India is waiting for a proper guidelines on Direct Selling: Rajesh Kumar, CEO, SAMI Direct

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Launched in 2010, SAMI Direct brings to the Indian consumer a complete range of nutraceutical and cosmeceutical products with proven safety and efficacy. All its actives were pioneered by Sami Labs, a leading global player in the field of phyto nutrients, standardised herbal extracts and functional foods and are processed in the form of tablets, capsules, protein powders, premixes, creams and lotions to meet the consumer’s need. The company has strong portfolio of 85 international patents. In an email interview with NuFFooDS Spectrum, Rajesh Kumar, CEO, SAMI Direct, shared his views about Indian nutrition and nutraceuticals market and strategy for Sami Direct in the coming years. Excerpts:

How do you see the market for nutrition and nutraceuticals in India?

As a country we are experiencing rapid economic growth and are also seeing people in the rural areas shifting to urban ones for more opportunity and access to better infrastructure which has led to rapid increase in urban population. Mortality rates have fallen and people are living longer but at the same time not ‘healthier’. Consumers today want to invest much more in their health and turning to nutrition and balanced diet coupled with adequate exercise for health maintenance. Such behaviour is typical in the urban savvy consumer, perpetuated by higher level of education and ease of getting relevant information through various authenticated channels. We are poised to witness an exponential growth in this segment in the coming five years but a lot needs to be done to cater and sustain this growth

We have both local and multinationals in nutrition and nutraceticals space. How do you take on competition in this space?

Today we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg. A lot of synergistic efforts need to be carried out to unveil the real potential of the growing Indian market. We need good players from both MNC’s as well as local with a strong commitment to addressing and adapting to local needs.

What market strategy you have in place to take the SAMI Direct to the next level?

Our current strategy is to empower consumers with correct information on the preventive healthcare and the need of daily nutrition addressed through our product range. We are focused on introducing clinically relevant and efficacious nutrition products backed up with safety studies to the Indian market subsequently expanding to global markets.

What challenges do you see for SAMI Direct in the current situations?

There is a strong need of regulatory framework which will only allow safe and efficacious products into the market. I am sure the current bottleneck in streamlining the functioning of the current FSSAI body will be addressed soon which will help us to introduce need-based well researched products into the Indian market. Also India is waiting for proper guidelines on Direct Selling which is present in almost all developed and developing countries. It’s time we get a proper law enacted in our country.

Besides India which are the other markets where SAMI Direct sees a bright future in the coming years?

We are working on launching Malaysia and couple of other South East Asian countries in the coming 12 months.

Some of the companies have been actively promoting their products through celebrity campaigns. What do you say on this? Are you also taking this approach to promote your products?

It’s all about creating belief. It’s not wrong to have sports personality endorsing relevant products but the claims needs to be justified and validated. Our strategy is to empower the consumers with the right knowledge, creating awareness and the much needed belief.

Where do you want to see SAMI Direct in next five years?

We are focused on positioning ourself as one of the emerging nutraceutical company emerging out of India with a strong focus on R&D. In the next five years we want to see us in the Rs 1,000 crore club.

What are you future plans for the company?

One of our research tag line is ‘Innovation is our tradition’. We would like to bring innovation in our marketing approach, will use the latest technology like digital enterprise in education and empowering our resellers and consumers. We also plan to expand to South East Asia including Japan and Korea in the next three years. New products’ introduction and market expansion will be our key focus areas.

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