- Sandeep Gupta

The Nutraceutical Man of India

Founder and CEO , NutraWorks

As a young boy, Mr. Gupta was always into fitness playing various sports and loved being bouncing on his toes. At that point, since 1982, his father use to run a famous pharmacy store in the lanes of Sion, Mumbai. Mr. Gupta had deep affinity towards medicines, vitamins, minerals, naturals, plants and life sciences since schooling days. That’s when he had the first interface to these Nutraceuticals and all he knew was fascination about them, how they can help improve one’s life. At the age of 8, looking at the prescriptions flooding at the store, seeded the thoughts of pursuing medical doctor in his mind! However, observing the quality of inquisitiveness and vigilance that dwelt in him, his father insisted that he should be a police officer, serving the nation or become a drug inspector. Later in the ‘90s when Mr. Sandeep Gupta launched Omega 3 supplement in the Indian market for the first time, is when he got into studying these Nutraceuticals in detail and since then he has been hooked onto these miraculous ingredients.

Earlier the Nutraceutical industry in India did not have any set structure. There were multiple bodies, associations, task forces in place which functioned in silos and there was no synergy in their objectives which led to under development of the sector. Each of the bodies had a very different approach with vested interests, no clarity or guidance. This led to a division in the Health sector which was a major disadvantage. While appealing to the government for representing any issues, there was no unity within the stakeholders. There was an immense need of an unidirectional approach for truly evolving the sector. It was a mammoth task to create equivalence and bring everyone together, understand the issues and then present it as one for the resolution in the interest of Public Health.

Understanding the gap in the industry Mr. Gupta met various ministries to get a resolution in that situation but to no avail. So, he focused on creating a movement & fight for the betterment of the society. He always believed that the principle to succeed is all about the TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More), ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’. Back in the decade Nutraceutical was a much unorganized sector in terms of its rules & regulations. Emergence of FSSAct was due to a prevailing outdated PFA Act, 1954 which was risking people’s life. The entire food industry was covered under this Act without having proper regulations in place for different categories of Foods. Everything & anything under the roof of PFA Act 1954 was imported, manufactured, marketed, and distributed in India which was assessed for its safety and was also not standardised for its profiling. Though Food Business Operators were using Codex and International Reference Standards to use them in Food Products in India, which was not pre-measured by the authorities. The Premise of FSSAI was to assess the safety & standards and define regulations for various food articles and categorise them systematically for which the regulations were missing. Hence the essentiality of Act was getting lost in vain and thereby the entire process was disrupted with random Product Approval Process. This Product Approval Process did not form any legal premise under FSSAct of Section 22 which demanded to design the regulations for supervision, monitoring and regulating the food safety and standards.

To bring regulations, industry made umpteen number of attempts with detailed explanatory note to authorities and various ministries through several representations during the chaos of Product Approval system which remained an unveiled process and thereby which, industry moved to court to appeal for directing authorities to draft regulation. Under the Direction of Standing Parliament Committee, Ministry Of Health various Standard Review Groups (SRG) were formed by FSSAI. Mr. Gupta was elected unanimously as Authority to chair the SRG, Nutraceuticals by the choice of the industry. Mr. Sandeep Gupta joined hands with Mr. Ganesh Kamath, Director, Vital Neutraceuticals, and Dr. R. K. Sanghavi, Consulting Physician & Heatlhcare Expert. For more than two and a half decade these three musketeers are knitted and are regarded as the pioneering ‘Founder of Nutraceuticals in India’. For larger purpose, they came together with the vision to create a well-defined structure and provide a guideline for the industry for smooth functioning in the future. Expert Nutraceutical Advocacy Council (ENAC®) was born then in 2015 in the interest of Public Health. These three musketeers pioneered in forefront to draft and reinforce the Nutraceutical Regulation, with the support of more than 150 top experts of the country, which was gazetted and released in 2016. This channelized the industry’s approach giving an opportunity to launch various nutraceuticals in India adopted from Global markets blended with potential resources from the home country.

Since then the nutraceutical sector has been exponentially growing and will always be on edge improving for better life. In the wake of overcoming numerous challenges and witnessing the normalization of the nutraceutical industry, Sandeep Gupta embarked on a transformative journey by founding Nutraworks. This visionary venture extends its influence beyond the boundaries of the nutraceutical sector, branching into the realms of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and Ayurvedic formulations. Catering to both the vibrant Indian market and the dynamic international arena, Nutraworks stands as a comprehensive service provider, offering an array of invaluable services. Nutraworks operates on multiple fronts, providing services that encompass Turnkey projects, Strategic Advocacy, Sourcing Advocacy, Due Diligence, Regulatory Scientific & Technical Advocacy, Proprietary Ideas & Concept, Marketing & Communication, Government Relations, Legal Advocacy, and CMO development & monitoring. This diverse range of services positions Nutraworks as a versatile and indispensable partner for businesses across various industries, ensuring not only compliance but also strategic growth and innovation. Sandeep Gupta's journey, marked by resilience and foresight, has culminated in the establishment of Nutraworks—a testament to his commitment to excellence, adaptability to changing landscapes, and dedication to shaping the future of the health and wellness industry. As Nutraworks continues to thrive, it exemplifies the spirit of innovation and collaboration that drives success in an ever-evolving global market.