In conversation with Manav and Neelam, founders of M&N Nutrition
Introduction to the founders of M&N Nutrition
“We decided that one day we will do something of our own. We always dreamed of building our own sports science centre and big athletes coming to us, working with us and we help them improve their performance. They might win a gold medal for India one day.”
Manav and Neelam, having met through mutual friends in Nainital, instantly knew that they were meant to be together. It has been six years now since they got together. Both their families have always been very supportive and they have always encouraged their children to study whatever they want to and live life their way. Almost a year and a half ago, they started M&N Nutrition and they have been growing together as a couple and business partners since.
Neelam is a twenty-four-year-old CISSN certified Sports Nutritionist, Sports Psychologist and Certified anti-doping advisor from Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA). She completed her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Applied Psychology from Galgotias University and Master of Science in sports & exercise psychology from the University of Worcester.
Manav is a twenty-five-year-old CISSN certified sports Nutritionist, Sports Scientist and Certified anti-doping advisor from ASADA. He completed his Bachelors of Science in Sports and Exercise Science and Masters of Science in Performance Analysis from the University of Worcester.
Beginning of M&N Nutrition
“It is still on a small scale, if you look at other nutrition brands, they are bigger than us so whatever we are doing is on a small scale and we are giving our best. In this market, you usually start as a health-based company or weight loss aids but luckily we started with athletes and we have been able to gain their trust and we are grateful!”
The idea of M&N Nutrition has always existed at the backs of Manav’s and Neelam’s head and due to a series of events they were able to start M&N Nutrition. Before starting M&N Nutrition, Manav used to work at a sports science centre in Delhi and that’s why he came across many athletes and got a chance to observe the fieldwork and learnt the applications of what he studied in practical life while Neelam was still studying psychology.
After working at the sports science centre, Manav decided to quit and start his own nutrition company with Neelam. The athletes who had worked with Manav earlier supported him and followed him. This is how M&N Nutrition came into existence and it has been growing since.
“When I was studying sports science, I dreamt that one day a famous athlete would just pick up his or her phone and just call me to ask me what he or she should or shouldn’t eat. Now the goalkeeper of the Women’s Indian Football Team calls me to ask me whether she should eat that chapati or something else instead. That feels like something you want to brag about a little bit. It makes us happy when we read in the paper that one of our clients mentioned that a change in their diet has made them more athletic or has helped them in some or the other way, it makes us feel good.”
–Manav, co-founder of M&N Nutrition
They started with a lot of young athletes. Aditi Chauhan, a goalkeeper for the Indian National Football Team works with M&N Nutrition. Shruti Ahlawat was twelve or thirteen when she started with Manav and now she is ranked number one in Asia in Junior Women’s Tennis. Sourabh Verma was close to rank sixteen in the world in Men’s Badminton when he started working with M&N Nutrition and now he has broken the barriers. Shreyasi Singh is a shooter who won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games 2018 and she was working with Manav when she got her medal. Now she is an MP from Bihar.
“India is still a market where if I tell a group of twenty people that I am a Sports Scientist, nineteen out of those twenty people will ask me who exactly is a Sports Scientist. The biggest backlash that I have personally dealt with is that first I have to explain to people what I do but if I were a journalist, no one would ask me about what I exactly do, they would have a basic idea. But I am not a journalist, I am a Sports Scientist so first I have to educate them to get them on board, make them believe in my profession and that is how I get to work with them.”
Explaining people is a difficult process and there were even times when Manav’s family questioned him whether this was something he wanted to pursue. Both Manav and Neelam have always been passionate about sports so they decided to go ahead with it. M&N Nutrition is growing and expanding every day along with Manav and Neelam. Every day, Manav and Neelam are helping athletes like the goalkeeper of the Women’s National Football Team get healthier and contributing to their growth and India’s growth.