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Firm eyeing India’s 'first scientific weight loss programme'

By RJ Whitehead , 05-Oct-2012
Last updated the 08-Oct-2012 at 09:04 GMT

An Australian natural nutrition company has announced plans to invest INR100cr in an Indian manufacturing and sales operation to provide, it claims, the country's only scientific weight loss programme.

Rapid Nutrition, one of the world’s largest natural healthcare players, will spend the money to roll out its weight loss programme, Leisa’s Secret, and construct a plant in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. 

It also plans to acquire a healthcare marketing firm in India soon, and will initially invest INR55cr by the end of next March. 

The roll out of Leisa's Secret will cover south India first, followed by the west and north of the country and then east and central India.

Nutritional support

"Leisa's Secret weight loss programme offers the combined benefit of four products which will be supplied directly to the customer. The individual is entitled to nutritional support by a team of qualified nutritionist and motivational support to be provided by trained paramedical team to improve compliance," a company statement said.

It is anticipated that half of the company’s business will come from the metro cities, while the remainder will be generated in secondary and tertiary urban areas. 

We would do this by continuous empanelment of doctors and nutritionists in our programme across the country. We are starting with metro cities, but soon we will be there across the nation,” said Simon St Ledger, Rapid Nutrition's founder and chairman.

In the pipeline are premium weight loss snacks to address the general tendency towards between-meal snacking among Indians.

Unhealthy eating

St Ledger says that India is reeling under a huge nutrition debt it claims nearly 570mn residents consume sufficient or excess calories but lack adequate intake of nutrients. It adds that 60% of this segment consumes higher than normal calories, with a disproportionately high fat intake, making hypertension and diabetes especially prevalent in the country.

Middle-aged housewives and working women are the target for many debilitating lifestyle disorders. Current weight loss patterns are not sustainable, resulting into yo-yoing of weight. With growing awareness, people display a prophylactic intent rather than curative,” said Amit Srivastava, local CEO of Rapid Nutrition.

Over the coming year, the company is looking at INR30cr and INR2,500cr by 2017. It estimates that India's weight loss market is worth roughly INR9,500cr per annum, and this is expected to touch RS17,000cr by 2015.

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