Powered By Inc42 Brandlabs


The brand solutions arm of Inc42 Media combining Inc42’s creative and editorial strengths to create compelling stories for brands partnering with it.

D2C Brand Miduty Aims To Disrupt The Nutraceutical Space, Caters To 5 Lakh+ Customers


Siblings Palak and Pranav Midha’s nutraceutical brand contains healthful ingredients and claims to have a 70% customer retention rate

The brand exports to the US, the UK and the UAE and aims to add skincare and oral care items to its product line in CY24

It has 50+ in-house health experts who provide personalised nutrition advice to help meet long-term wellness goals

The concept of wellness has undergone a shift in recent years with rising consumer awareness and people’s readiness to spend more to stay in control of their physical and mental well-being. According to a McKinsey study, today’s integrated wellness industry covers as many as six dimensions, including better health and nutrition, better sleep and mindfulness, better fitness and better appearance through sustainable beauty products and services.

However, these overarching divisions have one common component: A fast-growing class of dietary supplements or nutraceuticals containing healthful ingredients and claiming a host of health benefits, ranging from the prevention of critical illnesses to the control of chronic medical conditions.      

Also known as functional foods, the core idea behind nutraceuticals is based on the oft-quoted phrase ascribed to Hippocrates: Let food be thy medicine. Nutraceuticals are now in a class of their own, with more targeted health benefits, as experienced by siblings Palak and Pranav Midha.

They were worried about their parents’ declining health – their father was a pre-diabetic and battled chronic spondylitis and their mother suffered from an autoimmune disorder affecting her thyroid. The duo researched the root causes, found the nutrients that could help and soon saw nearly 40% recovery in their parents’ health without any prescription drug. Next, they helped around 30 of their close relatives and saw a lot of positive outcomes. 

Realising that many medical conditions could be prevented, controlled, or even reversed with targeted nutrition and lifestyle changes, the Midhas launched Miduty (formerly Palak Notes), a direct-to-consumer (D2C) nutraceutical brand that fosters health and well-being by combining the tenets of traditional ayurveda with modern science.

Unlike many nutraceutical brands, the FMHG (fast-moving health goods) startup focusses on three critical areas. First, it looks at the root cause of a medical condition instead of just addressing the symptoms. 

Second, it uses potent ingredients and optimises the absorption of multiple nutrients for maximum efficacy. In contrast, there are products with poor bioavailability where the absorption of active moieties (nutrient molecules) in the bloodstream remains relatively low. For example, the human body can only absorb around 10% of a 650 mg vitamin pill, which means less-than-adequate intake and a long healing period. To do away with such constraints, Miduty uses liposomes to encapsulate the essentials from stomach acids, thus increasing the absorption rate to 70-80% and ensuring better efficacy.

Third, despite selling standardised products, the startup has 50+ in-house health experts who provide personalised nutrition advice to help meet long-term wellness goals.

“We were the first nutraceutical company in India to offer free health consultations through certified health experts, free and personalised diet plans and free home workout sessions during the pandemic,” said CEO Pranav Midha.

Miduty’s motto is healing with science, and it makes a wide range of products covering proteins and vitamins, liver detox and gut health, PCOS and thyroid care, anti-ageing, weight and sugar control, sleep, brain and heart health, nerve and joint pain relief, immunity boosters and more. It is still bootstrapped but exports to the US, the UK and the UAE. It also claims a customer retention rate of 70% and is rapidly expanding its domestic footprint across metros and non-metros. 

The brand will add more categories in 2024 (sustainable skincare, followed by oral care), enter southern and eastern India markets  and offer free consultations on diet plans, workout routines and supplement intakes in malls and city centres to make people aware of health and wellness. 

D2C Brand Miduty Aims To Disrupt The Nutraceutical Space, Caters To 5 Lakh+ Customers

The Road To Miduty From A Health & Fitness Journey 

Palak Midha, an engineering graduate in electronics and telecommunications with an MBA, originally hailed from Jalandhar and later moved to Germany with her spouse. However, she was determined to start her own business and became a certified supplement advisor before setting up Palak Notes in 2019. 

The platform developed and sold a variety of products, keeping in mind the nutrient intake and healing procedure. It started with variants of apple cider vinegar to increase nutrient absorption, added vitamin gummies for kids and vitamins A, D and K to meet nutritional deficiencies and finally came up with supplements for joint pain relief, thyroid care and other chronic conditions.

