Entrepreneur: Bunty Arora
Business Name: Flax
Welcome to Entrepreneurs of India #startupstories episode 62
You’ve not got your game right until you’ve got ample focus on your health. Or at least that is the belief upheld by a large number of urban dwellers. But who helps them to stay on top of their game?
Bunty Arora is a DJ turned entrepreneur who is helping Mumbaikars eat intelligently. Flax – an on-demand health food restaurant is creating an anomaly to healthy eating by not compromising on taste. They don’t believe in diets that leave you starving, instead helps you put together the right meal that satisfies your taste buds, fills your appetite and keeps you in good shape at the same time.
We have all had our moment when we were desperately trying to bring the balance between work, social life, gym and food. More often than not we end up compromising on the food, hoping we would do better the next day and ending up missing the next day every day. It is the personal reflection on this much experienced phenomenon that inspired Bunty Arora to start Flax.
The plan was simple. An arrangement that ensures you eat healthy tasty food on time every day. Well, what do we tell you. The best of businesses are born out of the simplest of ideas. Let’s learn more about Bunty’s journey as he shares his story!
1) How did you get your idea for this business?
I started as a computer geek. Then I moved on to DJing & music production, which helped me cut an album with Universal Music India. Later, I started a nightclub, a lighting company & now a health brand. The journey has indeed been crazy!
Flax, my flagship venture, focuses on health food. It was started as a need of the hour for my personal health goals. I wasn’t sleeping right since I had a super hectic nocturnal schedule. I had to find a solution to eat healthy all the time! That’s how I founded Flax.
2) Why is “now” a good time for this idea to exist?
Today, our stress level has considerably gone up. It’s ten times more than what it used to be. Everyone is facing stress problems. Only a few engage in yoga, sports and workout as a means to beat the stress levels. A majority are not able to find a convenient time to hit the gym regularly.
You can reduce your stress by feeling good, by eating right and avoiding junk food. Junk food has its own side effects that catalyze existing stress in your system. I felt that was the right time to launch Flax as there was a lot of confusion over diet food, what had to be eaten and when. Flax food is nutritious, which goes light in your digestive system. You will find it delicious too!
3) What was the reaction from your family when you first decided to become an entrepreneur?
Indian families are always looking out for you. They want you to be successful, well off, be happy, get married and it’s all rosy in their eyes. But I think we need to re-define success. It should not be linked with social acceptance. Families need to understand this concept and they must believe in their children’s calibre.
I’ve been on my own since my DJing days and I didn’t have any clue about entrepreneurship. Parents were always clueless and worried about me. I still go to my dad for advice which helps me get a new perspective in business. At the beginning, they didn’t like the idea of music, DJing & nightlife.
Thankfully, things have turned out well. Now they’re a bit confident about my business, but I guess it still takes some more time to convince them completely.
4) What was your biggest mistake in business and what did you learn from it?
I studied business management before pursuing music production from the UK. As a music producer, you tend to make lot of mistakes, be it your first song or first composition. I think mistakes are very crucial in life because you get to learn a lot from them.
Mistakes have been my only mentor in life. So I believe in the good old saying “failures are the pillars of success”.
No mistake is big or small. It becomes grave only if it’s repeated. I think my mistake in business could’ve been people. Because you need to choose the right partners, right employees to make the business work.
5) What is your biggest obstacle in the next 12 months and how will you overcome it?
I’m sure there will be many unforeseen obstacles in business. Health food sector is drastically growing in India. One obstacle I see is production.
We need to train our framers to get better in production in order to produce healthier organic products at affordable rates. Organic is beginning to be the new fad. So we need to focus on real organic products.
6) What habits contribute to your success?
As an entrepreneur with multiple avenues in business,my stress levels are going to be high. To beat this stress one must have a routine & stick to it. Success is very relative. I measure success with happiness and not money.
If I get to open 100 Flax outlets across India, that might be success for the team and happiness for me. I workout 3-4 times a day and play tennis to keep my fitness intact.
7) If you had the opportunity to start this business again what would you do differently?
I would focus a lot on training & development of employees. I feel it’s the most important aspect I’ve learnt. Employees are the real people who run the everyday show. You’re just the idea behind it. So they need to be trained very well.
I would develop a digital interactive training platform where every new employee joining my company could just take the session sitting at home & report to work with an in-depth knowledge.
8) What is your favourite inspirational quote?
“If it happens it must be possible, so make things happen.” I don’t know who wrote this, I saw it somewhere when I was really young and since then it has just stuck with me. I know this piece of quote is not fancy enough to make it to Instagram, but I find a lot of power in it.
9) Where do you find inspiration?
Music has always been my biggest inspiration. I can simply be motivated by listening to a song and then the ideas start to flow. It’s indeed magical.
10) What is your favourite book?
I’m not much of a reader, but lately I’ve started reading books on entrepreneurship. For me a good book is like a mentor. One of the books I love is Zero to One by Peter Thiel, which is a good read for startup founders.
11) What advice would you give to someone starting out?
“Think big start small”.
Going by the words of Bunty Arora, we need to re-define success by delinking it with social acceptance. True success is to identify one’s passion and work for them. There is no greater happiness than satisfaction and Bunty Arora exemplifies it with every new venture he steps into. That’s not to say that entrepreneurship is an easy path. After all, there are no roses without thorns.
It is these very difficulties that an entrepreneur comes across that makes them stronger and wiser. Entrepreneurship is never a solo pursuit. Your team is equally important in determining the success of your pursuit and it is absolutely essential to choose only the very best. Let us eat intelligently!
You can follow Flax on Instagram now!