We have always welcomed interviews of entrepreneurs since we started A Journalist Reveals. Recently, we came across some information about Uth Beverage Factory and we were enthusiastic about speaking to the entrepreneur responsible for the company. Samit Mehta obliged the interview and here is what he had to say to the questions we asked:
Inspiration to Start Uth Beverage Factory:
Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, the entrepreneurship bug was alive even before I headed to do my MBA at Wharton. Because of my passion for sport, I knew I wanted to start a company that was linked to sports. The entrepreneurship classes at Wharton as well as many of the industry lectures I attended helped me crystallize my thoughts on sports nutrition as a segment as well as build a solid business plan.
My first product was a ready-to-drink isotonic rehydration formula called Xplode. We followed it up with Six Pack Nutrition 100% Whey protein.
Manufacture of Protein Products:
In the initial phase, Uth operated as a virtual company that focused only on sales, distribution and marketing and was dependent on contract manufacturers for the products. I was, however, convinced that to have full control over quality, cost and timely availability of products, having my own manufacturing unit was imperative. Having my own manufacturing gives me tremendous flexibility to tailor my products to meet customer expectations. Till date, the largest investment Uth has made has been in its state-of-the-art FSSAI approved manufacturing plant in Hinjawadi, Pune.
The entire team at Uth brings different skill sets and points of view that serve as a valuable sounding board. My father, himself being a first generation entrepreneur, understands and supports the struggles that I go through while scaling up the company. My wife is an integral part of the business and most of our candlelight dinners actually end up being intense business strategy discussions.
Awareness about Human Protein Need Increasing:
There is growing awareness about the need for protein as a vital macronutrient. That said several myths and misconceptions persist over the choice and consumption of protein. It is Uth’s earnest endeavor to educate people through different touch points on individual protein requirements depending on age, goal, level of physical activity, time of consumption, etc. Our customized recommendations are aligned with the RDA guidelines laid down by ICMR.
New Products in the Offing:
Our strong R and D and manufacturing capabilities give us the flexibility to launch several new products attuned to the preferences of our customers. Our 12-month launch plan includes a specialized protein powder, multivitamin tablets as well as innovative protein ice creams and weight management products.
The rising fitness consciousness of our young Indian population will increase the pool of consumers and consequently the size of the market. With companies like ours continuously investing in educating the masses, there will be an acceptance of the role of protein beyond hardcore bodybuilding to meeting the growth-needs in children as well as preventing sarcopenia in the geriatric population. Our company has a first mover advantage and has already built a brand recognition that identifies us as a credible manufacturer of high-quality protein supplements. This combined with the market expansion makes us nicely poised to witness exponential growth. If we stay committed to our values of innovation and quality, we could definitely be a 5 billion company in 10 years.