Tamil Cinema, the second-largest film industry in India, has long been celebrated for its grandeur and larger-than-life superstars. However, the industry is now making waves not just in entertainment but also in the health food startups. Leading Tamil actress Nayanthara and her husband, director Vignesh Shivan, have made a strategic investment in the Chennai-based startup, 'The Divine Foods.' This dynamic food tech Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) brand is on a mission to promote superfoods and health foods to tackle the growing health concerns in India.
Jab They Met!
The story of 'The Divine Foods' and its connection with Vignesh Shivan is nothing short of an exciting movie scene. The company's founder, Kiru Maikapillai, first crossed paths with Vignesh in a parking lot, where he offered a sample of their flagship product. Several months later, Vignesh enthusiastically shared the product on social media and sought out the founder. This social media connection eventually led to a meeting at Vignesh's residence, where Kiru confidently proposed an investment opportunity.
Vignesh's reputation as a proactive individual aligned seamlessly with Kiru's action-oriented approach as the Founder of the startup 'The Divine Foods.' Vignesh expressed their commitment to making a real impact, stating, "We have a strategic plan, and it's called doing things." The power couple is thrilled to collaborate with 'The Divine Foods' and to introduce traditional Tamil Nadu foods to households.
American Education with an Indian Heart
Kiru Maikapillai, an engineer and a University of Massachusetts, Boston alumnus, took a remarkable step in choosing his passion over a lucrative job offer from a leading investment bank in the United States. His dedication to improving the income of Indian farmers and the health of the nation led him to establish 'The Divine Foods.'
Kiru's enthusiasm for having Vignesh and Nayanthara as investors and partners is palpable. He emphasized their shared mission to enhance the health of Indians, noting that the involvement of this generous couple will significantly amplify their social impact and growth.
The Magic of Turmeric - 'The Divine Foods' Journey
From its humble beginnings with startup entrepreneur Kiru's personal savings, 'The Divine Foods' has grown into a multi-crore turnover business. The journey began by offering turmeric-based products only four years ago and has now evolved into a diverse food tech company, introducing innovative health foods like coconut sugar and ready-to-mix drinks. Their flagship product, 'Paruthi Paal,' is a game-changer for Indian mothers, serving as a low-sugar flavored milk additive.
'The Divine Foods' has gained recognition as one of the "first 100 D2C Challenger" brands, poised to revolutionize India's D2C landscape. Their product range includes superfoods such as Turmeric (Curcuma longa), Moringa (Moringa oleifera), Millets, Honey, and Skin Care products.
Driven by Purpose: The Significance of the Name
The name 'The Divine Foods' derives its significance from the fact that turmeric is not just a temple offering but also holds immense medicinal value, making it truly divine. Kiru's journey has become a source of inspiration for India's startup ecosystem, particularly among the youth and millennials. He left his comfort zone to serve a greater purpose, a decision that resonated with Vignesh and Nayanthara, who chose to support a small startup based on its social impact and health-oriented mission.
Marketing Local Products Globally
'The Divine Foods' is on a mission to promote indigenous Indian products in global markets. Leveraging platforms like Amazon, they've made significant inroads into developed markets, including the USA, UK, Australia, Singapore, and more. With a customer base of over 25,000, it stands as India's fastest-growing D2C food tech brand. Notably, the company achieved US FDA approval in a remarkably short period.
In a unique twist, as foreign produce like strawberries and avocados continue to be imported into India, 'The Divine Foods' is leading the charge to export traditional Indian products to global markets.
This startups aims promoting health-conscious eating choices in India and beyond. The confluence of Tamil cinema, entrepreneurship, and the pursuit of health makes this collaboration a significant milestone in the world of Indian startups.
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