Way back in 2003, browsing through shelves of a supermarket in Tokyo, Shivendra Srivastava MD of Rigil Biotech found Stevia based sweeteners reigning the customer space. That a leaf could be so sweet and with so much more additional health benefits seemed like a blessing for the world’s second largest, and soon-to-be diabetic population.
Whereas Indian were only exposed to some artificial sweeteners, the proposition of acceptance of Stevia in India seemed to be a very natural market evolution that is customers moving to more healthy offerings for sugar substitutes.
Rigil Biotech took shape in 2004 to develop and integrate the total supply chain for promoting the business domain for Stevia Products. The activities related to promoting Stevia based Natural Sweetener had to be undertaken in different phases, which would essentially be determined by the evolving market scenario for products in India. The first phase involved manufacturing of Stevia based natural sweeteners in India and initiate R&D activities for enhancing the product attributes and development of new product variants.
The objectives lead to development and premier launch product Stevi0cal ‘Naturally Sweet.’
Offerings at Rigil Biotech
Rigil Biotech offers, low calorie natural sweeteners for various applications such as:
Table Top Sweetener: Retail & Institution: Hotels, Railways, Airlines, Restaurant Chains, and Hospitals.
Food Additive: Industries such as Food Processing, Pharmaceutical & FMCG (tooth paste, mouth wash, Low Calorie Drinks, etc).
Replacement for sugar in all Food & Beverages industry applications: The strategic is focus on Product Development & Formulation for developing industry specific product solutions
Spearhead of Rigil Biotech
Shivendra Srivastava is Managing Director of Rigil Biotech. He has a Master’s Degree in Physics with specialization in Electronics. He did his MBA in International Marketing. He started his career in the field of International Business Development, and Sales & Marketing with special projects on developing New Markets, Product Development, and start-up Operations. His entrepreneurial journey was not an accident, it was a conscious call to do something innovative, and contribute his bit to the society. There have been no drastic turning points on this journey; everything has been gradual and achieved through sheer hard work, learning and improving and with having lots of patience and always being self-motivated towards the goal.
According to Shivendra, you got to stick to the basics to handle any competition, deliver the best quality product and services to the customer everytime.
Yes business moves fast, so you’ve got to have the ability to see changes coming in your industry. Make it a point to keep up to date on new products, market forces and advances in technology that could be poised to disrupt your field.
Favorite Aspect of being an Entrepreneur
Resilient enough to weather the ups and downs of the business and being focused to get closer to the ultimate goal. Hard work and not taking no for an answer is something that Shivendra rely on heavily. Entrepreneurship to me is the single biggest contribution that I make to my society by creating and enhancing job opportunities for my people. The excitement of realising your dreams and satisfaction of meeting people’s aspiration, says Shivendra.
Liberty makes Employees Self-sufficient Creative thinking can happen anywhere, and the best way to capture and nurture it is to listen to what people are saying. Let them own their jobs, and give them a free hand to do things in a better manner. And some ideas work, some don’t, but even for the ones that don’t, there is a lesson to take heed from.
Falling down is inevitable, but getting up is optional. And your choice. Not taking a risk is the biggest risk to your business, so it’s part of the game if you want to grow you have to take risks and be a disruptor , there have been many failures like when Rigil had introduced our product Stevi0cal, a natural sweetener with an idea that since the product has so many inherent benefits vis a vis sugar and other artificial sweeteners, it was bound to get readily accepted by the customers, but on the contrary they had very negative feedbacks with regard to the taste of the product , it being having heavy after taste and bitterness due to the intense sweetneness of stevia , some customers said that they would not use it unless and until medically prescribed, this was something which they did not expect at all. They wanted to build an OTC brand and here the company had faltered on basic brand structure but this helped us to go back to the drawing board with lot of clarity.
This gave them major learning, The Company had developed the best product that could not have been possible without understanding what their customers cared about. Failures are bound to be there, you have to learn from them, shrug it off and move on.
Expansion of Rigil
To be market leaders in offering great tasting, low calorie natural sweeteners, and sugar free food products embracing innovation and having strategic focus on Product Development & Formulation.
Dedicated R&D for expanding the Stevi0cal product range to cater to wide range of application needs and lifestyles. Gathering end-user feedback, and tying it with their R&D efforts has to create a connect with customers in a space which otherwise did not have much brand differentiation and brand loyalty.
Focus on Vision and Roadmap
Most entrepreneurs start small, but having a vision in place is a must. One must never let the day -today operational hassles, take over a long term growth map. Keep some time out for your strategic thinking daily. During this time, shut off the routine and focus on the larger picture, the trends and opportunities and even threats around you.