How Two Sisters Turned A Post-Yoga Craving Into A ₹500 Cr Startup Acquired By ITC

In the bustling lanes of entrepreneurship, Suhasini Sampath’s story stands out as a testament to innovation and resilience. It all began with a simple post-yoga craving in New York. Suhasini and her sister Anindita, while munching on an energy bar, realized such a healthy snack was unheard of back home in India. Fast forward to 2015, and the Yoga Bar was born, a brainchild conceived to tackle the 40% of Indians skipping the most important meal of the day.

What to know? Suhasini, then a consultant at McKinsey, understood the gap firsthand. She envisioned a 20-gram multigrain energy bar, priced at just ₹40, packed with natural goodness like oats and almonds. The idea was to offer a quick, healthy bite for the ever-busy Indian, ensuring no breakfast was missed again.

The initial investment came from family, including her elder sister Aarti, and the Yoga Bar quickly became a staple in over 5000 stores and yoga studios across Bangalore. The repeat purchase rate was staggering — 75% — a clear indicator of the product’s appeal.

Venture capitalists couldn’t ignore the buzz. Yoga Bar raised 70 crores, with a significant chunk invested in setting up a manufacturing unit. This strategic move paid off, doubling the revenue annually, hitting a remarkable 32 crores in 2019-20.

See also: How Ajay Bijli Turned PVR From A Family-Owned Single Screen Into A ₹17,000 Cr Business

Then, the pandemic struck, posing a colossal challenge. With a predominantly offline business model, Suhasini had to pivot — and fast. In just a few months, Yoga Bar transformed into an online sensation, with sales skyrocketing. Post-COVID, the revenue soared to 68 crores, with online sales contributing half of the business.

The growth was unstoppable. Yoga Bar expanded its offerings, and soon, industry giants were lining up for a piece of the pie. ITC clinched the acquisition, snapping up a 39% stake in Yoga Bar for 175 crores to bolster its healthy product lineup.

Suhasini’s rise from consultant to business titan, sans marketing team and amid a pandemic, epitomizes inspiration, showcasing how vision and flexibility can turn obstacles into triumphs.

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