Interview: Mr. Luke Coutinho & Mr. Narendra Firodia – Co-founders of

Mr. Luke Coutinho- Co-founder of YouCare Lifestyle - Mr. Narendra Firodia - Co-founder of YouCare Lifestyle

YouCare Lifestyle is a unique online retail marketplace that brings together products and services under one roof that can add value to our health and lifestyle.

With a clear focus on supplying quality to the buyer as its prime offering, the online marketplace retails a product line made up of established holistic and wellness products.

How did you get your idea or concept for the business?

Mr. Luke Coutinho: When we started off, we understood that the digital marketplace for clean and fresh produce was in demand, but the supply side of the farmers and retailers end seemed to be fragmented to put up with the increasing demand.

Farmers and local vendors were not able to procure fair valuations as they often used to retail harvested produce to a middleman at a much lower cost.

Retailers, on the other hand, were being compelled to negotiate with the quality of fresh produce, which was ultimately impacting the end consumers.

Through the launch of YouCare Lifestyle we aim to successfully eliminate the mediators in the food supply chain by supporting it with robust technology. 

What distinguishes YouCare Lifestyle is our robust platform that has reduced the time taken for produce to travel from farm to doorstep, thus streamlining farmer’s earnings and living standards.

In the current era of mass-produced unsustainable products, YouCare Lifestyle offers convenience by making high-quality products available from handpicked vendors across categories. 

We emphasize on eating clean food and use it as a potent form of medicine to help various conditions of our patients and clients.

The quality products and fresh produce in the market is questionable, so we created YouCare Lifestyle to identify farmers and vendors doing ethical work in this field, and got them together on one single platform to sell produce, in order to enable a larger community to benefit.

What is unique about YouCare Lifestyle ?

Mr. Luke Coutinho: The global outbreak has made consumers increasingly mindful of their lifestyle choices and they are making conscious decisions by adapting to environmental-friendly solutions.

YouCare Lifestyle is a curated e-commerce platform that has been conceptualized with an aim to transform consumer lifestyle and spread awareness around wellness through fair trade practices.

Started with a mission to empower local entrepreneurs producing ethical products, the marketplace offers an array of healthy, chemical-free and natural products under one roof to promote sustainable living.

In order to further revolutionize the consumption of ethical, chemical-free and organic products, the platform has effectively segmented its brand strategies and philosophies.

Factors like innovation, ethical sourcing, and fair-trade practices have been leading the platform to offer liquidity and accountability to producers.

How does YCL plan to build a culture of innovation in its business model to build a sustainable ecosystem?

Mr. Luke Coutinho: For any organization to survive, it is necessary to ensure that a culture of innovation and standardization is being maintained right from the grassroot levels.

This will lead to a robust and continuous supply chain network. At YouCare Lifestyle, we have harnessed the power of technology to create a level playing field that adds to a sustainable food chain.

The brand is not a revolutionary substitute to farmers and vendors, in fact, we are on a mission to build an ordinary platform trying to make it more efficient than others in the market.

A multi-supply chain network will mean better value for farmers and retailers, your take on the same?

Mr. Luke Coutinho: On the sourcing side of the supply chain, lessening of wastage, and safeguarding the safety of the harvested produce till the last-mile delivery, has become a crucial factor for businesses.

The global outbreak has left the market thinking of new ideas in order to solve the challenges associated with the conventional supply chain.

The rise of multi-supply chain networks will facilitate lending a better value for farmers and local vendors.

Selling produce through more than one supply chain will add to healthy market competition thereby improving the livelihood of farmers.

How will YCL transform lifestyle and spread wellness through its fair-trade practices?

Mr. Luke Coutinho: YouCare Lifestyle is an extension of my focus towards holistic living. Through this e-commerce venture our goal is to reinforce the approach towards preventive wellness alongside carving novel approaches towards consumer well-being.

We are confident that our actions will position us towards a massive organised growth that will lead to the development of a portfolio of innovative, sustainable, and defensible products and brands.

By offering a definitive platform benefiting farmers and vendors through fair-trade practices, we ensure that consumers get access to a wide variety of products that are passed through a stringent quality test.

Through choicest products delivered to consumers within the convenience of their doorsteps, the platform strives to make an impact on people and the planet by creating a sustainable ecosystem.

YCL is a curated e-commerce space that is all set to strengthen the wheel for fresh produce ecommerce. Throw some light on your strategy to compete with your competitors?

Mr. Narendra Firodia: YouCare Lifestyle is a curated marketplace for sustainable-driven products manufactured by small-medium entrepreneurs aimed at encouraging an autonomous marketplace.

Ensuring that the farmers are an active part of this curated marketplace model, it directly works with the farmers and vendors sourcing locally produced products.

The platforms core value is to ensure that the community benefits. The idea of the brand is to curate a marketplace that connects the producer to the buyer through the sale and exhibit of globally inspired ethical lifestyle products, in turn acquainting the customers with a clean platform that offers holistic health and living to all at a profitable price point.

What according to you, would be the projected size of marketplace ecommerce in India? List down the factors boosting growth in this segment?

Mr. Narendra Firodia: The Indian e-commerce sector has been on a path of an ascending growth and is likely to become the world’s second-largest e-commerce market by 2034.

The country’s e-commerce landscape has been experiencing an exponential growth owing to the way businesses are being executed.

According to research conducted by Indian Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), it is anticipated that the Indian e-commerce market will sore from US$ 38.5 billion in 2017 to US$ 200 billion by the year 2026.

The increasing internet and smartphone penetration has propelled industry growth. India’s e-commerce revenue is projected to surge from US$ 39 billion in 2017 to US$ 120 billion in 2020, growing at the world’s highest annual rate of 51%.

Innovations made in technology such as virtual payments, hyper-local logistics, analytics-driven customer engagement, and digital advertising are other factors triggering the industry growth.

As of now, how many categories are operational on YCL? In the upcoming years, what are the plans for category expansion? 

Mr. Narendra Firodia: The wellness e-store’s offerings comprise a varied range of products that are spread across categories. These range from food, nutritive items, skincare products to cosmetics, books, clothing, fitness, and accessories.

The company aims to organically build its existing brand portfolio. These responsibly sourced offerings are passed through a stringent quality test by the research development team before being presented to consumers across India.  

We aim to focus on creating a marketplace for chemical-free natural products to serve the ‘environmentally conscious’ end-users. Going forward the brand is looking to rope in more players and increase its product portfolio.

How does the company achieve personalisation for the products on display?

Mr. Narendra Firodia: The brand has curated products from chosen vendors across categories. These locally-sourced products are sustainable and are made of chemical-free, ethical material that produces zero waste by following ethical food practices.

We want to lend our customers the joy of shopping by showcasing the products on our website with a personalised photoshoot coupled with the seller’s story and the product’s journey explaining its healthy compositions and various health benefits.

This aids in effective customer engagement and also creates a recall factor for the wide-spread product range.

Going forward, what are the plans to scale-up the distribution?  

Mr. Narendra Firodia: By leveraging the powerful medium of technology, we aim to bring in paramount amount of market invention to streamline our supply and distribution journey.

The growing consumer consciousness of ethical products and the increase in disposable income have proved to be the company’s key growth drivers in this area.

While the growth would be headed by Tier I cities, the brand in the coming years is also anticipating demand to come in from Tier II and Tier III cities and hence aims to strengthen our sellers’ network to provide more curated products to our customers.

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