Week 21 of 2022 has been incredibly overwhelming for team Amrutam, especially its principals, Agnim, Stuti, and Yash. The biggest milestone of all was the Forbes 30 under 30 Asia feature. Even though these achievements may look consecutive, the seeds of effort were sown long ago by Mr. and Mrs. Gupta. What began as a dream in Gwalior is now a global family of a hundred thousand Ayurveda enthusiasts!
It was 2016 when Amrutam, the brainchild of Sh. Ashok Gupta and Smt. Chandrakanta Gupta was on the verge of withering. Their dream of “serving society and helping ease the suffering of the distressed” seemed to be coming to an end until their children, Agnim and Stuti, revived it. Taking Amrutam online in a non-D2C quinquennial was their chosen path of moving forward, a path that also led to innumerable learning and incredible experiences.
How it all began
The human body is so much more than just limbs and bones. In fact, according to the principles of Ayurveda, there lies a whole universe within the human body. Our health is based on four pillars – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. And the equilibrium of all is a pathway to achieving enlightenment.
The main idea behind establishing Amrutam can be attributed to the dwindling faith of people in Ayurveda. In his travels, Mr. Ashok Gupta, founding principal of Amrutam, observed that most Ayurvedic formulations available commercially had substantial amounts of glucose and sugar in their formulations, forcing the medicinal herbs and spices in the recipe to a backseat role. He wanted to create Ayurvedic products that contained optimal concentrations of herbal extracts that could efficiently cure patients. In spite of creating an impressive repertoire of malts and other Ayurvedic formulations that were designed to provide relief for most known physical and mental ailments, Amrutam was initially not able to deliver to its target audience. That is when things started deviating from their planned route.
Both Agnim and Stuti had been advancing in their lives until they realized that their parents needed them. Initially, Stuti was working as a business design architect at a psychological consulting firm where her major focus was to enhance brand visibility. During this time, she realized that working for someone else was not her strong suit. Both she and Agnim were born and raised to be leaders. It was then that they decided to prioritize Amrutam and work on it.
“I figured that I could do this for our family business as well." That’s when me and my brother decided that we should coalesce our strengths and head back home.Stuti Gupta, Principal: Brand & Vision
Key Learnings of Agnim and Stuti
Agnim’s futuristic approach and Stuti’s psychological intellect have been their forte. These qualities still guide them while making any entrepreneurial decision. They knew what they had to do but did not know where to begin. A classic problem most of us face. Mrs. Gupta had the perfect hack for this: discipline. The best way to start something is to initiate a state of flow. She instructed them to punch in and out at specified times and to do anything other than unproductive activities. Soon after, they hired a designer and started with the most obvious thing on the checklist—a logo, which took 3 months to be completed!
Our parents thought "logo banana mein itna waqt lag gaya toh logo tak kab pohochayenge” Abb kuch der baad humne sab kar liya tha, logo, label designing, packaging, and then we were like abb bechte kaise hai?Stuti Gupta, Principal: Brand & Vision
Taking Amrutam online was a sort of challenge. This ride was filled with speed breakers. As Agnim and Stuti figured out first thing, the immediate second felt like an unsolvable puzzle. And the only way to optimize this trial and error was to experiment faster. Another limitation was having a small team. This means constant upskilling.
“I remember learning Illustrator from the designer we hired because later on, it would be me who'd have to design labels for our products.”Stuti Gupta, Principal: Brand & Vision
As we spoke of strengths, Stuti mentioned that it was Agnim’s thought process that urged us to make our products available on our own website instead of any marketplace. When she asked him his rationale, he said “consumer data.”
“Consumer data is the key that helps us to identify our Amrutam family's needs. It is also helping us improve cross-functional collaborations and be better as an organisation based on their reviews. Had he not thought of this earlier, we would not have been able to personalize the experience of our community members now”Stuti Gupta, Principal: Brand & Vision
Who are you?
In Agnim’s opinion, to survive in a crowded D2C space, it is essential that we understand our identity as self and as a brand. This could be done by asking questions like “What it is that I want?”, “What is my belief system?”, “What am I looking to create here?” The following step would be the innovation of ideas. Ask yourself, “What will work down the line?” and “How does the world look after 10 years?” Because if you do not have this chalked down, then your plan of action wouldn’t be forethoughtful.
“In the end, it isn’t about who got the highest funding, it’s about who started in 2020 and stayed until 2030." You are the one who needs to believe in your idea and make it work. Are you willing to spend a few extra hours or a few extra weeks on what you believe in? do you believe that what you offer is unique, essential, and non-reproducible? If your answer is yes, then you need not worry about competition.”Agnim Gupta, Principal: Tech & Growth
As for Stuti, she has always perceived competition to be their mentor. The attitude of constantly learning until inspiration strikes is a required trait for any beginner. Being a clinical psychologist, she considers the empathy and emotional intelligence of team Amrutam a key component that aids in a wholesome experience for the consumer. Similarly, every brand possesses its own unique trait which makes them stand out. If you are planning to start something of your own, or even work as an employee, one thing to learn is a non-automatable skill. Machines would be able to automate shipping, production, or research, but human emotions such as compassion are too strong to be replaced by bolts and screws.
How did COVID treat you?
The pandemic wasn’t very supportive for most brands. But for us, we started to see that people had begun to take health seriously and had started to turn to Vedic science.
"It wasn't the order numbers that made us joyful, but witnessing our father's dream come true." He was always committed to producing authentic and premium-quality products and to disseminating ayurveda to every Indian household. Now, we envision Amrutam to be the go-to ayurvedic lifestyle brand for every health-related concern and a hotspot for the Ayurveda enthusiast community.Agnim Gupta, Principal: Tech & Growth
What does dream Amrutam look like?
For Agnim and Stuti, Dream Amrutam is a community of yoga, Ayurveda, and healthy living enthusiasts. They envisage Amrutam to be a one-stop solution for physical, mental, and spiritual well-being and aim to even start teaching the coming generations about the magnificence of Ayurveda.
What does day zero mean to Agnim and Stuti?
“This is just day zero”Yash Batra, Principal: Economics & Communication
Day zero for Amrutam or any organization begins when they’ve reached a point in their journey when all the heads are facing them. It implies that their responsibility as a brand has exponentially multiplied, and that’s when real work begins. They are expected to deliver more as barter for all the faith that has been placed in them! And team Amrutam is ready to make it all happen! 😊
An indispensable lesson that Agnim and Stuti have learned on their way
Experimenting is the only way forward or else how will you know which mistakes to not make unless you make them?
With this, we conclude the article and wish Amrutam as well as all other emerging brands succeed in their future endeavors.
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