#ShaktiBadhao helped us reach 300,000+ mothers from Tamil Nadu: Alok Kohli

Commemorating Mother’s Day, Nu-Shakti – a brand of Royal DSM – launched the #ShaktiBadhao campaign to salute all mothers who nurture their families. The digital community engagement campaign was aimed at empowering mothers by highlighting to them the role micronutrients play in ensuring better nutrition and good health of the entire family.

As part of its campaign, Nu-Shakti organised live sessions for mothers with Dr Sivaranjani Ganapathy, Director – Amato, Women Health Coach – Wellness with Sivi on Facebook, Instagram and other online platforms. These interactive sessions revolved around empowering mothers to with additional measures in nurturing healthy families. The sessions saw more than 1,000 mothers sharing their views and enquiring about new ways to increase immunity, boosting nutrition, using healthy recipes, etc.

Furthermore, the brand has engaged with micro- and nano-influencers from the mother’s community in sparking online conversations. The #ShaktiBadhao messaging was also seeded in closed micro-communities and WhatsApp groups comprising mothers.

Alok Kohli, Business Director, DSM India, commented, “Through Nu-Shakti’s #ShaktiBadhao community engagement campaign, we are harnessing the exponential power of aggregation on social media platforms, motivating mothers’ fraternities in sharing experiences about addressing their children and families’ nutritional needs.”

For enabling food fortification, Nu-Shakti increases the micronutrient value of home-cooked staple foods. This helps consumers achieve a healthier, more balanced diet without changing dietary habits. Nu-Shakti’s product range includes Powermix for rice (fortified rice kernels), Powermix for atta (fortifier for atta/flour) and MixMe (fortified orange-flavoured beverage mix).

Alok Kohli, Business Director, DSM India

Please tell us something more about Nu-Shakti, the product. What is your value proposition to the consumer? How are you differentiating with other substitutes and who is your close competition in this space as the nutrition space is already crowded.

When people receive adequate nutrition, it results in productive and healthy lives. A part of purpose-led consumer business from Royal DSM, the brand Nu-Shakti has been designed to support better nutrition for India by increasing the power (Shakti) of everyday food. We are offering a range of daily home fortifiers formulated with essential vitamins and minerals to meet the nutritional needs of urban and rural consumers who seek healthier lifestyles.

Nu-Shakti’s product offerings include Powermix for Rice (fortified rice kernel), Powermix for Atta (atta/flour fortifier), and MixMe (fortified orange-flavoured beverage mix). Our products are first-of-its-kind for consumers as well as the nutrition categories; offering nutritious, locally-relevant options enriched with essential nutrients and vitamins to provide nutrition in a fun and convenient way. The benefit for consumers – these are easy to use with no change in dietary habits, taste or appearance of food.

What kind of market share are you aiming in the Nutrition market? What is the current size of the market and is the market growing?

According to the National Family Health Survey, more than half of all Indians eat an unbalanced diet. The pattern of daily food consumption has remained the same since 2005 – among both women and men. Also, reports highlight that anaemia due to micronutrient deficiency is a major public health concern and a great silent epidemic. Around 45-50% of children and women in India are anaemic.

This is perpetuated due to lack of consumer awareness and understanding about nutrition. Availability of affordable nutritious products designed to take care of malnutrition is limited. To tackle and assess the severity of this problem required an approach targeting local food habits and behaviour. Home fortification is one of the safest, effective and affordable tools to enhance the nutritional value of staple food products for every household.

Nu-Shakti products, home fortifiers (Powermix for Rice and Atta) and powdered beverage mix containing micronutrients have been designed to provide the recommended daily nutrition requirements. We are investing heavily in creating awareness among consumers to make informed choices about their dietary habits while simultaneously providing them with an option that is affordable and accessible. The objective is to play a positive role in the country’s nutrition discourse.

You are test marketing this product in Tamil Nadu. How has the response been so far? When do you plan to expand to other cities?

