Interview with Push Sharma from Singapore

Interview with Dave Proctor from Canada
December 20, 2023
Danial Siddiki | MUSE Creative Awards
Interview with Danial Siddiki from United States
December 21, 2023

Push Sharma

Push Sharma, the Founder and CEO of Haldy, has introduced the World's First Sugarfree Turmeric Mints in Singapore and credits his ability to think creatively, analytically and outside the box for his professional success.

Interview With The 2023 TITAN Business Awards Winner – Push Sharma

1Please provide us with a brief bio of yourself.

Hi ! My name is Push Sharma and I am the Founder and the CEO of Haldy. We have launched the World’s First Sugarfree Turmeric Mints in Singapore, which is manufactured in a US F.D.A. & B.R.C.G.S. food safety certified facility. We have a Design Patent on our unique and innovative recyclable Mint pack, besides several Trademarks.

I was elected President of my MSRED Class of 2006 at Columbia University, New York and I have lived and worked in 5 countries besides India where I am originally from. Passionate. Innovative. Hard Working. Collaborative, these adjectives define my 22+ years of professional work experience across various aspects of businesses from Private Equity Investments to Business Development for my own entrepreneurial ventures.

I believe my ability to think creatively, analytically and outside the box have been instrumental in my professional success. I am based out of Singapore where I live with my wife, 2 kids and a dog.

2What is your role in the company?
I am the Founder & CEO/MD of HaldyPlus Nutrition Pte. Ltd, Singapore.
3Please tell us more about your organization.
We are a lean multi-award winning start-up. The company was founded in June 2021 and we launched our first product innovation on 1st February 2023.
4Describe the industry your organization is specialized in, as well as its main characteristics.

We are a F&B company (CPG) and our first product innovation is Sugarfree Turmeric Mints which is a 'Better For You' mint.

Brand Philosophy: 'Back to Roots’

Our revolutionary mints are crafted from natural sources like turmeric, embodying the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda. We are dedicated to achieving a harmonious blend of health and flavor in our Turmeric-infused products. By merging Ayurvedic principles with modern innovation, we bring the benefits of this ancient wellness culture to our unique Sugarfree Turmeric Mints and Patented Packaging.

Our dispensing mechanism not only offers a touchless and hygienic way to share but also fits seamlessly into bags and pockets for on-the-go convenience. The earthy color palette, coupled with the "Back To Roots" inscription on our mint pack, reflects our commitment to a philosophy symbolized by art, colors, and yoga poses inspired by the 'Tree of Life.'

Moreover, our brand ethos, encapsulated by the words "Back To Roots," is reinforced by the intricate design elements, including yoga poses and the roots of the 'Tree of Life.' As a final touch, the inner dispenser features a QR code, facilitating a direct connection between the consumer and our brand.

5Congratulations! As the winner of the TITAN Business Awards, what does it mean for you and your team to receive this distinction?
This is truly an amazing industry recognition for us as a young bootstrapped startup and something that is truly special for us. We hope to build on this exciting foundation and continue building on our dream to make Haldy a household brand, globally.
6How has winning an international award help promote your organization?
It has been quite exciting ever since we announced this award to the larger audience across our social media platforms. We have gained great visibility and we are certain it will generate a lot of interesting opportunities for Haldy as we look to expand and scale the brand internationally.
7What are the challenges of developing / marketing your winning entry(ies)?

To be honest, we were unsure about the outcome since our brand was launched less than a year ago on 1st February 2023. That being said, we were confident that we had a winning entry because of the traction, awards, patent, trademarks we have received ever since we launched the brand. Since then we have grown from strength to strength and that was something that we were able to demonstrate while submitting our entry.

8As a business owner, please tell us more about your ideation process.

When the pandemic happened, like many people, I was trying to find ways to boost my immunity. I knew that Turmeric is a superfood well known for its host of health benefits. But the challenge was that to eat Turmeric in a pill or powder form was neither tasty nor convenient - to be honest, it felt medicinal and hard to build a routine around.

I wanted to find a way to include Turmeric in my daily routine in a tasty, refreshing and convenient way, but without any aftertaste of Turmeric or Staining of Teeth in a unique convenient pack. From that vision, the concept of HALDY was born - in the form of Sugarfree Turmeric Mints.

I made it a point to steer clear from therapeutic claims. Our product falls under the food category (grocery) and we have all the necessary certifications and licenses there were needed to import this product. Singapore offers a diverse consumer base, which provided a perfect ‘test base’ for us prior to launching Haldy.

Our mints are packed in a premium, beautifully designed, recyclable ‘patented’ packaging that is sleek and chic. It is smaller than a credit card, which makes it compact, but still fits 40mints per pack. The pack also sticks on most magnetic surfaces (including a magnetic phone case, or in the Jeans (small pocket) which makes it convenient to carry). The Inner dispenser which offers a touches hygienic dispensing has a QR code, which helps consumers connect with the brand. Now that the the world has suddenly woken up to the benefits of turmeric, I am proud to bring it in one of the most tasty, refreshing and convenient format there is.

The consumer insights reaffirmed my belief; ie. to include turmeric as a part of my daily routine, in a tasty, refreshing and convenient way. I wanted to connect with the consumer by means of story telling. Hence the blend of ancient Ayurveda in a modern format was appealing. I also didn’t want to introduce yet another mint brand but something that offers consumers a lot more. Consumers have been consuming turmeric in various forms which have been difficult to build a routine around. Turmeric (Cookies, Power, Pill, Capsule, Latte, Gummies) etc. are not only expensive, but are not easy to build a routine, due to the bulky packaging and thus not convenient to carry.

