Tell us about Balance Nutrition
Balance Nutrition – www.balancenutrition.in – is an online weight loss and lifestyle management clinic. I set up the organisation following nine years of experience in the field of health, food and nutrition. Having travelled widely, I love to experiment with food and now strive to help people across the globe with their diet-related issues with the foods available locally.
I used to be the Chief Dietitian at Lilavati Hospital, Mumbai (RKHS), one of the leading hospitals in India. I was lucky enough to be one of the pioneers of health kitchens in the corporate sector and have since developed over 800 health recipes that are tasty and yet extremely healthy. I have since authored a book ‘Getting rid of Obesity’ published by MBD Publications and remain on the panel of the Early Childhood Association (ECA)
Balance derives from a firm belief that nutrition and lifestyle management can transform lives. This online model helps more people access genuine nutrition therapy in order to lead healthier lives.
www.balancenutrition.in went live on 29 August 2014. We have online programs for weight loss and lifestyle management and also PCOS, diabetes, post pregnancy, thyroid and many other disorders. Our target market includes mothers who want to lose post pregnancy weight and others who suffer weight gain due to certain medical complications and conditions.
Why did you set up the company?
From my school days I was quite attracted to food, nutrition and medicine. Becoming a dietician was a natural choice for me after graduation as I started practicing and coming up with different diets. The joy of seeing the effect it had on people was unparalleled. I went deep into consulting – set up cafes, helped corporates with menu planning and even set up a health kitchen. I used my nutrition and dietary knowledge in every possible way from diet planning to recipe menu designing.
For me the passion led to everything else and the business just grew out of it. The current online business again took shape when I shut my clinic due having my own child and the passion and love for the profession led me to explore doing it online through emails.
After having a lovely baby, I resigned from the post of chief dietitian at Lilivati hospital and started consulting for few corporates. The executives there were too busy to follow a text book diet chart and had to deal with many health disorders. It got me thinking that the traditional diet charts could be modified and a more practical approach could be used.
1. DIETS ON EMAIL – people just didn’t have the time to come for a consultation, hence I start emailing the nutritional assessment sheet s, preparing diets and emailing clients again. All details and recipes needed to be attached too
2. RESTAURANT AND ALCOHOL GUIDE – executives tended not to want to skip a board lunch meeting hence I had to give options from what was already available. The restaurant guide today has 36 cuisines from chat to fine dining and can be used even when traveling globally
3. TRAVEL/AIRPORT and HOLIDAY GUIDE – on similar lines I made a food guide for frequent travelers and those on holiday
So the entire base of Balance Nutrition started developing and to my surprise, I had my first NRI client in January 2014. She had read my updates on Facebook page that I posted there as a hobby.
What has been your biggest challenge in achieving your success?
Do not underestimate yourself and don’t let your domestic duties be an excuse for not being an entrepreneur. They are your strength.
What has been your greatest achievement so far?
A very dedicated, focused and a hardworking team that is consistent day in day out with a client base of 1700 and member base of 30,000.
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
I am truly blessed to have a family like mine. I have never had to keep a maid for my little baby. Whether it is my mom, husband, sisters or my brother in law- all have helped me in bringing up Trissha by always being ready to baby sit depending on their work schedules. So I was never worried about my child.
My husband has been my biggest support as he is the only one who recognised my talent and pushed me to start an active career after the baby. Whether it is a work issue or a domestic issue, he is always around despite having a busy job himself.
How do you balance your work life and home life?
Being an ecommerce business, we work 24 hours. I am at present concentrating on building the core of the business and improvising the services to a class level. So I am spending more than eight hours a day thinking or working on the website.
At weekends we tend to take it a bit slower. I spend one hour on my own health and fitness every day. Being an active mother (without home help) takes about four hours of my day. So when it comes to my child and home, there is a three to four hour a day slot reserved come what may. Nights are about reading.
I am a liberal mother. Trissha is never forced to do anything she does not want to do. We always discuss things and then she is given a choice. I just explain things to her and make sure she is guided well. We have our differences (yes – she’s only five) but at the end of the day we reason things out.
The rule of thumb for me to be a happy parent is to manage that fine line of being firm and working towards making the child more confident and independent by being there. There are some things that are non negotiable – our reading time, food habits and physical activity time – the rest, we take it as it comes
What advice do you have for women starting out on their own?
Do not underestimate yourself and don’t let your domestic duties be an excuse for not being an entrepreneur. They are your strength. Being a working woman makes me a much better wife and mom. I am happy and hence my home is happier.
Can you recommend any organisations or networking groups that have particularly helped you on your journey?
My husband has been my biggest support as he is the only one who recognised my talent and pushed me to start an active career after the baby.
If you could ask for one thing to help propel your business what would it be?
Networking and visibility only.
What does the future hold for you?
I am working towards making balance nutrition a fully-fledged company with a solid back-end foundation. It shall have a CRM for managing clients and prospects. I wish to expand and have teams for website administration, social media and marketing, accounts, admin, dietitians handling clients and senior dieticians doing the latest research on health and wellness, planning menus and developing recipes. We also plan to start child nutrition and corporate nutrition too. So my team of 12 shall be a team of 50!