Gaurav Aggarwal, Director of Lasons India Pvt Ltd and CEO of ‘OneLife’ the consumer division, highlights the key milestones of almost four decades in business that has helped them become a global exporters of Vitamin B3 (Niacin & Niacinamide). With passion, he also shares how he is committed to bring unique preventive healthcare products to the Indian market with his new consumer nutrition, wellness and beauty brand, OneLife.
With over thirty years of history, Lasons is one of the key exporters and suppliers of vitamins globally. Could you briefly introduce the company and share both your contribution and skills gained since you joined in 1998?
“In the 2000s, we continued to grow from the smallest producer of B3 to a globally recognized manufacturer from India.”
Lasons, a family-owned business was founded by my father Mr Pravin Aggarwal in 1979. With thorough market study and penetration, we grew from a small to an established and reputed manufacturer and exporters of vitamin B3 in global markets by the early 1990’s. In 1998, with my brother Nevin Aggarwal and I in the business, we took the decision to bring Nicin and Nicinamide´s product to their full capacity. This new direction encouraged us to expand our presence further. In fact, it was our role to expand its capacity as well as find new markets for it. We made a conscious decision to focus on international markets, as India was yet to become a large user of vitamins.
In the 2000s, we continued to grow from the smallest producer of B3 to a globally recognized manufacturer from India. This gave us the assurance and encouragement to build new facilities to increase our production capacity and supply to the growing demand. Majority of our growth was backed up from mature international markets who were bigger users of vitamins, a concept yet to grow as much in India. As a result, exports made up of eighty five percent of Lasons revenues. India’s market is now seeing awareness and growth in the past five year. Even today, South East Asia has proved to be a major market for growth, our biggest market however still remains the US and Europe. Today, in terms of revenue, Lasons has grown to a staggering forty percent this year and we hope to continue the momentum next year too.
Your new brand OneLife is a completely new vertical – the first time that Lasons is entering the B2C business. Can you explain what is the competitive landscape for OneLife in India and what made you believe there would be an opportunity for a new brand?
Working within international chemical and healthcare markets helped us understand the gap for preventive healthcare in India. Animal feed and human nutritional food markets are mature the western world with many well-established brands offering multi-vitamins and other nutritional food and supplements. Whilst sports nutrition, dietary supplementation and basic human nutrition were not so popular in India. The only time consumers took a multi-vitamin in India was when weak and recovering as prescribed by a doctor or professional. My visit to the US in the 2000’s and understanding of healthcare made me realise there was a stark contrast of how healthcare is perceived in international markets as compared to India.
There were few international brands available in the Indian market offering nutrition and supplementation at high prices. Moreover, these vitamins and supplements didn’t cater to the Indian diet requirement. This encouraged me to think ahead and develop a credible domestic brand that filled the gap in Indian diets and fulfilled the nutritional and wellness requirements for Indians at an economical price. OneLife was incepted to be a preventive healthcare partner for all nutritional, wellness and beauty concerns. With the growing pace of Indians to excel in their chosen field, our climatic changes, dietary deficiencies and other environmental and health factors, Onelife partners on without disrupting one’s routine and lifestyle whilst ensuring everyone lives their one life right at their optimum health.
How have you been developing the brand OneLife so far?
We launched Onelife in July 2017 with a very clear strategy to penetrate and make a difference in the nutrition, wellness and beauty markets. OneLife had basic eight products at launch which addressed concerns like bone health, cartilage care, heart health, hair, skin and nail health as well as Omega 3, multi vitamins for both men and women. Each of these products formulations were developed in-house after an extensive study and research by our team of nutritionists, doctors and healthcare professionals. These eight were very well received in the consumer market and we powered on our ambition to deliver more. Since our launch, we have successfully launched over forty products across the nutritional, wellness and beauty in eight short months.
Each product is thoroughly researched and developed by us in house. Not stopping there, we have a customer feedback and service team that follows up on sold products understanding consumer behaviours and requirements in feedback which is used constructively to better user experience. Customer satisfaction is a top priority for us.
What is your distribution strategy for the brand?
Over the last eight months, we have made OneLife available in more than seven hundred outlets in thirty-five cities across twelve states in India. Additionally, we continue to grow our online presence with an e-commerce webstore and aggregate online marketplaces like Amazon India, Flipkart and more. In particular, it is crucial for us to only sell unique products that meet customer´s expectations. It is indeed our strategy to only put our name on products we personally trust and deeply know it will offer great benefits to the customer. Though our main focus is India, we are not limited to it. We are open to expansions and market penetration abroad provided it is in tandem to our brand’s vision and goal.
How has the OneLife division of Lasons been doing in terms of sales so far?
Since its inception, the brand sales have already crossed sales of more than 1.5 million tablets/capsules. Our plan is to more than double this number year on year for the coming years. We are greatly motivated to expand our product portfolio with the encouraging reactions our current offerings enjoy. We are already almost forty products strong which range across nutrition, wellness, and beauty. Our research and development team are tirelessly adapting and working towards launch of more products to address various health and nutritional needs of our consumers. We aspire to lock in another few SKU’s closing at ninety products before the next anniversary of our brand this year. We are also looking at broadening our reach and enter the retail format for OneLife. We have two OneLife outlets in Delhi and will launch a Mumbai one shortly. This of course will be followed by our retail ventures in Pune with an interesting concept store in most major cities.
As you are still a new brand and you are open to partnerships, why should potential partners choose you?
With almost forty decades of experience interacting with vitamin users and product manufacturers globally, we understand the business in India like nobody else does. This credibility is one of the top reasons why our well-informed and educated consumers buy our products. In addition, we take personal responsibility in offering a reliable product that is safe to consume for all. Such solid foundation of the company has enabled us to consistently grow by 20 percent year on year and made us one of the most reputed brands in the industry today.
What is your motivation for continuing the OneLife adventure?
It is a priceless feeling when a customer buys our product and comes back to thank us in feedback and repeat purchase. Being appreciated and being able to provide the right preventive healthcare drives us forward to keep going and deliver more. To be able to empower everyone to live their one life right by enhancing their health and wellbeing remains the greatest motivation that makes us want to keep excelling and growing.