Nationality: Thai / Indian
Years at Bangkok Patana: 15 Years
Graduating Class Year: 2008
University: University of Melbourne, 2012; MBA, 2017
Currently: Manager at Pranaa Food For Life.
If you haven’t already heard about Pranaa, it’s time to get up to speed. Pranaa is a healthy food delivery service, that follows a plant-based diet and is completely vegan. It is the brainchild of Bangkok Patana alum Udit Dhawan.
Udit graduated from Bangkok Patana in 2008, after starting 15 years previously in K1. He enjoyed physical exercise and the outdoors, citing Residential trips as a highlight of his Patana years. From a passion for sports he also cultivated an interest in health and diet. He studied Physiology in Australia, graduating in 2012. He worked for three years in Myanmar, taking on the challenge of selling FMCG products in a very new and developing market. This was his first experience learning about sales, marketing and logistics. He followed this experience with an MBA from INSEAD.
The impetus to start Pranaa was very much a melding of business skills with Udit’s still growing interest in a healthy lifestyle. “I have seen first-hand the benefits of eating a plant-based diet in my own house, not only in terms of helping people lose weight but also in reducing health risk factors like blood cholesterol and blood pressure. I have family members who suffered from heart disease, which is the leading cause of death around the world. The motivation was simple – if making better food choices can health prolong your good health 5-10 more years, then it is worth pursuing. The traditional method is to use medication to treat symptoms, but we want to try solve the root cause for those symptoms by modifying our lifestyle choices. I truly believe the main concern in the modern world is more diseases from overconsumption and not from lack of resources. We want to help people improve their long-term health & also reduce the environmental impact caused from animal agriculture,” he explained.
Udit doesn’t have any experience in the food industry or with cooking but his father runs a vitamins and health supplement business in Thailand so he already had a basic connection to health sector. In Bangkok, as the market for food delivery was growing, he saw a gap for vegan food. Pranaa excludes all forms of animal products and the menu items change weekly. They offer a wide mix of Thai, Asian Western dishes to a diverse customer base. The food is cooked fresh daily and now delivered across most of Bangkok.
Udit is still really passionate about sports. He continues to play sports on a weekly basis and enjoys playing with his friends from Bangkok Patana. He said he enjoyed competing with the other international school alumni during the Inter-School alumni sports events. While managing the business, he continues to grow his knowledge of the health and fitness sector, attending conferences and completing online courses to learn more about nutritional science. In ten years’ time, he is hoping that Pranaa is still running and growing into a sustainable business.
Udit was the speaker at the 2018/19 Alumni Breakfast, where he had the opportunity to talk to current Year 13 students about his career path.