Tell us about the current market potential of the nutraceutical industry in India in comparison to the global markets.
Globally, the nutraceutical industry is placed at $400 billion. India is $8 billion, while China is $40 billion. India, despite rich resource 52 agro-climatic zones, strong Ayurveda plants, deep knowledge of formulations – thanks to the strength of pharmaceuticals and foodtech; fails to be in top players of nutraceuticals in the world. This, mostly, is due to lack of industry recognition and no policy to assist the industry. Despite rich resource, nutraceuticals in India is fairly import-driven.
What is your company’s goal and vision for the nutraceutical industry?
Nutrifytoday.com is committed to enable nutraceutical business by way of aggregating industry stakeholders (businesses, researchers, academia, investors, regulatory and government) and democratising the entire supply chain. This will enable any innovator across the world to commercialise and reduce go-to-market time by at least 50 per cent of the conventional time.
The goal of Nutrify Today is to enable India as a responsible nutraceutical global hub, while the vision is to catalyse idea to commercialisation process and go-to-market time by 50 per cent by leveraging intense network of over 12,000 industry members worldwide. This will democratise the way nutraceutical business is done worldwide.
Over the years, how has the nutraceuticals sector evolved and what impact did COVID-19 have on it?
Nutraceuticals globally has evolved for more than 200 years. However, it’s relatively a newer phenomenon in India. With enforcement of FSSAI few years back, Indian nutraceuticals industry in India started growing and reached at 10 per cent growth annually pre-COVID.
In India, 840 million people are calorific-sufficient, but still malnourished. A rapid economic growth of the country would expose the economy to the new and unknown challenge of the management of lifestyle diseases that would spring up without controls. However, due to the demand for the needs of the population size, information access, increase in spending power and the awareness to maintain healthy lifestyles is going to push the nutraceuticals market in India to achieve robust growth, at least for a few decades to come. Currently, the Indian nutritional’s/nutraceutical business is $8 billion and it is steadily growing at 16 per cent per annum. The growth is definitely noteworthy as COVID triggered growth from 10 per cent per annum to 32 per cent at peak and now settling to 16 per cent per annum.
What are the current challenges faced by, and opportunities for this sector?
The challenges that are resisting the nutraceutical powerhouse of India are:
- No door for industry needs: Pharma-food-AYUSH-medicinal plants
- No dedicated industry body
- No HSN codes- Industry under pressure to comply to irrelevant HSN codes
- No dedicated regulatory
- No educational infrastructure
- No incentive, grants and investment programmes
- No support to internationalisation of nutra industry
The opportunities are:
- The power of five that awaits to be unleashed to take India to $40 billion market by 2025
- India has the power of 52 agro-climatic zones. This brings to us the opportunity of having the highest variety of medicinal plants that can be grown in India. This strength remains mostly untapped
- The rich lead of Ayurveda that awaits clinical validation as per modern science protocols
- The strength of Indian pharmaceutical formulation and clinical validation practice yet to be leveraged in nutraceuticals
- The evolved food tech industry’s formulation knowledge not well percolated into nutraceuticals
- The US market access. India enjoys one of the best relations with the US. However, the support from government to create exposure to Indian nutraceutical innovators missing
How conducive and clear regulations are when there are two bodies FSSAI and DCGI governing nutraceuticals?
Currently, these cannot set regulations for nutraceuticals. Nutraceutical industry needs a taskforce between government and industry in shaping policies and regulatory guidelines.
What steps should be taken for the nutraceutical industry’s further growth, and how can government support the industry in this?
The following steps should be taken for further growth of nutraceuticals:
- Business empowerment
- Internationalisation initiatives: UNPA-India Initiative
- Empowering Shefexil and its industry promotion programme
- Solve biodiversity confusions
- Policy shaping for HSN codes
- Policy shaping for industry-specific PLI schemes
- Creation of industry-specific investment tools
- Incorporating nutraceutical plants under National Medicinal Plans
- Identify top 10 products to focus on- for global leadership
- Regulatory and human resource capacity building
- Rewriting/editing Indian Ayurveda Pharmacopoeia
- Setting up FSSAI nutraceutical policies and the way it’s processed
- Academia collaboration for giving space to innovations