By then, Palak was well-known on social media for her health and fitness videos. Her brother Pranav joined the business in 2020 after finishing his studies in the US to lead the India operations.

Palak Notes underwent two critical changes before long. Its headquarters were shifted from Jalandhar to Gurugram and the startup was rebranded in August 2023 as Miduty (the underlying concept: My duty to my health). It was not merely a change of name but a leap forward to establish a credible nutraceutical brand for pan-India and global markets.

It has adopted a three-pronged strategy to build a lasting brand and thrive in a quality- and efficacy-driven nutraceutical ecosystem. Given the nature of their business, the Midhas have to explore and assess the latest trends and ingredients, educate and interact with people regularly and work on a viable pricing strategy, especially for non-metro markets, as product prices in the nutraceutical space are often on the higher side based on the raw materials and their procurement. A look at the brand’s top building blocks helps clarify how its top-notch dietary supplements aim to disrupt the segment.

Building an innovation edge: The pandemic may have exhausted people of prescription drugs. But those brutal years have driven a holistic approach towards health and wellness and a ‘back to the naturals’ mindset. As nutraceuticals play a pivotal role in restoring health ‘naturally’, the industry requires cutting-edge innovation to ensure adoption at scale. 

Miduty has partnered with two research labs to develop best-quality formulations and keeps track of the latest innovations, ingredient trends and product improvements, thanks to its founders’ close association with the Indian Association of Functional Medicine. For instance, it recently launched a supplement containing liposomal glutathione, a trending antioxidant that enhances cellular and cardiovascular health, strengthens immunity and helps with liver detox. 

Another focus area is its unique blending of ayurveda and modern science. The brand’s best-selling product, Liver Detox, combines a medicinal herb (milk thistle) and a lab-prepared antioxidant called N-acetyl cysteine (Nac) for best outcomes. More importantly, it makes multi-nutrient supplements and uses liposomal technology to maximise targeted health benefits.

It partners with doctors in Tier II and III locations to increase product awareness and is preparing for clinical trials so that doctors can prescribe certain product lines.           

Quality as the cornerstone of credibility: Miduty products are made in three manufacturing units, including a company-owned facility in Jaipur, where 19 of its best-selling nutraceuticals are developed. All its ingredients are procured from reliable sources (its KSM-66 ashwagandha root extract comes from Japan) and lab-tested by suppliers and contract manufacturers. 

It has also obtained ISO, FSSAI, GMP and US FDA certifications for supplement quality and safety. Post-production, a QC team checks samples for quality, texture, colour and taste, and a certificate of analysis (CoA) is obtained before a batch hits the market. Plus, it employs a third-party custom tool for data analytics and collects customer feedback for continuous improvement while its health experts provide nutritional advice and follow up with customers to review and adjust diet recommendations.

Gaining traction through customer engagement and martech tools: Although nutraceuticals are nothing new globally, making a foray into the Indian heartlands and growing sustainably would require better awareness and an aspirational audience. Therefore, Miduty talks extensively about health and wellness, workouts, diets and supplements on social media (mainly Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp) with the help of videos, podcasts and other content formats to gain traction. To retain a healthy customer retention rate and grow its user base further, it uses cutting-edge marketing automation tools like BIK and leverages ChatGPT and Midjourney for campaign generation.

Miduty has also built Wonder Woman, a 30K-strong community on Facebook and WhatsApp for the women and by the women, for a concerted focus on physical health and mental well-being. The mission is to address their day-to-day concerns with advice from health experts and help women engage in relevant activities, including daily diet, healthy recipes, live workouts at home, progress tracking, and meditation and yoga tips. Besides, this programme promotes financial independence among women. While some group members work from home as the startup’s telecallers, small ventures run by women are also promoted in the community.

The brand claims its product efficacy and strong marketing have ensured an extraordinary customer retention rate, around 70% across metros and non-metros. Its sales and customer base saw 30% and 25% YoY growth, respectively, in FY23. 

It earns 50% of its revenue from website sales, 20% from online marketplaces and the rest from its IVR (Interactive Voice Response) model. Around 25% of its revenue comes from Tier II cities like Jaipur, Indore, Agra and Lucknow, and 60% from metros and Tier I locations like Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune and more.              

Is India Ready For The Golden Age Of Nutraceuticals?

Globally, the nutraceuticals market is estimated to reach $658.1 Bn by 2028 from $352.9 Bn in 2021, growing at a CAGR of 9.3%. Interestingly, the Asia-Pacific sector led the sector in 2020 with a 37% market share, and India is not lagging either. 

