Back in 2012, no one would have thought of taking a step as bold as to quit their high profile IT careers in the heart of Silicon Valley in the US and step into a long journey called entrepreneurship in India. But then again, my husband and I had lived that lifestyle for over 15 years and were looking for a more fulfilling aspect to life – which included conceiving a second child in our family and living a long and healthy life with our kids. The quest to improve fertility led us to health supplements such as wheatgrass, whey protein, an organic and healthy diet among other things. And before we knew it, our baby www.ShopHealthy.in was born much before our second daughter!
Our motto for survival – both literally and business-wise became Eat Well, Feel Well & Live Well. We started tying up with manufacturers of the organic products we consumed and asked them to sell on our marketplace to solve the problem of availability and accessibility of the wonderful world of natural, organic and ayurvedic health supplements. Thus began the journey of ShopHealthy.in with the mission to bring authentic high quality Health & Beauty products to India. We started with just about 25-50 products and the response from our customers led us to grow purely by word of mouth over the years. We started with only organic products and expanded to cover all products that promote health, wellness and beauty – organic, ayurvedic, natural & herbal. Today we have over 40,000 unique products and still growing thanks to support from our loyal repeat customers and some fantastic sellers.
How We’ve Grown & Where We Are
The concept was brought to reality with my husband Manoj’s technical know-how and years of experience in the eCommerce & mobile payments industry. The other aspect of business development and operations was driven by my experience in the IT industry. To make ends meet though, one of us had to get a steady paycheck as well. Hence, I continued working in the IT industry in Bangalore for the first 2 years of our inception after which the feasibility & viability was clearly answered. And we decided we needed to be all-in to make this grow. The entrepreneurial journey could not be made with one leg in the IT- job boat and one in the entrepreneurial. The safety net had to be removed. And thus began our entrepreneurial journey in the true sense. No perks, no health insurance for us or our kids, no paid vacations or sick days, no offsite outings – just a passion to see our vision grow into a reality beyond our wildest dreams.
We started with a handful of products that we believed in. Our initial customers sent in so many more product requests that it was pleasantly overwhelming to see the response. We then tied up with manufacturers all over the country – both small and big. Our earliest and most cherished relationships are with Herbal Hills, Planet Ayurveda, Dr. Patkars, Organic India and small local entrepreneurs near Bangalore such as Maxcare (makes pure cold pressed virgin coconut oil in Tumkur), Soul Centric Organic Supplements, Khadi Natural etc.
Over the years, due to growing demands from our customers, we have also obtained an import / export license and as a result, added a huge variety of imported brands to fulfill their needs as well. Now you will find major US, UK and Asian brands of health supplements and beauty products in our portfolio.
We still remember going personally to deliver some orders in Bangalore initially especially for things such as our proprietary Omega-Rich-Seeds-Blend to get more feedback on our products and services from customers. Each such visit and each order we packed brought us more love and the desire to keep doing more.
Where we want to be
Our goal has always been to be the one-stop-shop for everyone’s health and beauty needs – be it ayurvedic, natural, organic, homeopathic or even allopathic prescription medicines. We as a family, have been using natural alternatives to many commercially available products such as bath soaps, shampoos, hair colors, sunscreens and even in the kitchen such as cold pressed virgin coconut oil, raw honey, organic millets instead of the commercially available options. And we see more and more that today’s customers are more aware and are definitely moving towards a natural and more sustainable lifestyle not just for sake of the environment but also for their own health and well being. Our vision is to help facilitate that change and alleviate the pain point of not having to search far and beyond for the choices they may want to make. Afterall, health and beauty is truly from within.
About the Author:
Divya Kalra is the Founder of ShopHealthy.in. She has a BE and MS in Computer Science followed by PMP. She has worked in the IT industry for over 15 years in India and US. Manoj Shanbhag is the Co-Founder and has a BE and MS in Computer Science and an MBA in Strategy. He has worked in Product Development and Management roles for over 15 years in India and US.