IIM Americas

Ranjan Sinha

Founder & CEO. Desi Nutrition Authority

I Started my career with HCL in 1985 after graduating from IIM Bangalore. After a few years in technology roles across HCL, Apple and Lotus I co-founded Whowhere – a people search web tool - in 1996. This was my first brush with entrepreneurship and I was hooked.
After selling that venture to Lycos in 1998 I plunged into another field and co-founded Magnifi.
Magnifi pioneered rich media web search and developed several patented technologies in video and rich media. It delivered brand asset management and workflow solutions to enterprise clients. . We signed up major customer accounts such as ABC, CBS, PBS, Coca-Cola, P&G, Boeing, Disney, Microsoft, Warner Bros., Time Inc. etc. and closed on several multi-million dollar contracts. The product received favorable industry reviews and awards (Like the Computerworld Honors 2001) and was voted one of the Hottest 100 Private Companies by Upside Magazine.
Magnifi was later merged into Emmperative, a new venture with P&G for enterprise marketing.
You could call me a serial entrepreneur of sorts.
Twelve years ago I was facing a life threatening medical event and that triggered me to take some time off and start researching my options. It led me to focus on food as medicine.
Around 8 months ago I started a blog, Desi Nutrition Authority (DNA), currently run by me and a few independent contractors. It is a site that educates and helps people of South Asian/Indian origin make informed decisions about their and their family’s health based on the highest quality scientific effort and evidence available.
Indians and people of South Asian communities have unique metabolic issues, chronic health risks and heightened health challenges compared to other ethnic groups.
And there was a need that was not being filled by current Western research and expert opinions that were geared towards the lifestyle and food habits of a primarily Western audience.
Desi Nutrition Authority partners with leading institutions like Stanford University, Northwestern University, The El Camino Hospital, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, to help educate and conduct community outreach to further the cause of South Asian Health and Nutrition.
The main goal of this site is to dig through scientific literature on Nutrition, Medicine, Health, and Ayurveda and present to you the findings in a simple, actionable, objective, unbiased and transparent fashion to clear the fog of misinformation primarily driven by biased interests, sometimes corrupted policy or casual sensational writing.
DNA helps you with the views of experts from the field of medicine, nutrition, Ayurveda, lifestyle to present complex ideas in simple terms and engages with you to share your personal experiences that may benefit others in the community. You are not what you eat. You are what your body does with what you eat!
I am also the co-founder of Heart N Spice which focuses on providing low-carb and high-antioxidant food products. We started in November 2015 and we now have 12 employees. We are also looking for people who have an interest in nutrition and health and are interested in contributing to our blog.
When I started my first business at the age of 35 it was to make money and gain financial independence. These two businesses Heart n Spice and DNA are about giving back to the community.
At this stage on my life I am motivated by healthy living and encouraging others to lead healthier and happier lives as well. Working with a leading physician, nutritional scientists and being able to share this knowledge with our audience is my mail goal now.
Heart n Spice and Desi Nutrition Authority give me the ability to inform and educate people and make a significant difference to the health of my family, and the community.
The feedback I receive from people when they call back and thank me for making a difference to their health and wellness and weight is how I measure my success now.
My advice to others toying with the idea of jumping into the world of entrepreneurship would be: It’s not easy!
Make sure you are clear about the problem you are solving vs. having a solution and looking for a problem. Always focus on the customer and not what other start-ups are doing.
Having a great team matters more than a great idea. Join a great team vs. joining a great idea. In an ideal world you are joining both. The success of a start-up is highly dependent on the CEO. So you are betting on them. It’s always good to have a co-founder who you know well and have worked with in the past. Relationships matter even more as your initial success will come from people who are willing to give you a break.Ranjan Sinha, IIM Bangalore 1983-85