Medhya Herbals is a Singapore-based nutrition and wellness company that was founded in November 2015 by the father-daughter duo, Dr. Pawan Bansal and Nidhi Bansal. I spoke to Nidhi Bansal, the co-founder of the company on how her company is trying to promote the concept of holistic health inspired by Ayurveda!
Can you tell us more about your background?
Sure! I graduated from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi with Master’s in Chemical Engineering and hold an MBA from INSEAD business school. Over the last 10 years, I have worked across wide industry sectors such as Oil & Gas, Technology, and FMCG. With extensive exposure in handling operations, business conceptualization, and execution, I have driven teams and projects across Asia-Pacific, Canada, Europe, and Africa. Currently, I am leading Medhya’s operations from Singapore.
I must say, I am finding Medhya to be the most exciting and satisfying of all the projects I have taken up in my professional life. Not only am I learning every day about business, about health and foods sector, but I have also been fortunate to meet and learn from highly driven and talented personas in the industry.
What is Medhya Herbals about and what is its objective?
Medhya in Ayurveda refers to formulations and elixirs that promote an active and intelligent mind. In Ayurveda physical, mental, and spiritual well being is defined as a perfect state of harmony and dynamic integration of our internal and external systems. Balance is what we strive to achieve in our day-to-day lives to get the best out of ourselves on personal and professional fronts.
Medhya brings that balance in its healthy foods by combining natural and whole herbs in a proportion with complementary wholesome nutritious foods resulting in synergistic effect for higher bioavailability of nutrients. Medhya’s line of healthy foods take inspiration from the concept of holistic health which encompasses a creative mind and active lifestyle powered by wholesome nutrition.
Medhya bites are produced with highest quality ingredients and with only a few steps involving simple processing, hence preserving their intrinsic nutritional capacity. With no added chemicals; whole herbs and whole foods are dried, pulverised, and mixed in the proportion of our proprietary formulations ensuring products that would deeply nurture and heal the physical and mental systems.
What is your co-founder Dr. Pawan Bansal’s role in the company?
Dr. Bansal is the Guru and expert behind Medhya’s formulations and directs its operations from India. He is a trained and accredited Ayurvedic practitioner in India with over four decades of experience and has observed, researched, and cured chronic health conditions such as psoriasis, asthma, gastritis, piles, and arthritis with purely natural remedies. Medhya brings to life his experience to heal and to strengthen physical and mental acumen with Ayurvedic principles.
What was the inspiration behind Medhya?
Medhya’s story began in early 1980’s when Dr. Pawan Bansal started development of his own Ayurvedic formulations customized to the needs of his patient base. These formulations have been further refined and firmed with the results, feedback, and success stories from a wide patient base across the world. With decades of experience, Medhya is introducing a line of health foods that go beyond the synthetic supplements leading to much higher efficacy and long term health results.
My belief in Ayurvedic lifestyle began in childhood when I made a near escape from chronic asthmatic condition, after following natural Ayurvedic remedies. Later when I travelled across the world, I experienced multiple cultures and their practices for a good state of health. My passion for a holistic lifestyle was re-ignited when I researched on upkeeping good health of my family and observed excellent results with Ayurvedic principles on physical outlook, mental alertness, and body’s strength. And hence I began my journey with Medhya, a fulfilling professional life providing me with a purpose and immense satisfaction.
In an age where everyone looks towards science for answers, how do you say that Medhya’s products works well?
True, in fact a solid scientific base of blending ingredients synergistically is what goes behind Medhya’s formulations. Our recipes are traditional and time-tested formulas based on the ancient Ayurvedic principle of “Samyoga” – science of selecting and combining ingredients in the proportions yielding highest safety, synergy, and efficacy. For example one of our products ENERGIZER composes synergistic blending of protein and macronutrients rich foods and Vitamin C rich herbs. This unique combination promotes protein metabolism and absorption of iron in the body. Additionally, it is packed with B Vitamins and Zinc for high endurance during workouts.