Also, the taste of turmeric can be polarizing, thus, I had to find a way to make it appealing to the mass market consumers. Given Singapore does not allow consumption of chewing gums, to launch a breath-mint was a perfect fit.

The brand name Haldy is a mix of the word Haldi (aka turmeric in Hindi language) and the word Healthy. Our logo with the letter 'H' was inspired by the turmeric leaf, our pneumonic device (Haldy Lady) was inspired by Indian Mural Art from Kerala with an Indo-Western influence, which gives the brand a modern yet earthy, organic look and feel. Thus with trendy eco-friendly packaging and delicious taste of the product it has been a win for all.

9What is your own definition of a successful team / organization / business?
A successful company / business needs to have a team built around trust, empathy, hard work, collaboration and be diverse, equitable and inclusive. Team members need to think like entrepreneurs, should have a growth mindset with a problem solving can-do attitude.
10What led you / your organization to become successful within the industry you are currently in?

I believe in a collaborative economy and enjoy working with fellow entrepreneurs, startups and partners. Since this was a unique product and the fact that I didn’t have prior brand or product experience or funding I had to work extremely hard. I continue working with local Singapore SME’s - from creative designers, product manufacturers, photographers to warehousing and delivery experts.

We had people from all ages, different nationalities, races/ethnicities, genders etc. who provided their candid feedback on our product during trials. We incorporated their feedback into the product, overall branding, which helped formalize key messages, such as 'Tasty, Refreshing, Convenient, No Teeth Staining, No Turmeric Aftertaste, Better for You, Back To Roots, Add the Golden Goodness Of Turmeric To Boost Your Daily Routine etc.'

As of recently, our youngest consumer is 3+ years old and our oldest is 90+ years old. The overall feedback has been a consistent 5 stars on all online channels. Thus this has made us successful in the f&b industry that we are a part of.

11How has the country, you are based in, helped move your industry forward?

Haldy is a proudly home-grown Singaporean brand. The unique multi-cultural landscape of Singapore offers rich inspiration for innovation. We are very proud to have worked with local talent for the strategy, design and art direction to bring Haldy to life. The Singapore government and various organizations fully support entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship.

Ever since we launched our brand, we have been working closely with local corporations such as the SBF, AmCham, ATC etc. Thus we are really excited to be part of the local startup ecosystem.

12What have you found to be a hindering factor, for your business, during the entire course of the pandemic, and how did you overcome that hinderance?

Haldy is my Covid baby.

There was a lot of uncertainty as the world was battling Covid-19, which made travel restricted. In addition, to pitch Haldy to my seasoned advisors (CEO’s and CMO’s of large MNC’s) was not easy and I was challenged on every step of the way. I took their feedback as a gift and with a clear vision, determination and by working tirelessly on solutions, I brought Haldy to life after 18 months since the day I launched my company. I have played every possible role there was in the journey as I continue to grow the brand.

Since my R&D team was based in India, my product manufacturing team was based in China, two out of the three strategic advisors were in New York and the rest of my extended team is based in Singapore, to bring them all together was challenging.

Operationally, we overcame several challenges along the way - since travel was restricted, our consumer trials took longer than usual and the delay in freight and associated costs really impacted our launch and pricing. We focussed on things that we could control (eg. setting up warehouse, finalising our listing with various online marketplaces etc.) and despite all the delay and uncertainty due to Covid-19, we were able to bring Haldy to life on 1st February 2023.

13What are the current trends in the business industry that you are most excited about?
I am excited about several food trends, including vegan, plant-based, Ayurveda, keto-friendly, gluten-free, lactose-free, superfoods, and soy-based products. There is a significant amount of innovation happening in this space.
14What resources would you recommend to someone who is searching to improve their business prospects and organizational success?
You could register for various online/in-person courses or programs based on your area of interest or business to hone your / team skills. There are several programs that you can search on google and/or even via LinkedIn.
15Where do you see the evolution of the overall business industry in the next 5-10 years?
Technology, AI, Innovation etc. would be the key drivers in the evolution of the overall industry including the F&B industry.
16Who inspired you in your life, and why?

In general I seek inspiration for all those who work hard, have a positive attitude, are solution minded, creative and have a growth mindset, in that regard my family - wife & my kids inspire me.

Steve Jobs (corporate) - his creative marketing genius mind.

Virat Kohli (sports) - his commitment and ability to win matches against the odds.

17What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?
If you are looking to become an entrepreneur - the sooner you start the better it is. Fail fast, but fall forward. Don’t overthink whatever you are planning to launch - just keep it simple, since you will never get it right the first time. Start small, be flexible, so you can pivot if required. Seek advice and make sure you speak to as many people / advisors / mentors as you can.

Winning Entry

Haldy | 2023

Haldy | HaldyPlus Nutrition Pte. Ltd.

We are an SME500 Singapore 2023 award winning company inspired by the golden goodness of Turmeric. We are focussed on creating a 'Better For You' …
(Read more at TITAN Business Awards)

Push Sharma


Push Sharma, the Founder and CEO of Haldy, has introduced the World's First Sugarfree Turmeric Mints in Singapore and credits his ability to think creatively, analytically and outside the box for his professional success.

Read more about this interview with Tanay Shah from the United States, the Platinum Winner of the 2023 TITAN Business Awards.