According to the ministry of food processing industries, the dietary supplements market in India is likely to reach $10.2 Bn by 2026, clocking a 22% YoY growth rate since 2020, when it was valued at $3.9 Bn. In fact, the homegrown nutraceuticals industry accounts for 67% of the domestic market, beating the once pharma-dominated supplements space.

The escalating demand for nutraceuticals worldwide, driven by preventive healthcare and immunity enhancement, is good news for Miduty and its peers like Kapiva, Soulfuel, Wellbeing Nutrition and many more. Nevertheless, there are challenges galore to overcome in terms of R&D costs, rising technology expenditure, stringent regulatory compliance and margin-heavy retail formats.

“[Offline] retail could be a huge problem as 50-60% of the margin goes to physical stores, dragging down our profits,” said Pranav Midha.

The D2C model offers a viable solution, but brick-and-mortar retail still rules the country’s consumer market compared to digital-only shopping. Eventually, nutraceutical brands must opt for an omnichannel (online+offline) approach to drive pan-India sales.    

The other pain point is the price-conscious Indian market, although consumers today show greater willingness to invest in personalised diet plans, dietary supplements and workouts. The average cost of Miduty supplements is INR 1K, often considered a little expensive for buyers from Tier II and III markets. The founders are not too worried, though, believing that consumers from Bharat have the willingness and potential to purchase these supplements, provided they recognise how they can fulfil their health and wellness needs. 

However, the elephant in the room continues to worry D2C players as deep-pocketed FMCG and FMHG giants make strategic investments to foray into the fast-growing sector. FMCG behemoth Hindustan Lever bought out OZiva, a key player in this space, and acquired a 19.8% stake in Wellbeing Nutrition. The OZiva deal further entailed indirectly acquiring the wellness brand Zenherb Labs.

That does not mean there will be no level playing field for nutraceutical startups/D2C players like Miduty and its ilk. For one, India is a treasure trove of medicinal herbs, giving it a competitive advantage in terms of innovation, procurement and pricing. 

Government initiatives such as the National Ayush Mission (NAM) and the Fit India Mission also promote preventive healthcare and wellness. With private investments and budgetary allocations on the rise – INR 1,200 Cr for the ministry of ayurveda, yoga and naturopathy, unani, siddha and homoeopathy (Ayush) in FY24, which fell to INR 815 Cr – nutraceuticals are likely to emerge as a critical component in proactive and preventive healthcare. And the sector will continue to receive the impetus required for sustainable growth.  

You have reached your limit of free stories
Become An Inc42 Plus Member

Become a Startup Insider in 2024 with Inc42 Plus. Join our exclusive community of 10,000+ founders, investors & operators and stay ahead in India’s startup & business economy.

Unlock 60% OFF
Cancel Anytime
Unlock 50% OFF
Cancel Anytime
Already A Member?
Discover Startups & Business Models

Unleash your potential by exploring unlimited articles, trackers, and playbooks. Identify the hottest startup deals, supercharge your innovation projects, and stay updated with expert curation.

D2C Brand Miduty Aims To Disrupt The Nutraceutical Space, Caters To 5 Lakh+ Customers-Inc42 Media
How-To’s on Starting & Scaling Up

Empower yourself with comprehensive playbooks, expert analysis, and invaluable insights. Learn to validate ideas, acquire customers, secure funding, and navigate the journey to startup success.

D2C Brand Miduty Aims To Disrupt The Nutraceutical Space, Caters To 5 Lakh+ Customers-Inc42 Media
Identify Trends & New Markets

Access 75+ in-depth reports on frontier industries. Gain exclusive market intelligence, understand market landscapes, and decode emerging trends to make informed decisions.

D2C Brand Miduty Aims To Disrupt The Nutraceutical Space, Caters To 5 Lakh+ Customers-Inc42 Media
Track & Decode the Investment Landscape

Stay ahead with startup and funding trackers. Analyse investment strategies, profile successful investors, and keep track of upcoming funds, accelerators, and more.

D2C Brand Miduty Aims To Disrupt The Nutraceutical Space, Caters To 5 Lakh+ Customers-Inc42 Media
D2C Brand Miduty Aims To Disrupt The Nutraceutical Space, Caters To 5 Lakh+ Customers-Inc42 Media
You’re in Good company