Bollywood actor John Abraham has picked up a minority stake in a Mumbai-based chain of health, wellness, and beauty stores, Guardian Healthcare, which works as a franchise partner of US-based health and nutrition company GNC in India.
Though deal size remained undisclosed, the funding is speculated to value the company at about $36.46 Mn (INR 250 Cr).
Guardian Healthcare aims to provide cures, care, and convenience to its customers and has manned its pharmacies with qualified and highly trained pharmacists who advise patients on their health and wellness problems.
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“John is extremely passionate and disciplined about fitness and his relationship with the company will be much beyond endorsement fees,” said Shadab Khan, CEO of GNC India.
Following this investment, John Abraham will also become the face of GNC in India and help disseminate information regarding supplements and break myths and confusion about them.
Guardian Healthcare is the master franchisee for GNC in India, with exclusive distribution and marketing rights.
At present, GNC has over 75 stores in India and nearly all products are imported from its home market, which translates into higher price tags and a time lag of three-four months.
“We have identified over half a dozen contract manufacturers that will make the products in India. This will also help bring cost down since import duties will come down,” said Khan.
Guardian claims to sell only 100% genuine medicines and over-the-counter (OTC) products.
GNC is a global speciality health, wellness, and performance retailer, which offers customers an assortment of health, wellness, and performance products, including protein, performance supplements, weight management supplements, vitamins, herbs, and greens, wellness supplements, health and beauty, food and drink, and other general merchandise.
In March, Guardian revealed its plans to make GNC products available at approximately 4,000 new retail outlets across India by 2020.
The company expects 1,000 retail outlets to add GNC products to their offering this year. GNC India will also market and sell its full product line through the company’s website and via other ecommerce platforms.
Bollywood For Startups
Many Bollywood stars have been investing in startups according to their areas of interest.
Aamir Khan has invested in furniture startup Furlenco while leading actresses Alia Bhatt and Jacqueline Fernandez invested in fashion portal Stylecracker and juice maker and online portal Rakyan Beverages respectively.
Among early investors in the lifestyle sector from Bollywood are Karishma Kapoor, Ajay Devgn, and Shilpa Shetty. Karishma Kapoor had invested in a kids clothing and accessories portal Babyoye in 2011.
Healthtech, Fitness & Nutrition Industry
According to the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry in India (ASSOCHAM) 2017 report, India’s nutraceutical market is currently estimated to be $4 Bn in 2017 and expected to grow to $10 Bn in 2022, at a 20% CAGR.
The sports, fitness, and wellness industry in India is poised to become a $90 Bn industry by 2022, growing with a CAGR of 17%.
The driving factors for this growth include demand levers such as affluence, sedentary lifestyle, and increasing awareness about health and fitness, backed by robust supply drivers.
Healthcare is one of the biggest revenue and employment generating sectors in India and was expected to touch $ 160 Bn by 2017.
[The development was reported by ET.]