Interview With Inspiriko Founder, Andra Raju

(Photo Credit: Inspiriko)

(Photo Credit: Inspiriko)

Inspiriko started with a mission to help women meet their health goals through plant-based nutrition goodness. They aspire to be a platform which inspires women from all walks of life to adopt a healthy mindset towards nutrition. 

The Inspiriko Love Thy Gut is a prebiotic and superfood blend specially made for women. After extensive research, the brand decided they want to create an easy way for busy women to nourish their bodies with the cleanest sources of plant-based nutrients, anywhere and anytime. 

We caught up with Andra Raju, the founder of Inspiriko, and asked her a few questions about the brand.

What made you want to start up Inspiriko ? 

I really wanted to create a company that in a profound way would help women to take care of their health in a hassle-free way using plant based goodness. But the inspiration for Inspiriko came from my past.  As alittle child I had several health issues. I was always in and out of hospitals. Things changed for me when my mom took me to a doctor who used holistic healing techniques to help deal with chronic issues. I had to undergo a complete change in my diet along with other steps that was a mixture of modern medicine and lifestyle changes. For the first time I started feeling better. 

This was a turning point, when food as medicine was really planted in my head. I had learned very early in my childhood that plant based nutrition has a power to heal and transform ones relationship with their body. So Inspiriko started out of this life time obsession of finding the most nutritious plants nature has to offer and incorporating it in our diet.  I started Inspiriko to share this passion with other women to nourish their bodies with the cleanest sources of plant based nutrients. I have a background in charity, so another goal for Inspiriko is to build a community of plant powdered women that support each other and have a desire to live more kindly both towards themselves and to the wider environment. 

“We are 100% women focused.”

(Photo Credit: Inspiriko)

(Photo Credit: Inspiriko)

What makes your brand stand out from other similar health brands? 

This is a good question and a tough one! Truth is there are way too many health brands out there. But we like to believe we are different and have our own little role to play. Firstly, we are 100% women focused and our approach to new product development is not creating products for women guessing what women really need but by involving our customers in our product development process from the concept phase to the execution. Secondly, we are 100% organic and vegan. Being vegans ourselves we believe it is our duty to do our best to source and manufacture our products ethically and sustainably leaving a positive footprint on lives of our organic farmers and our customers.  

Thirdly, we are as much about educating and community building as we are about creating amazing new functional food blends. We have a small but growing social media, where we put out content on nutrition and plant based lifestyle. In 2019, we have plans to develop some amazing content with the help of experts on nutrition, recipes etc.! Lastly, we see ourselves as much as a social enterprise as a business (this is my old charity avatar speaking!) We are working on partnering with a few women focussed charities that are doing incredible work in supporting women from different walks of life. We are also committed to reduce our carbon footprint by packaging our products only in sustainable packaging and never in plastic. As they say… every little helps! We are also working on trialling a few different services in 2019 that will further help us reduce the waste we generate through business.  

“Good gut health is the cornerstone of your health.”

What are the health benefits of your prebiotic and superfood blend? 

Before we started  we surveyed about 300 women across the U.K. to ask them what were their biggest health concerns and issues. Some of the answers were obvious, like weight loss, but some of the most common issues were around digestive health and lack of energy. That was the start of our research, which introduced us to the absolutely fascinating world of the microbiome. Good gut health is the cornerstone of your health. Our bodies are an interconnected system and good gut health contributes to good functioning of immune system, vitamin absorption, emotional well-being and even skin health!!  A healthy microbiome (essentially the trillions of bacteria in your gut) depends on a number of things. But probably the most important is the right diet. Unfortunately, about 2/3rd of women in U.K. don’t meet their fibre and nutrient requirement.

This blend we have created, with the help of experts, provides a potent dose of diverse prebiotics fibre and other nutrients that are essential for boosting your gut health and overall health. Prebiotics fibre helps feed the good gut bacteria and nourishes them. This action helps improve your energy levels, skin health etc. But we have also included some other plant superstars that provide a range of other nutrients. The nutritional content of this blend is amazing and meets more than 90 of European health and nutritional claims. To top it all every single ingredient is 100% natural and certified organic and vegan. Oh did I mention it tastes amazing ? Honestly one of the things we always hear from our customers is that they absolutely love the taste of the blend and it makes for a great snack or breakfast addition. 

(Photo Credit: Inspiriko)

(Photo Credit: Inspiriko)

Why did you decide to aim your product specifically toward women that lead busy lifestyles? 

