In 2016, Aakash Vaghela, a graduate of Regent’s University, London, came across an article on the benefits of alkaline water. Then managing Emerald Group, a real estate company, he was curious. His research led him to realise that the bottled alkaline water market in India hardly had any players.
Keen on fitness and sports, he thought of experimenting and bringing out India’s first black alkaline water. Alkaline water offers several health benefits: it is easily absorbed, improves the functioning of the circulatory system, is rich in minerals, and prevents the growth of free radicals in the body.
Aakash flew to Texas to learn more about the mineral extraction process and returned to India to start his pilot project: Evocus, a portmanteau of ‘evolution’ and ‘focus’.
“After understanding more about minerals, getting the right formulation, and creating a proprietary mix, I focused on creating alkaline water with minerals in their natural form and colour,” Aakash says.
This led to the foundation of AV Organics in 2018. Aakash’s wife, Vishwangi Vaghela, soon joined the team as a Co-founder. The founders then trademarked the product, hired a team, and set up the manufacturing facility.
Headquartered in Vadodara, Gujarat, the startup launched its first product, Evocus H20, bottled black alkaline water, in June 2019.
The company has invested in product research and set up a state-of-the-art automated manufacturing-cum-bottling plant spread across 50,000 sq ft.
According to Aakash, the facility is equipped with the world’s leading blowing and filling machines that require zero human intervention. It has built secure pharmaceutical-grade infrastructure, with a completely germ and particle-controlled atmosphere, an HVAC air conditioning system, and a clean room of Class-100,000 air quality.
“Every bottle is packed with completely natural electrolytes and minerals that help detoxify your body. These minerals that exist naturally in the depths of the earth are extracted and refined in the US. These minerals are black in colour, giving Evocus its unique black colour. Hundred percent natural and matching the highest quality standards, Evocus is tested and assured through global certifications,” the founder says.
He says the product is technologically complex yet natural, and it was “very challenging” to get the right formulation and create the right processes.
“The bottle shape is also very unique and one of a kind. This needed us to modify machines accordingly, which was also very challenging,” Aakash says.
The way ahead
AV Organics has clocked a turnover of Rs 1.08 crore in FY20. It recently extended its presence in Mumbai, Chennai, and Bengaluru, along with foraying internationally into New Zealand and UAE.
The company is now gearing up to launch in Indonesia, Thailand, Maldives, and South Africa to cater to health-conscious consumers.
AV Organics expects to be cash positive in the next 18 months. Going forward, it intends to roll out one new product every year for the next five years; these would include innovative products under the health and wellness category.