Five years ago, in a market full of sports nutrition clutter, finding neat and clean nutrition was a task. Gym-goers, amateur athletes and even the pros would fall for the packaging and the brands marketing gimmicks. However, the latest generation is positioned more around healthy lifestyle. With the flourishing of athletes in India, sports nutrition too had its breakaway. It was Unived who came up with their stunning clean, neat and plant-based products that took away the blooming society by storm.
When we learned about Unived and their promises to their customers to offer innovative, quality, vegan healthcare products, we quickly looked up their social media and got in touch with Amit Mehta. Curious to know about their story and how their products can help the cycling community, we got in touch with Amit for an Interview.
Here’s what he had to say!
What’s the story behind the name- Unived?
Uni (versal) Ved (knowledge).
Our land is versatile and the plant kingdom is full of adventure. We dig deep into this vast plant kingdom, that is full of herbs, roots, stems, leaves, fruits, and flowers, that have some magical health promoting properties – and our desire is to share this knowledge with everyone, through our products.
We want to do something ‘creative’ – which I define as ‘producing something original, of true value.’
How did the idea of Unived bloom?
My father grew up in a lower-middle class family in Morvi, Gujarat. He was a weak child, and when they moved to Bombay he felt the brunt of the city life as he was often bullied in school & college by city kids. The constant bullying led to frustration and he decided to do something about it – so he joined the local gym and built himself as a vegetarian bodybuilder, to earn the Mr Bombay title a few years later.
The punishment in our house if we came home with red-marks from school, set by him, was push-ups and pull-ups. I was a terrible student, and I failed throughout school – so that meant lots of push-ups for me during the early days. This punishment slowly turned into passion, and I joined the gym when I was 13. My interest and passion for health & fitness only grew from there on and there’s been no looking back. For 15 years I dabbled with hours in the gym, on the football ground, and in books reading about nutrition – when I was 27, starting Unived seemed like a natural progression to take things to the next level.
Tell us something about the Vegan community in India?
The Vegan community in India is diverse and passionate. When we started Unived in 2010, the community was quite small, but I’ve seen it grow each year and what’s been great is to see many who have grown up in traditional non-vegetarian families turn towards a plant-based diet.
The plant-based diet is the only scientifically proven diet to combat all the lifestyle diseases, slow the ageing process, and enhance our overall health. But simply going Vegan doesn’t make you healthier, there are a lot of unhealthy Vegans that I know, and they are unhealthy as they have not embraced the true plant-based diet. One needs to understand that just giving up meat and dairy is not going to make one healthy – eating the right type of food is important, and so is exercising daily.
While the Vegan community is going to continue to grow, I can only hope that instead of simply turning Vegan, people understand the true potential of the plant-based diet and exploit that to the fullest, as it will change their lives for the good, forever.
Tell us the different stages of Unived product development?
We have never done any market research, never followed trends, and have no idea what the market sizes are for any of the categories that we’re in. I feel that’s a waste of time, and isn’t really inspiring.
Everything starts with an idea. Product ideas often come to the mind during a long run or hike in the mountains, through various experiences in our daily lives, through deep conversations with some of the Unived Athletes, and sometimes in our dreams.
Once we’re excited about an idea – we take a deep dive and R&D begins. Products are developed at concept stages, where various trials take place for taste, efficacy, consistency, shelf-life, stability, and more. This is a crucial process and we involve a lot of people in it to get a broad base of thoughts.
If we are happy with the outcome – we go ahead and plan for packaging, production, and launch.
While this may sound simple, it is quite a long-drawn process and takes anywhere from one to two years, depending on the nature of the product. This year we hope to launch a very special product that we’ve been working on since 2015, its taken two years but we’ve been at it and I’m looking forward to seeing it released.
To be continued…