Rathina Paul and Alovita’s Story

I first heard Rathina Paul at a BNI meeting last year. “My name is Paul,” intoned the tall, beaming man as he started his introduction, and then almost to a man, everyone present chimed in, in a chorus, “Rathina Paul.” There was a smooth flow as Paul introduced himself and his company, Happy Food Products which manufactures and sells Alovita herbal soft drinks, made from the extract of the Indian Medicinal Plant, Aloevera.

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Lok Kumar, one of Paul’s friends recently told me that there is a lot of effort and practice behind Paul’s effortless introductions and presentations. He in fact rates Paul’s 8 minutes presentation as one of the best he has witnessed at BNI.

May be the messenger is the message, that’s why Paul’s presentations almost always connect with people and carry conviction. I thought to myself, when we are convinced about why we do certain things, what we do is imbued with energy and power.

As Paul speaks, there is little doubt that he believes passionately about the power of his herbal soft drinks to heal and cool the body. I was convinced enough to buy three cartons of his soft drinks, which I must say, I enjoy drinking.

Initially, mixed with the admiration for Paul, I also thought that it is foolhardy to jostle in the already crowded space challenging the established giants like Coke, Pepsi and a host of other soft drinks. Worse, he had audaciously priced his drinks a notch higher. During my long meetings with him, I saw no such doubt in him. Instead, I detected a deep belief in what he is doing.

During the approximately six months I have known Rathina Paul, I have seen him driven fiercely by an idea – about the power of his fizzy herbal soft drinks to penetrate the markets not just in Chennai, but all over India. And, not just in India, but also internationally. I marveled at the guts of this man. He impresses me and other BNI members with his confidence levels and infectious exuberance.

A Look at Paul Marketing Alovita

I know it is not an easy task to remove the market’s myopic obsession with popular soft drinks brands, even though several of the leading ones offer nothing but several health hazards in their fizz. It is strange how we the people can self-destruct, dazzled by snazzy advertisements that promise thunder, coolness, the real thing, for those who think young, to come alive… The slogans and promises are unending and we end up becoming pliant victims to the whims and pulls of market forces.

At every opportunity during weekly BNI meetings, Paul announced the gains made, inch by inch. At one meeting he spoke about the inroads he had made into organic stores and retail super markets, at another meeting he sounded charged after gaining access into Don Bosco school canteen. Another week, he was thrilled that Venkat, one of the BNI members connected him with the right person at Sathyabama University.

I dearly wish it were possible for me to contribute to the success of Rathina Paul’s venture. He offers a healthy alternative to the many dangerous soft drink brands that have captured the mindshare of people in India and other parts of the world.

Paul’s early years – battling and surviving the odds.
Paul lost his mother at a tender age of two and was brought up by one of his aunt who had more heart than money. He was exposed to harsh realities of life and from the age of thirteen, he had to work while he studied. He started his career going from house to house selling eggs, before and after school hours. The punishment he received from his teachers for being late to class as a result, sowed in him the habit of being on time always, wherever. When he made some money, he invested a part of it to get a moving-cart selling various tidbits particularly for children.

He did exceedingly well in whatever he did. That is how he was able to pay for his school and college education in addition to supporting his adopted family. The constraints in his life made him creative and he found out ways to stay afloat and excel, always staying positive.

Right out of college, Paul threw headlong into various jobs – for a Printing company in Sivakasi, computer stationeries & hardware, liaisoning with government departments in Andamans, real estate marketing…. He has toured all over the country and learned from different cultures. He made a lot of money and lost a lot. He has a trusting nature and many a time he has been let down by people he trusted. He carries on nevertheless without any rancor or regrets.

Alovita, the health drink with fizz.
Right from the time he was in college, Paul was fascinated by the charm of various types of herbs. He invested years to understand their properties and their health benefits. He is passionate about the world of herbs and natural products.

In life, the dots join and converge at some point if only we have the vision to spot their connection. That is how Paul is into the manufacture and marketing of Alovita, using extract from aloe vera. He uses three natural flavours – nannari, rose and lemon – to sweeten the otherwise pungent taste of aloe vera, and to give distinct tastes for his drinks.

I invested some time researching the beneficial effects of aloe vera. I discovered that it has so many. Its antioxidant content helps protect cells against skin-damaging free radicals in the environment. Its anti bacterial properties have been well researched. It is packed with vitamins, including B,C & E vitamins. It has folic acid which fortify the body’s immune system and make the skin glowing. A review published in the “British Journal of General Practice” notes that aloe vera decreases irritation and enhances healing and repair of ulcers in the stomach and intestines. Taking aloe vera internally may also help improve blood circulation in the body. It may help decrease total fat levels in patients with high cholesterol. This helps to reduce fatty deposits and blood clots in the arteries of the heart and body. There are many more benefits. For those who are interested, Paul’s web site, www.alovita.in.

It is a privilege for me to feature Rathina Paul in this blog. Not because he has achieved anything of stupendous scale yet. I admire him for daring to dream the impossible dream, chasing his passion and inching towards it, not minding the pain and the financial hurdle at every block.

Paul to me symbolizes the quintessential entrepreneur – dreaming big with audacity, chasing them with vigour, showing up at work on time and wearing a smile on his face, as if telling the world that this is all a game he is enjoying hugely.

Something tells me, Paul is going to win big in this one.

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