I returned to India in August 2010, and two weeks later founded Unived, I was 27. The idea was to do something creative – produce something original, of true value. And, do do this with a team inexperienced but intelligent & dedicated folk – the first three to join were fresh out of college at 23, 23 & 21 years of age. The adventure had begun!
With no prior experience in this domain, the learning curve was steep, I had jumped off a cliff, without a parachute, and I was falling head first ~ what a ride!
After a lot of hustle, we gave birth to five beautiful products around mid-year. These babies were very cranky, and it was going to take a lot of effort to keep them healthy.
We had product, but we didn’t know how to sell. We went through our fair share of experienced marketing gurus who offered their expertise, at a price. We did learn, did move, but what really kept me moving was the excitement in R&D – we were working on a lot of cool stuff and I knew it would bear fruit, some day!
Hello athletes, we’re here!! The RRUNN System of Pre-During-Post was introduced as a first for India. The running bug had caught on, India was running, and we were running after runners to educate them on our new & exciting formulations.
Word was out that Unived was the new kid on the block, everyone was screaming for endurance gels from their rooftops! No Indian company had ever launched this product, and as we found out, no Indian packaging company had ever made gel packaging. The short version – we camp hoped between R&D and our packaging partners factory, and many crazy hours later, launched the RRUNN Endurance Gels. Water based, Vegan, and a unique formulation with cutting edge ingredients for optimal performance.
We were in the mix of it all – customer complaints, logistics issues, new product launches, event partnerships, production planning, ingredient sourcing, looking for a larger factory space to move in to, and beginning a migration to ERP for better management. Crunch!
We moved into a new production unit that offered 3x the space. We invested in a lot of new machinery, started working on international relations, introduced another wave of really cool products, learned how to deal with an increase in sales – which led to an increase in production – which meant better planning & sourcing, grew our team to over 30 (scary), established legal presence in USA (also scary), and set ourselves up for an exciting 2018!
Land of Opportunity
We began the year by launching our products in the US. A major R&D project was coming to fruition, after thousands of trials and an unimaginable set of challenges, we ended the year ready to launch our Elite Endurance Fuel line of products, co-developed with Elite Trail Runner Hayden Hawks & World Champion Camille Herron!
After a long & challenging development process, we successfully launched our line of Elite Endurance Fuel – the World’s first 2:1 Carbohydrate Gel & Drink Mix, that delivers 190kcal, and maximizes CHO intake at 90g per hour. We travelled to the US, made a cool film on Camille at the Western States 100miler, and setup a booth at the largest trade show for the running industry.
The year began on a positive note as we purchased a small piece of land on January 1st, with the desire to construct our own state-of-the-art manufacturing unit. A place that we could call our home, a place that the core team dreamed of way back in 2010. On parallel, we opened new accounts in the UK, Singapore, Australia, HongKong, Indonesia, and after years of work our ERP was finally shaping up to go live – then, one morning the World awoke to COVID-19. It’s August now, we’re doing alright, a lot has changed, but we remain positive and look forward to 2021.