From a Simple Idea to a 100-Crore Success: The Inspiring Journey of Yoga Bar

Suhasini Sampath's Vision Turns Yoga Bar into a Health Food Sensation, Weathering the Storms of COVID

Attention India
5 Min Read

27 July 2023, Mumbai: In 2012, during a yoga session in New York, Suhasini Sampath and her sister, Anindita Sampath, stumbled upon an idea that would soon revolutionize the health food industry in India. Recognizing the absence of readily available energy bars in their home country, they bought the trademark “Yoga Bar,” setting the wheels in motion for a remarkable entrepreneurial journey. What began as a simple vision to provide wholesome and affordable multigrain energy bars soon transformed into a 100-crore success story, with Suhasini’s determination and perseverance at the helm.

Addressing India’s Breakfast Woes

In 2014, Suhasini, then a management consultant at McKinsey, witnessed the alarming statistic that 40% of Indians skipped breakfast meals. Having been part of that percentage herself, she felt a deep connection to the problem and decided to take a leap of faith. Leaving her job behind, Suhasini, along with her sisters, embarked on the ambitious endeavor of bringing the Yoga Bar idea to life. The concept was straightforward – to offer Indians a 20-gram multigrain energy bar made with natural ingredients like oats, almonds, dates, and honey, priced at an affordable Rs 40. The goal was to encourage healthier eating habits by providing a convenient on-the-go option for breakfast.

Yoga Bar’s Humble Beginnings

With initial investment from her elder sister, Aarti, as well as support from friends and family, Yoga Bar officially launched in 2015. Suhasini took charge of manufacturing the bars with the help of professional bakers, while also personally engaging with customers by selling the products in stores and yoga studios across Bangalore. The hard work paid off, as Yoga Bar’s popularity soared, and within no time, it was available in over 2000 retail outlets and yoga studios in the city. The brand quickly became synonymous with morning breakfasts and gym enthusiasts, with an impressive 75% of customers reordering the bars.

Rapid Expansion and Promising Growth

The company’s exponential growth caught the attention of venture capitalists, leading to a significant capital infusion of 70 crores over multiple funding rounds. A major portion of this investment, 20 crores, was allocated to establishing a top-notch manufacturing facility to ensure the production of quality bars. This unwavering focus on maintaining high standards propelled Yoga Bar’s revenue to reach an impressive 32 crores in 2019-20, marking a momentous milestone for the business.

Navigating the Challenges of COVID-19

However, the path to success was not without its challenges. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Yoga Bar faced the brunt of its reliance on offline sales, which contributed to 90% of the business. Suhasini had to adapt swiftly to the changing market dynamics and make a bold decision to revamp the company into an online brand. With quick thinking and a determined team, Yoga Bar launched more products, including muesli, cereals, oats, and more, expanding its reach and catering to diverse health-conscious customers.

Evolution into an Online Powerhouse

Suhasini’s tenacity and innovation paid off handsomely, as the company’s online sales skyrocketed, and it reported an impressive revenue of 68 crores when COVID restrictions eased. The brand’s allure remained strong, whether purchased online or offline, a testament to its loyal customer base. As Yoga Bar’s popularity surged, larger corporations took notice, and ITC seized the opportunity, acquiring a 39% stake for a substantial 175 crores, eager to integrate Yogabar into its line of healthy products.Suhasini’s awe-inspiring journey is a tale of resilience, vision, and determination. Starting with no marketing team and limited market potential in 2012, she navigated every obstacle that came her way, emerging as an inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs across the nation. With her unwavering commitment to providing healthy alternatives to India’s bustling population, Suhasini Sampath has undeniably left an indelible mark on the health food industry, building a 100-crore success story, one healthy bite at a time.


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