Founded in early-2016, Spartan Nutrition is the brainchild of Mumbai-based entrepreneur and fitness enthusiast Rushabh V Choksi. A new-age nutrition supplement brand, Spartan Nutrition, offers a comprehensive range of powders, bars, tablets, capsules and ready-to-drink products professional fighters and people looking to increase their protein intake, in general, have. Team Optimist spoke to Rushabh V Choksi. Here are some insights…
Team Optimist: How did you come up with Spartan Nutrition? How were the initial days?
RV Choksi: I’ve been working out for the past 16 years and I’ve had a lot of followers on social media messaging and e-mailing me, asking for workouts and diet plans. There wasn’t much assistance available to me when I started going to the gym in terms of chalking out an effective diet plan, supplements and work-out regimes. So, I had to draft it all by myself. I learned everything the hard way, so I decided to help and guide others in this field with the best of my knowledge.
And, one day, someone asked me, “What supplements should I take?” I suggested that he pick a protein supplement from any store nearby. So, he tried that out and got back to me after three months, saying that my diet and workout plans were great, but the supplements weren’t working.
This clicked in my head and I thought there hadn’t been any noticeable change in me, as well. So, I decided that something needed to be done. I discussed this problem with my father, telling him how this had been affecting the other youths, too. Despite spending a large amount of money on fitness and maintenance, they weren’t getting satisfactory results. And this led me to believe that I should have my own product. I then contacted several nutritionists and manufacturers to go about it to help me through the process. My father agreed and asked me to form a team and understand the process.
People usually start with a small number of products, but I started with a whole range of them and got a great response. I started giving out my products in jars to people who contacted me on e-mail. They used my products, saying they were actually working. They didn’t feel bloated; they were gaining muscle mass with no side-effects, and their recovery and sleep had improved, too. This boosted my confidence and intensified my research. Finally, I decided to set up my own manufacturing unit and that’s how Spartan Nutrition came into existence. However, I kept it very low-key in the first three years because we invested a lot of time in R&D.
Team Optimist: Who are the members of the Spartan team? What’s been the work process?
RV Choksi: The Spartan team includes such specialists as an Ayurvedic doctor, a pharmacist, a nutritionist and a chemist, along with experienced body-builders and athletes. We’ve built a strong and experienced team that can attend to your doubts and questions and assist with setting up diet and workout regimes. We improved with every passing day and never put a halt to this process, working even on Sundays — all 365 days.
Team Optimist: Do you think protein supplements are safe for laymen? Is a doctor’s supervision necessary for such intakes?
RV Choksi: In this time and age, where life is fast-moving, people don’t have the time to eat properly. You don’t know the actual nutrients you’re getting from your daily meals. How will one fulfil one’s daily protein requirements? Anything in excess can be harmful. Protein is a basic requirement for individuals for growth, maintenance and recovery of one’s body. Protein can supply body energy and make an individual more proactive. Protein is an important building block of bone, muscle, cartilage, skin and blood. Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues. A doctor’s supervision is necessary if you have health problems, such as liver and kidney damage, or any other health issues.
Team Optimist: In India, in the past few years, more women athletes are coming up and are winning accolades. Do you have specific plans to promote women?
RV Choksi: We’re a pro-women’s empowerment organisation. We already have two women athletes signed with us — Hritvika Sardesai, who had won a bronze in the Junior Asian Power-lifting championship in Hongkong, bronze in the Junior World Lifting championship in South Africa and a gold in the Mumbai University championship sponsored and supported by Spartan Nutrition. Another woman athlete is Pratiksha Karkera, who won bronze at the Mr and Miss Karnataka, 2019 in women’s physique and qualified for Fit Factor India, 2019. She was also in the top 6 in the Mumbai Shree, 2019, women’s physique, sponsored and supported by us.
We own an all-woman football team, promoting young players, called the Spartan Army, coached by India’s best trainers of PIFA football. We’re also looking out for opportunities in other sports for women.
Team Optimist: Being a seasoned entrepreneur, what do you think of the future of entrepreneurship in India?
RV Choksi: The future of entrepreneurship in India is promising. There are more opportunities opening up for future generations. Luckily, with social media platforms, it’s easier for entrepreneurs to reach out to people and get their ideas recognised. The legal system, and such initiatives as ‘Make in India’ and the SMEs Scheme are very supportive of new entrepreneurs. If your ideas can bring about a change in people’s lives, the future of entrepreneurs in India is brighter than ever.
Team Optimist: When most sportspersons are into buying foreign supplements, you’re promoting 100% desi supplements with your ‘Make in India’ initiative. What’s the feedback?
RV Choksi: As in every other business, it hasn’t been easy convincing individuals to replace the use of imported supplements with Indian ones. Consumers don’t easily trust Indian products, but things are now changing. It’s important for people to understand that India’s the largest provider of generic medicine globally. Nutraceuticals are a very small part of this industry. If the whole world can trust medicines produced and manufactured in India, why not this?
Team Optimist: What are your plans on Spartan Nutrition? Are you going to focus on online marketing, or promote offline sales, as well?
RV Choksi: We’re increasing our production capacity, along with expanding our range of products. We’re looking at creating more awareness about nutritional supplements and their uses. We’re also looking at providing more employment opportunities.
We’re actually concentrating on both online and offline sales. Nowadays, social media platforms are easily available for promotion of online sales and the present infrastructure is helping sellers get in touch with buyers easily.