This may be the most commonly asked question to you, but let me repeat it. Is Ayurveda based on sound science?
Well, the word Ayurveda itself means the “science of life”! It is the oldest and fully developed medical science consisting of specialised therapies and sophisticated surgical procedures for different body parts and types of ailments.
The primary philosophy of Ayurveda is to address the root cause of the health concern and achieve a balanced state of mind & body. These are some key concepts of Ayurveda, which our modern health system is just beginning to adopt and emphasize. And hence is the popularity of terms “healthy gut”, “preventive medical care”, and “holistic living”.
In Ayurveda, all bodily functions and parts of the body are believed to be composed of five basic elements. They further transform into three predominant physical energy forms called The Doshas, which direct a person’s unique physiological and psychological set-up at any point of time. These pillars of Ayurveda have been developed and refined over thousands of years and multiple scholars contributed to its present state. In modern world, we barely get to know beyond the highly simplified concepts and home remedies and that is what we have ended up believing Ayurveda to be.
In Ayurveda one can even find detailed guidelines on what one should consume and what lifestyle to pursue as per their specific Dosha. And hence it explains, why exactly same food/activity can have such diverse impact on different individuals. Time to find out, why you may have been gaining pounds by eating exactly same food that your dearest friend swears by for weight loss?
In fact, there are multiple peer-reviewed papers published by highly reputed journals where Ayurvedic principles are validated with modern technology and their interpretation is provided in contemporary scientific language. Some of these principles and cures include:
- Efficacy of Ayurvedic methodology to overcome potential toxicity of certain herbs, minerals, and metals
- Understanding Ayurvedic pharmacology within molecular perspective
Reference: “Building bridges between Ayurveda and Modern Science”, highlights scientific decoding of the core concepts of Ayurveda and Ayurvedic treatment.
What is the business/revenue model of the company?
Medhya is a product based company and hence our super nutritious bites and healthy foods are the prime revenue generator. Our business model revolves around providing products and information to people for maintaining a state of great health and an active mind and body. Hence, with Medhya bites we not only offer wholesome and natural food choices but also enable people to pursue a lifestyle that is holistic and fulfilling.
Is it already available in the market? How has the response been so far?
Yes, Medhya was launched in 2nd week of April this year. We have received great response and feedback from people with very wide demographics. While we have already tied up with health institutes and professionals, we are seeing great enthusiasm in the industry towards the core philosophy of Medhya bites and opportunities to collaborate. Being 100% natural, sugar free, and gluten free, Medhya bites also address the growing need of the health conscious population.
In F&B segment, taste, texture, and quality of products are critical to success. With our highest quality ingredients and open feedback system during product development, we have made sure to check the absolute necessary. That being said, it is yet very initial stage for us and Medhya is evolving everyday. We are continuously striving to improvise on our product and services in this fast paced market.
Any common myth about Ayurveda which you would like to dispel.
Yes, there is this belief that, Ayurveda is all about spas and exotic massage treatments!
While this is one of the most widely marketed and glamorous segment, it is just tip of the ice-berg of the vast science that Ayurveda is. “Abhayanga” or massage with herbs infused warm oils forms a part of the healing methodologies detailed in Ayurveda.
Ayurveda is the science of holistic healing and focusses on attaining the balance of an individual’s physical, mental, and spiritual state through the combination of food and lifestyle choices.
The primary philosophy of Ayurveda is to address the root cause of the health concern rather than removing the symptoms. Herbal medication, treatment, and holistic lifestyle form an essential part of Ayurvedic prescription.
Any advice for fellow entrepreneurs? How has your startup journey been as a founder?
The path to entrepreneurship can be a quite lonely and demanding, hence it is very important you stay close to your roots.
While our work is our passion and that’s perhaps why all of us entrepreneurs started on this journey, we should stay mindful of other aspects of our lives and steadily nurture our relationships. Because that is how we can stay sane even in the most testing times.