Thejaswi was the first generation entrepreneur, she was working with an MNC. After working with an MNC she understood that people are adopting and living an unhealthy lifestyle with bad eating habits. She wants to create value by giving balanced nutrition. This thought has made her to launch a Koko Boost. The company has started in 2017 and manufactures nutritional bars. Recipes are taken from her grandmother. These are made from superfoods and they are highly nutritious and give instant energy.
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Mounika:Tell us about Koko Boost
Thejaswi: Koko Boost addresses malnutrition and builds immunity with proven highly nutritious grandma recipes, by using ingredients, the original super-food. Our pops are not just made of grains, they are made of superfoods; Millets+ Moringa(drumstick), which are rich in protein, calcium, fiber, iron. Our bars contain zero preservatives, no alternatives, no maida, trans-fat, and cholesterol.
Why did you decide to go into business?
I was a Civil Services aspirant; however, it did not bear fruit, hence started working with an MNC, I understood the adverse effects of unhealthy breakfast, junk food and its impact on health, further through my research I analyzed it is a global problem. Hence to give back to society and to create value in a healthy way through our products.
What are your expansion plans?
Our product should reach to every nuke end corner and to change their unhealthy eating habit of consumers.
What differentiates your products from the others?
It is a Women lead startup and the recipe magic is created by my mother who better understands daily nutrition requirements. Our products are completely made of superfoods, no thrash, zero preservatives, no trans-fat, no added sugar.
How do you ensure the quality of the product?
Thorough quality check of raw materials by visiting farmers at their place. Ensuring it is delivered in front of us only.
What is the biggest challenge you faced in this industry?
We have faced a lot of challenges, foraying into entrepreneurship is not an easy task it involves a lot of research, needs to understand the pulse of the consumer, how different is your solution/business from the rest of them. We had to do all these by ourselves, then came in finance, we have literally knocked at every door of a bank but the not successful reason you are a startup it is peoples cannot fund/give a loan to the new company especially women-led if you still require loan what is the guarantee(collateral), hence I failed I getting loans, but this didn’t deteriorate my journey my parents supported me they give me their savings, hence I was working I could manage few savings, thus we bootstrapped KokoBoost to get few types of machinery, packaging. With this, the road didn’t seem smooth for us marketing was the biggest challenge couldn’t meet the commission percentage of retailers, coz our profit margin is very low. Hence started marketing for myself through networking, social media platforms.
Do you have any advice for entrepreneurs who want to start out?
Doing business is not an easy task, especially for first-generation entrepreneurs like me. We need to learn a lot of nuances in business to sail through in the market. Every other individual doing business is your competitor. The business will have ups and downs need to be strong to stand against it like a wall. It is not a piece of cake, to walk out easily. Be unique in doing your business, do thorough research. All the best for aspiring entrepreneurs.
What is your biggest motivation?
My parents are my biggest strength, their struggles, pain, humiliation for giving birth for two daughters. In spite of all these, they could come back like a phoenix, their pain and struggles have thought us to be unique, give back to society and my parents always insisted us to be unique and strong.
What’s the revenue generation model of Koko boost?
Word of mouth, E-commerce, retail, Exports, Schools.