Mr. RPS Kohli, Director, Jivo Wellness

, B.Sc (Physics) Graduate from Sambalpur University, Orissa in the year 1982. Started Jivo Wellness in 2009 as a unit of Akal Information Systems Limited. Launched Canola Oil in India through Jivo Wellness and achieved initial targets of 1 lakh litres per month within the first 6 months of launch. He shifted to New Delhi in 1994 and started Charlie Creations Pvt. Ltd. along with other partners. This company soon became an established brand in Jeans wear especially in North India. Established a chain of state-of-art production facilities for Charlie while looking after Productions and Product Development. Launched ‘Koutons’ in 2001 when consumer interest in denims was waning and Khakis were emerging in the fashion market. He then became a jury member in NIFT and launched the first experimental Exclusive brand outlet in Rajouri Garden market in 2002. Soon, this business model flourished and Koutons within 2 years became a market leader in EBOs with around 135 stores by 2004 after the nomenclature of the company was changed to “Kotons Retail India Limited”. He also started working for an NGO called The Kalgidhar Trust (engaged in the field of Education in Rural North India), as a volunteer. In 2004, the Trust had 22 schools.

Jivo Wellness

introduces itself as a unit of Akal Information Systems Limited (ISO 9001:2000 Certified) and presently engaged in the production/Import/marketing of Jivo Canola Cooking Oil. Made by crushing the seeds of Canola plant, which were originally grown in Canada in 1970, having better nutrition facts than all cooking oil available in the world. Jivo Wellness presents before the Indian Consumer Complete Health with Jivo Canola Cooking Oil. After USA, Canada, Japan and Mexico Canola is now being launched in India. Most of the American restaurants abroad including KFC, McDonald’s & Taco Bell use Canola Oil to provide culinary and healthy food to their customers. Replying to

Anil Mascarenhas



, RPS Kohli says “we would be making an important announcement in the growth plans of Jivo Wellness around March this year”.

What is the business model of Jivo Wellness? How did you come up with the idea of starting this segment?

Jivo Wellness is in the business of wellness and nutrients/supplements that can touch the lives of every Indian to provide a shield towards medical problems without much of a cost escalation and change in dietary habits. Most of these products are research based. I was In the midst of a pretty fast corporate life as Director of Koutons Retail India Limited, I realized the need for having a ‘purpose’ in life. To the shock of my family and friends, I resigned and moved away in search of that purpose. I met 80 yr old Baba Iqbal Singh (Retd. Director-Agriculture) who was heading a Himachal based NGO “The Kalgidhar Trust”, working in the field of providing Education to rural poor in rural North India. The desire to serve the downtrodden society through this NGO made my dreams come true. I realized the true essence, purpose and fundamentals of life through his guidance. Feeling the compelling need for more resources to support the noble cause, we decided to enter righteous business of changing people’s lives. The search for simple yet life changing products that can encompass the lives of the whole country, culminated with accumulation of research on Canola Oil by Baba Iqbal Singh who did and is presently doing extensive research on Wellness products. Hence, Jivo Wellness was born. We forayed into the business of Wellness when the need to ‘give it back’ to the society was felt by being able to touch the lives of common man. Thus the mission was formed is “we are in the business of


creating a Healthy India!”

Who is your target audience and what is the market size for your offering and products?

We are targeting the middle and upper middle income group in urban areas. Today even the common man on the street fears medical exigencies due to the sheer exorbitant medical treatments. To stay well and keep away from illnesses is the mantra; and people realize this. In the longer run, it pays to be prudent. And every actual user of Jivo Canola Oil will vouch for the fact that oil consumption is less by 35% due to the sheer double bond molecular layout of the unsaturated fats; it simply means less absorption in food cooked in Canola Oil. So, end of the day the old age moral is reinvented “Prevention is better than cure”. Presently we offer 250 ml, 1 ltr, 2ltrs, 5 ltrs & 15 ltrs pack. Soon we intend to come up with pouch pack of 500 ml & 1 ltr.

How does Canola edible oil stand in comparison to the others available in the market? Are you competing on quality, price or health benefits etc?

Primarily health and wellness is the focus. Today cost wise we have been successful in pitting Canola Oil at an advantage with most of the market leaders. We are competing with all those brands who claim to be healthy. The true test is in the kitchen, when the whole household realizes the changes and benefits of Canola Oil. They by word of mouth will contain competition for us. This is an honest realization after getting thousands of feedback from direct users. The claim of zero Trans Fat remains hollow because most of them convert in Trans Fat when fried and this knowledge needs to be imparted to users.

What are the other wellness products on the anvil?

We are soon coming up with an array of wellness products since they are in the application development stage now.

What is your present geographical spread? What are your expansion plans? How would they be funded?

We are presently available in Delhi/NCR, Kolkata, Punjab, Chandigarh/Panchkula, and Chennai. Soon we are moving into Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Jammu, and Andhra Pradesh. We have enough production capacities and are envisaging expansion through self funds & Bank loans if required.

What kind of investments are you set to make in the coming years?

We had planned for investments in Expulsion and refineries last year. But the dynamics of the international oil prices have changed drastically in the last few months. We have realized that the price difference between imported oil and homegrown variety is quite high and hence the investment into seed crushing facility is on hold till we get level playing field.

Brief us on your financials and outlook?

We are committed to the targets set by us when we started in Sep 2010. We have just completed our first quarter and the results are extremely encouraging. We are buoyant on our projections that we had set for Oct 2012 of meeting a turnover of Rs. 100 cr. The best part is that we have realized that once a consumer tastes Canola Oil, such is the impact that he/she gets hooked on to the product. It is light textured, non-greasy and neutral flavoured which is very conducive for Indian cooking. Users realize that it is very light to digest and gives long term benefits of lowering blood pressure and diabetes. The challenge is logistics and creating awareness. More than 95% users are repeat users. Rising health costs have made consumers rethink about their food habits and lifestyle. And with Canola Oil, the taste is better and health benefits are very much visible in a short time

By when do you plan to go public? How much do you intend to raise through IPO?

We have set the horizon at around three to four years from now. We would be making an important announcement in the growth plans of Jivo Wellness around March this year.

You have been earlier with Koutons. Given the turmoil the company is facing, what are the lessons learnt? What would your advice be to entrepreneurs?

A very touchy issue! It hurts badly to see a unique model like Koutons withering away. Having worked hard on it, it is hard to digest. Presently my focus area is Jivo and I wish not to comment on the lessons learnt. My advice to entrepreneurs is to Innovate, keep your product above par and do your business straight and ethical. There are no shortcuts. Don’t just create a product; but build value around it and create a brand.

What is the shareholding pattern of the company? Any early investors?

We are three Directors with equal shareholding pattern. Presently we are getting feelers but intend to focus on building our market base before we look at investors.