The outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic has inspired many to take up healthy living. A large number of consumers are now interested in exploring Ayurveda and other herbal remedies as evidenced by an EY study revealing that 40% of Indians were willing to pay premium prices for wellness and health products.
In the wake of this shift to healthy living, Ernakulam’s HAEAL was in the spotlight. It was founded in 2014 under the name Haeal Pharmaceutical and was operating in five states (Kerala, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana) and had the help of more than 60 who were working on verticals such as cardiovascular, respiratory and paediatric divisions.
The pandemic led the founder Rahul Mamman Abraham realize that there was a major need for products that promote wellness.
“COVID-19 was a real eye opener since there was disruption in transportation , and states were closing border crossings. There was a massive shortage of many essentials which included COVID-19 essentials. The team was able to get the job done using hand washes and sanitisers,” Rahul tells Business Headers
In the year 2020, he founded Haeal Enterprises Pvt Ltd. The company based in Kerala introduced a range of products such as hand wash, shampooing soaps, sanitizers, bathing soaps bathing gels, supplements for health, etc. in December of 2020. It utilized their network in order to get products accessible across the state.
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“The brand gained recognition in just a few days and we received a favorable response from the marketplace. This led to the introduction of a complete line of health and wellness products under the name of Haeal,” he adds.
Wellness and health
Prior to starting his own business, Rahul completed his graduation in BCom from Sacred Heart College in 2005 Then he went on to pursue an MBA at IIM Ahmedabad in 2007. He began working with pharma supply chain firms, and also began wholesale, retail trading, warehouse companies. He was involved with entrepreneurs in the field of marketing using the pharma industry, and has also launched his own D2C business.
“My motto is to fail quickly learn, fail, and improve”” the entrepreneur says.
Utilizing the vast experience, Rahul launched Haeal, that offers a variety of wellness and daily use products that are made with natural ingredients like Tea tree oil, Turmeric the charcoal of which it is made, as well as vitamin C and aloe, with Kerala’s extensive Ayurveda tradition in the forefront of. The company offers a selection of 40+ bathing soaps as well as creams for the body. Haeal Ayurveda has 25plus exclusive SKUs within those categories, including body oil and lotions. The company has over 200 exclusive products in its wellness line comprising shampoos, soaps hand wash, and cosmetics for beauty.
“When those wellness-related products were launched in the market, we already had an extensive supply chain system in South India that helped us to access every corner of the retail market,” Rahul says.
The company received a huge reaction to its bathing and body lotions as well as soaps.
“By 2021’s end, Haeal had 80+ exclusive products that were incorporated into the major accounts such as Lulu, Reliance, and digital marketplaces like Amazon as well as Flipkart.”
Rahul chose to operate in Ernakulam, Kerala, with its manufacturing plant as well as physical stores located only in Kerala only.
“However we cater to the market that is growing in India as well as across the border. The product is manufactured by us in Kerala and then transported directly to the customers,” says Rahul.
The team’s presence and presence
Haeal serves customers throughout India through its online platform, which has the number of users who visit its site at more than half a million users per month. In the offline sector the company sells products via Lulu Hypermarkets located that are situated in Kochi, Bengaluru, Trivandrum as well as Uttar Pradesh, and could soon establish its presence on the Lulu GCC.
“We want to establish our presence in the retail industry offline which accounts for a large portion of revenues. We have penetrated deeply into the supply chain of retail in South India,” Rahul says.
The company says that over the past 28 months it has raked in more than 100 crores of revenue since its beginning in the year 2000, with hand sanitisers as its most sought-after product. It currently has a workforce of more than 100 employees.
The path ahead
The value of the consumer FMCG industry in India is estimated at around 4 lakh crore in addition, FICCI estimates the worth in this Kerala industry to be around Rs 20,000 to 25,000 crore..
Haeal shares shelves together with Himalaya, Dabur, and many other brands.
Rahul states that since the introduction of cleaning and home products, as well as adding brands such as Squad as well as Lora soaps Haeal saw multifold increase in revenues and users.
“We are a relatively new business and have already made impressions in the market. Growth has been fascinating and motivating over the last two years since we started,” says Rahul.
The company is planning an enormous offline expansion with a particular focus in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka. It is currently building teams throughout the south of India to support its sales team.
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In a bootstrapped state with an investment of four crore rupees, Haeal has sold more than 20 million products in the first quarter. The company is expected to secure a financing round of 10-12 crores from family and friends within the next few months. It’s present in more than 250 shops in Kerala and is aiming to expand to 50k stores in the next 12 months within the same area.
“We believe that around 10 million customers have utilized our product at one point in time, or at the other as we sold hand washes and sanitisers that were also used in a number of public areas,” he adds.
HAEAL is aiming to achieve the 100-crore in revenue per year by the the end of fiscal year.