Dr. Ram Chaudhari, Ph.D., FACN, CNS
(Co-Founder, Ex Sr. Executive Vice President, Chief Scientific Officer at Fortitech Inc.)
Dr. Ram Chaudhari, a scientist had a plan to make custom mixes of vitamins and minerals that would improve the nutritional value of a wide range of foods and drinks. He is a widely-recognized expert on food fortification and process technology, having spoken and published across numerous nutrition trade shows and scientific journals.
Every entrepreneur takes risks. Every startup battles giants. Few companies have dodged death and soared to global prominence like Fortitech. The exclusive story of its improbable breakthrough.
In 1986, Dr. Ram Chaudhari took a bold decision. He along with 3 partners founded Fortitech Inc. in upstate New York. Fortitech, an ISO 9001:2000 certified company is the world leader in the development of custom nutrient premixes for the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries. From humble beginnings, Fortitech has grown into an international force in the food fortification industry.
What is exactly meant by the term “nutrient premixes”? – If you eat, drink or ingest it, chances are Fortitech and Dr. Ram Chaudhari had hands on it. You may not see its name but you consume its products every single day. Products like bottled water, sodas, sports drinks, nutrition bars, juices, snacks, vitamins, dairy products, yogurt, baby foods, infant formulae, cereals, candies, grain flours are fortified by Fortitech premixes. Here is one indication how dominant Fortitech has become: 7 out of 10 world largest food companies are Fortitech customers. Dr. Ram Chaudhari worked with The Micronutrient Initiative, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, World Food Programs, World Health Organization, UN Food & Agriculture Organization, US AID, Hellen Keller International et al. The company has grown by leaps and bounds. He made numerous business trips globally and travelled to over 80 countries.
Fortitech – from empty bank accounts to a $656 million buyout:
Out of nothing, Fortitech became a global success with operations in six countries and has customers such as Kellogg’s (NYSE: K), Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO), Nestle, Abbott. Revenue in 2011 was $260 million, with profit of $70 million before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.
All four shareholders of Fortitech sold the business in 2012. The buyer was DSM, a Dutch conglomerate and Fortitech’s largest competitor. The price tag was $656 million, making Fortitech the largest homegrown (USA) company to be acquired in seven years. Fortitech had 520 employees worldwide during the year of buyout.
Dr. Ram Chaudhari’s achievements wouldn’t have been possible without support from his family and contributions from his wife Dr. Panna Chaudhari. She has been equally capable and a source of inspiration. She served as vice president of Technical Affairs at Fortitech. They both retired in 2012 and live in California, USA. Dr. Ram hails from a small village named Dindrol, Sidhpur and Dr. Panna hails from Khandosan, Visnagar.