Hyderabad: Early stage venture capital fund, Ankur Capital, along with Hyderabad Angels, has invested over Rs 2 crore into Fountain Head Foods, the company behind Health Sutra, an emerging brand focused on the nutritious food segment with millet based products.
The startup was founded by Sai Krishna Popuri, an IIT Delhi Alumnus. After working for 6 years, Popuri chose to return to his roots, having grown up in Narsaraopet of Guntur district, with farmers and agriculture being an integral part of his childhood and founded the company in July 2013. Currently, Health Sutra products are available in over 600 stores in AP and Telangana.
Health Sutra was started with the aim of bringing India’s traditional foods back on the table for Indians. While Indians are increasingly becoming more health conscious and are looking for ways to embrace a healthier lifestyle, healthy foods need not mean Oats, quinoa etc. which are imported and are not native to India. Eating grains like Jowar, Bajra, and Ragi, indigenous to our country and more suited to our climate and bodies, helps one get fit and stay active.
High in fibre, protein, rich in micro nutrients and low in fat, millets are highly nutritious and delicious wonder grains indigenous to India. With a fast growing ‘naturally healthy’ foods segment estimated at Rs 22,000 crores (2016), the trend towards a ‘return to traditional, healthier foods’ is clearly gathering momentum and Health Sutra, which has developed a basket of affordable, tasty and high quality products is well positioned to dominate this segment.
Speaking about the investment, Ms. Rema Subramanian, Managing Partner and co-founder, Ankur Capital, says “We are very excited about this investment – not only does it bring low cost nutritious food to the average customer it also encourages the cultivation of a climate smart crop that is much better suited for semi-arid areas. Sai and his team have developed an exciting array of ready to eat and ready to cook products and we look forward to being part of the journey as they grow the brand.”
This sentiment is echoed by Mr. Sai Krishna Popuri, founder and CEO, Health Sutra. He says, “Millets are smart foods – they are good for the consumer, good for the planet and good for the farmer. Health Sutra products bring back the goodness of these traditional nutritional powerhouses to the consumers in a modern form. They are the naturally healthy way to stay fit. Our technology ensures that modern products can be made from these ancient grains. Skip Oats – Go Desi. Let’s Millet.” The company will use the money to expand its distribution, build its brand and introduce more products.
Saral Talwar (Executive Director, Talwar Group) from Hyderabad Angels said, “We chose Health Sutra for two reasons — one, they are working to bring traditional foods back into the modern main stream and two, they are promoting healthy eating in today’s junk food dominant world”.
Meanwhile, the startup also plans to raise around Rs 30 crore in Series A funding in the next 12-18months.
Health Sutra offers the nutritional goodness of climate smart millet grains like Jowar in a tasty, convenient way – ready-to-cook mini-meals as well as ready-to-eat snacks. These products are gluten free, free from preservatives and artificial ingredients, and have resonated well with the target audience. Part of the reason for their popularity is that these products have re-imagined traditional food in an interesting way e.g. Jowar pops, popped and naturally flavoured jowar grains, are a delicious and guilt-free way to satiate 4 o’clock hunger pangs.
All the grains are sourced from local farmers and transformed into delicious array of food products through Health Sutra’s own technology.