Founded by Pravin Shah and Shweta Shah in 2019, The Pahadi Story is a homegrown boutique herbal health care and immunity boosting brand that aims to empower female farmer communities in Uttarakhand. To tap into the growing segment of health-conscious customers, a trend catalyzed by Covid-19 pandemic, the brand has introduced two ranges of premium immunity boosting herbal infusions, including The Pahadi Story Herbal Infusion, which the company claims to be the first of its kind in the market.
With its premium, authentic and purposeful products, The Pahadi Story is exploring and creating sustainable and authentic products that provide clear benefits of goodness, and well being for consumption in our daily use. Along with this, the couple duo is enabling Pahadi women farmers by helping them improve their skills, create innovative products, become financially independent and provide them with innumerable market access and opportunities.
The Pahadi Story aims to continue the momentum and gain a larger market share in the segment. The hunger to give back by way of improving livelihoods, the drive to give the world natural wellness products, and the passion to make this a global brand are the three key motivators for Pravin and Shweta Shah.
Shweta Shah who is presently the heart of The Pahadi Story is a Graduate of Arts from St. Xaviers, Major in Economics amongst the ace performers, and managed the marketing team at a prestigious radio station in Dubai. She is the mother of two beautiful daughters, who anchors her energy to initiatives and ideas that give back to the society. In her words, “I wish to make this world a better place. A simple endeavour as it sounds, is a journey of a lifetime.”
Pravin Shah who has been a growth catalyst for more than 100 brands, is a certified Change & Innovation Leader from the Indian School of Business (ISB). Having 18 years of business acumen, strategy and creative problem-solving to drive growth, he is a futurist whose core is visionary thinking, consumer behaviour, branding, new media, technology, leadership and change, and entrepreneurship. Pravin spearheads BigBrandTheory business and is also anchoring The Pahadi Story as a new venture.
In an exclusive interaction with Motiverge, Pravin Shah and Shweta Shah, couple entrepreneur and Co-founders of The Pahadi Story share more insights about their venture, journey so far, motivation and future plans.
Below are the excerpts from the interview:
What is The Pahadi Story all about?
The Pahadi Story is an Act of Compassion. The Pahadi Story is about bringing the rarities from the Himalayas to the urban consumer, and this we do with the core aim of empowering the Pahadi Women Farmers. We believe in natural, authentic products and experiences. We belong to the ethereal symbol of purity, the Himalayas. We are nothing but goodness. Our journey of “peaks-to-packs” is a conscious one. Every product and experience we create finds its genesis in the traditional wisdom of the Pahadi People. Our main goal and objective are to co-create an enterprise that is driven by Value creation & Sustainability.
What factors influenced or motivated you to start this venture? What seeded the idea of a startup in the wellness sector?
Inspired by the sheer grit and gumption of the Pahadi women farmers, anchored to the natural miracles of the Himalayas and envisioning a world of wellness, we weaved an eternal story – The Pahadi Story. We are a purpose-induced brand that believes growth and goodness are the two axes of an empowering equilibrium. And from it, is born The Pahadi Story – a brand committed to enabling and empowering. A brand that builds lives and generates livelihoods.
The idea of bringing Himalayan purity to conscious urban consumers seeded the idea.
What were the first few steps during and after the launch of The Pahadi Story?
Our initial steps were to first test our products within our family and friends – be it our authentic Himalayan kadha or haldi mix. We wanted to get a real-world consumer view of our thought and to our delight, we had a very encouraging response. The initial feedback of the effectiveness, the flavour, and the authenticity gave us much confidence to pursue our dream.
Our next step was to gather a team of talented professionals who can co-create this venture as we wanted this to be a shared vision across. We were blessed to get a solid team of key people for innovation, supply chain, and processing. This gave us wings to further take the final step of production, packaging, and launch. Our launch coincided with Diwali festive and it gave us impetus as many corporations took to wellness gifting. Our signature packaging, Himalayan authenticity, and timely product positioning gave us a great launch success.
After the launch, we are now continuing new innovations, sustaining our existing customers, and exploring various sales channels for bigger growth.
Have you raised funds so far?
No. This is self-funded.
Tell us about your motivation. What keeps you going?
The hunger to give back by way of improving livelihoods, the drive to give the world natural wellness products, and the passion to make this a global brand are the three key motivators. The journey has just started so we are learning and we will keep going. Success is sequential, it’s one step at a time.
How has your journey been so far?
Our journey has been very exciting so far. First thing you are right there in the lap of the Himalayas, amidst purity and nature – this in itself is such a journey within. Then working with women farmers who are so driven to explore new innovations with us and third is the amazing response from our customers. Yes, there have been challenges but this is one exciting journey of our entrepreneurship.
How big is your team?
We are 7 of us spread across Strategy, Innovation, Supply Chain, Distribution, and Administration.
What is the USP of your brand? What makes you different from your competition?
We don’t believe in a world of competition. But speaking of our USP – we are from the Himalayas – purity from peaks, packed by women farmers. So every bit of our offering is filled with purity and care. The world needs this purity.
What role do you think your brand is playing in changing the lives of the pahadi women farmers?
For us, they are intrapreneurs who are working with us to co-create this brand. Our commitment to them is to grow their knowledge, empower them to new thinking and practices for better productivity and income.
What are the business opportunities in the wellness sector, especially in the APAC region? How do you see market growth and response in the post-Covid-19 world?
In pandemic times, if you look at google search volumes, turmeric was one of the most searched keywords along with Kadha and immunity boosters. These sentiments are enough for someone to understand the consumers’ needs. We prefer to address a need and keep looking for an opportunity as we believe an opportunistic business is always looking to leverage whereas a business that is looking to address consumer needs will always have a chance to build more connection. I feel our Ayurveda and natural products can address a big need of the world to stay holistically well.
Being a startup, what do you think is the biggest challenge in India?
Be it a start-up or a scale-up – challenges abound an entrepreneur. Every idea needs 3 things – time to flourish, resources to back it – be it financial or a team that believes, and finally, a captain that thrives even in the toughest of times. Anybody can have an idea but only those who have the tenacity to face all challenges can bring it to life.
Please share your views on how our government is doing in supporting startups?
Indian Government has taken big steps with various schemes for start-ups. The good thing is at least entrepreneurship is now considered by the government which was never in yesteryears.
Where do you see The Pahadi Story in the coming 3 to 5 years?
A Global brand co-created by a team of believers and conscious consumers.
What are your messages for budding entrepreneurs/young generation?
Our message to entrepreneurs is that an idea is divine. If it comes to you, it’s your responsibility to make it happen. And tenacity is the only way to make it happen. Go for it.
Hope this interview will motivate all the aspiring entrepreneurs. It is a part of our startup profiling feature story/interview series. We are on a mission to bring forward the inspirational journey of successful entrepreneurs in order to spread some motivation during these tough times.
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