Manjiri Chunekar, who is the Managing Director of GrassRoot Nutrition Pvt. Ltd., is a first generation entrepreneur and had set up her first company, Dynamicro Labs in 1981, with a very small investment in the field of microbiology. Under her leadership, Dynamicro Labs, developed a range of about 300 innovative products required for microbiological testing in clinical, pharmaceutical and food industry.
Besides she set up Micro Med India that provides testing services to the hospitals in 1983. The company handles over 150 hospitals in Mumbai and surrounding areas. Many hospitals are in contract with Micro Med India for over 30 years.
In 2002 she was detected a diabetic. Since then fitness and nutrition has become extremely important to her and has been managing her diabetes without any medication. In 2006, she realized, the relevance of changing nutritional pattern in the modern age and the health hazards that it resulted in.
She decided to address this problem and launched the brand NutriValue under GrassRoot Nutrition. Under this brand her aim was to bring traditional wisdom in nutrition in modern age format products; also to keep abreast of newer studies in nutrition and bring relevant products in the Indian market.
NutriValue was one of the first brands to make Indians aware of Stevia, the natural sugar substitute. NutriValue, which has about 40 interesting products, is now working on popularizing Moringa Olifera as a natural nutritional supplement.
On the challenges she has faced while climbing up the ladder in this male dominated industry, she said “There are both advantages and disadvantages of being a woman. The advantage is that a woman gets early recognition, because they are few in number. However a woman needs to depend upon her male family members, for her security. A lone woman is seen as easy prey, by the men in the society.”
Talking about the difference in how males and females plan out progress in their career, she says “A man can be totally career oriented but a woman needs to consider her spouse, children, family and her safety, while making any plans for her career.”
When asked about her professional journey she said “I seem to have always chosen the Road Less Travelled. Not because it was so but that is what appealed to me. I felt that I can add value to the society and the country in the long run. Over last 36 years, things have vastly changed. The small seeds, which we sowed in the field of microbiology, have blossomed very well.
Spilling the secret of her success mantra, she advised “Do the best you can in every circumstance and leave the results to the almighty.” She also further stated when asked her advice to the budding women entrepreneurs that Service is an eight hour business while business is a 24-hour service.
When questioned about key challenges faced by her, she exclaimed “I consider challenges as opportunities to prove yourself. If you have the will, you can find solutions to almost everything. Yes, there are challenges in the sector of nutrition where I am working at present. No personal challenges!”