Because I am one of them ! I know from my own experience that it is often very challenging to balance working hard and staying on top of one’s health. This is borne out by statistics !! A huge majority of women don’t meet their daily 5 a day or their nutrition requirements. Anecdotally we know that when pressure hits, our health is often the first one to take a back seat. Somehow we tend to believe that we are granted to enjoy good health for a lifetime and start to appreciate it only when we loose it. Many of the solutions or alternatives given are filled with preservatives, flavourings etc. making it even more challenging to navigate your choices.There is also a parallel movement to tell women that they are healthy if they meet a certain body standard. This actually leads to even worse nutritional choices.Which just pisses me off ! We want to help break this cycle by working with our customers to develop holistic plant based solutions based on actual nutrition requirements. We also want to be a platform that helps educate and empower our customers to make healthy lifestyle choices. 

What do you think is the biggest problem regarding women’s health products at the moment? 

 I think the problem has to do as much with the quality of the products as with the messaging of what healthy looks like. If you look at all the adverts or articles you would believe that healthy, means a certain body type. This is a problem. It also feels like there is an epidemic of protein deficiency among women (and men).  We vegans especially get attacked for having a protein deficient diet! The fact is that on a western diet eating a protein deficient diet is rather difficult. Although as a vegan you do need to put a bit more effort, but in no means is it difficult. This also means that many of the other nutrients absolutely necessary for women are not being focussed on. But when you are being constantly told that a firm six pack body is what is healthy, the focus gets skewed. 

To add to all of this, there are many unscrupulous sellers who have been selling potentially harmful substances in the name of health. There is very little oversight or regulations when it comes to supplements or other health foods. Which frankly scares me. That’s why we have demanded our suppliers only supply us with clearly traceable organic ingredients. It is not foolproof but goes a very long way in developing high quality products for our customers. But we don’t stop there. We have our products third party tested multiple times to ensure that only the most potent, highly functional and cleanest ingredients are used in our products.

(Photo Credit: Inspiriko)

(Photo Credit: Inspiriko)

“It was there at Vevolution that I was really encouraged to dream big and not settle for average.”

How has Vevolution influenced you? 

Vevolution is the most amazing platform for plant based entrepreneurs. The amazing events, like the Bootcamp or Festivals are of a very high standard. The speakers and topics covered are so well thought out and Judy and Damien are such amazing and inspiring role models.  My first ever event that I attended by Vevolution was plant based Bootcamp. What a fantastic opportunity it was to be in a room full of existing and aspiring entrepreneurs. At that time I had been a product development process for around 7 months and it seemed that we are never going to launch so I felt pretty defeated. By that time I had already given my notice and committed to work on Inspiriko full time. I was filled with fair amount of uncertainty and doubt of whether I have what it takes to create a company that is far bigger than myself. It was there at Vevolution that I was really encouraged to dream big and not settle for average. More than ever I realised that plant based businesses are thriving . But apart from the tonne of gold that the events provide, the people you meet are equally if not more amazing. I have met some amazing plant based entrepreneurs, who are all passionate about what they do, many of them are women! And I have become good friends with them. They continue to inspire me and help support my vision. This wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for Vevolution. 

What is your ultimate goal/vision for Inspiriko?  

The ultimate goal for Inspiriko is to become trustworthy partners in our customer’s health journey by providing them with the right tools to lead healthy and fulfilling lives. We want to be known as a brand that is honest and transparent that is truly focussed on our customers’ needs and work with them to develop amazing functional food solutions !! And we want world peace … 

Do you have any exciting plans for the near future?  

Lots!!! We are fairly new but very ambitious about what we want to achieve. We do have some really exciting products and solutions being planned for 2019. We are hoping to launch a new product every 3 months.  Some of our other priorities for 2019 include, changing our packaging and giving our customer more choices while buying from us to help us reduce waste further, focussing on growing and nurturing our lovely community, working with experts to develop amazing content for our customers and working with some amazing woman focussed charities. 

This January to celebrate the biggest ever Veganuary, Vevolution have partnered up with the team at by CHLOE. to deliver Topic Talks For Veganuary, a series of exclusive free-to-attend intimate events featuring some of the UK’s most inspiring plant-powered thought leaders.

These exclusive events will take place weekly at the by CHLOE restaurant in Tower Bridge and there are only 40 tickets available for each one.