We launched our product in September 2019 in the Chennai market. Currently, it is available across various parts of Tamil Nadu, including Madurai, Coimbatore, Nagercoil and other cities. For the past 8 months, we’ve seen an encouraging response for our products across markets. Within 6 months of launch, we have garnered an awareness of 34% and an ad reach of 41%.

Nu-Shakti will continue its journey of nutritional impact in the months to come. With Tamil Nadu delivering encouraging results, we are planning to expand our portfolio to more markets this year.

What are the channels you are using to sell the product? Is it an OTC product? With lockdown still not lifted or relaxed, how are you managing your distribution to reach the last mile. Do you also plan to go through the doctor route?

Nu-Shakti is not an OTC product. It is designed to build on key micronutrients that you require on a daily basis.

We distribute our products across modern and traditional grocery formats, chemists. Our business contribution across channels mimic FMCG channel mix.

COVD-19 did impact supplies, but now with the restrictions being eased progressively in different districts and cities, we are hopeful that our distribution will recover steadily in the coming days. Meanwhile, we are boosting our outlays on digital and e-commerce platforms.

Before the COVID-19 lockdown, apart from mass mediums, we were also leveraging consumer touchpoints and engaging with health influencers, nutritionists and celebrity networks in creating increased awareness about our products’ nutrition and other benefits. 

Once business resumes under the new normal, we will continue some of these activities with suitable safeguards in place such as social distancing and higher hygiene norms.

Who is your core audience and how are you reaching them? Can you describe the profile of your audience?

Our idea is to enter every household via the decision-maker of the family– the mother. Kids are fussy eaters, they don’t eat vegetables and compromise on their nutritional intake. Mothers are aware and constantly try to find ways of sneaking nutrition into their meals. Our products are empowering mothers to make an everyday family meal more powerful.

Recently, via our Mother’s Day campaign #ShaktiBadhao, we reached out to more than 300,000 mothers from Tamil Nadu, empowering them as their family’s Nutrition Ambassadors, armed with holistic nutrition awareness.

Moreover, a mom-to-mom awareness model has been designed, wherein a group of mothers spreads the message about the importance of micronutrients in a child’s diet. Furthermore, the brand has engaged with micro- and nano-influencers from the mother’s community in sparking online conversations.

Through mothers, we aim to boost awareness about food fortification, thereby improving the country’s nutrition ranking.

What kind of advertising campaign are you planning? Looks like you are already using some celebrity to promote the brand. What is your media strategy going to look like and what kind of budget have you earmarked for the brand?

In Tamil Nadu, we have Ramya Krishnan, a popular South Indian actor and a mother, as Nu-Shakti’s brand ambassador. Besides, we are betting big on community engagement campaigns to drive more awareness about the brand and the role of micronutrients. Given the evolving dynamics of communication, especially the power of social media, we are focusing on reaching out to nano/micro-influencers, mommy bloggers, nutritionists and dieticians to amplify awareness, apart from conventional ways of communication.

Our digital campaigns – ‘By Mothers for Mothers’ and #WePledgeForCompleteNutrition – has increased the awareness about the concept of food fortification and how it is important for providing the right nutrition to your family, among Chennai Mothers. It garnered a 2-million-plus reach.

We believe citizen journalism has great power to communicate and convince on crucial aspects such as proper nutrition. We aim to make our product synonymous with proper nutrition in the daily diets of every Indian.

Has Royal DSM partnered with someone in India to market Nu-Shakti? Do you have a manufacturing facility in India, please share details? 

DSM has a strong foundation in the Indian market with long term commitment. We have been in India since 1989 and have largely focused on developing science based products and solutions for business to business segment. However, based on our global innovation capabilities and understanding for the countries nutritional requirements, we introduced Nu-Shakti brand of products in the consumer segment, customised for the Indian market. This first-of-its-kind home fortification product range is innovated in India for India. All our Nu-Shakti products are manufactured through tolling partners in Rajasthan and Maharashtra.


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