Kids Dinnerware Maker Enjoying Business Growth
An Indianapolis pediatrician who launched a line of stainless steel dinnerware for kids last year is gaining national attention. Ahimsa founder and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Manasa Mantravadi hints the business could be entering the retail space later this year as the products continue to gain attention.
The company markets dishes as a healthier alternative to plastic and good for the environment.
In an interview with Business of Health reporter Kylie Veleta, Mantravadi explained what starting a business amid a global pandemic was like.
“In terms of supply chain, it has definitely affected us,” said Mantravadi, who sources her products from her native India. While she designs the steel plates, bowls, cups and utensils, they are manufactured abroad. “Because back in March of 2020, India had one of the largest and most significant shutdowns in the world. And so certainly as we were launching, we were selling out of products. It was hard to get some more in.”
The colorful, stainless steel products are an alternative to plastic dishes and cups that Mantravdi says can be full of certain chemicals which can interfere with a child’s hormones, growth and development.
“There’s growing evidence from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the World Health Organization, all raising red flags, on the chemicals in plastic, really interfering with our hormonal system,” said Dr. Mantravdi. “In children, it is particularly important because they’re still developing, and their organs are developing.”
Mantravadi says the company is growing its product line and launching a project that centers on school cafeterias in Indiana.
“As the children returned to school, Ahimsa is in the process of developing a stainless-steel cafeteria line, so that we can have safer and more sustainable materials in our schools here locally in Indianapolis. I’m really excited about our pilot project.” While not able to share specifics with Inside INdiana Business, the physician says Ahimsa is exploring other options to sell their wares and an announcement could come later this year.
Mantravadi says the company has received high profile attention from national media outlets, such as USA Today, Buzzfeed and Parent’s Magazine. “So, I’m still pinching myself. But I think it really shows that parents and our country are kind of ready for a more sustainable, healthier option at the dining table.”