am an engineer MBA by education from IIT and ISB. I worked with Infosys, Accenture and RCOM before starting By Nature. I am a fitness enthusiast. My co-founder Himanshu Agarwal is MBA from KJ Somaiya in Mumbai. He comes from Bhilai. He is also a fitness enthusiast.

As the market is flooded with chemical-based products, what are your thoughts in this regard? How are you different from others?
Chemical-based products, factory made ingredients, pesticide laden fresh produce are the traditional and conventional ways. This has been going on for a long time. However, the consumers are now realising the ill effects of these chemicals on the body. Some of these chemicals slowly erode the body immune system, they act as slow poison and weaken the bodily functions over time. Not only they are bad for our body but also very bad for the environment.

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There is no substitute to what the nature gives us. It is good for us and also good for the entire eco system. At By Nature, we ensure that no chemical gets introduced anywhere during the entire life cycle of product creation. From sourcing to product packaging, we have set up a fool-proof chemical-free value chain.

We ensure that all the ingredients in our products are sourced from natural, plant-basedproducts. The benefits of these are then scientifically evaluated before using them in the product. By creating an honest culture in our organization, not only we remain true to ourselves, but also to all our stakeholders including customers.

What are your views on the healthcare and fitness market and what is the impact of Covid-19 on this segment?
Health and fitness has been a growing market for quite some time. Initially it was due to global exposure. With more and more people travelling abroad, they brought the global best practices home which lead to not only in the consumption of health and fitness products but also in the companies innovating products specific to Indians. One such example is health bars, a very easy and nutritious on-the-go healthy product.

Covid-19 has taken health and fitness understanding to a different level. There is a lot more appreciation of a) being healthy and b) natural ways of being healthy. A larger population is now getting into a fitness routine. When I talk about fitness, I am not referring to full marathoners or body builders, I am referring to the mass population who is looking to
just be fit. Everyday Nutrition is now the key.

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Thus Covid-19 has forced to brands to further innovate natural and plant based products. One such example would be Plant Based Protein Powder, which has only plant based ingredients, nothing artificial. It provides the same benefits as that of erstwhile chemical protein powders.

Under By Nature, what are the different product ranges available at your e-commerce platforms?
At By Nature, our core philosophy remains the same across all our products i.e. to have 100% natural, plant based and scientifically-formulated products. Nature has health foods and Nutrition category. Under Nutrition, we have products like
Plant-based protein powder, vitamin gummies and other nutritional powders for men and women. Under health foods, we have nutritionally rich products like Rolled Oats, quinoa, chia seeds and many more.

What are your expansion plans?
By Nature will continue to focus on expanding the reach and visibility for its existing portfolio, both online as well as offline. We continuously do R&D for new products. We will be launching 3-4 new products in the next 4-6 months, all within nutrition category.