• Name:  Prateek Agarwal
  • Age: 32
  • Business: Calgee
  • Type of Business: E-commerce health and wellness
  • Years in Business: 3
  • Contact Information: Adrienne Lenhoff – Buzzphoria Public Relations – [email protected] and cell: 313-580-5349

What does your company do?

Our mission is to create the world’s most sustainable and high-quality health supplements. For you and the planet.

We are creating supplements that are made from premium and eco-friendly ingredients. Our current vegan omega-3 supplement is made from algae oil instead of fish oil. Additionally, the algae oil we’ve sourced is not only potent but also processed with the smallest impact on the ecosystem. We’re trying to reduce our reliance on fish and fish-based products while providing vegan and non-vegan customers with a comparable alternative.

What made you want to be an entrepreneur?

My journey as an entrepreneur and the decision to start my own business were inspired by my identity as an independent thinker, my creative mindset, and my deep love for the environment. The desire to make the world a better place for the next generation served as a constant reminder of the purpose behind my entrepreneurial pursuits. By combining my unique qualities and aspirations, I embarked on this path with the hope of creating a meaningful impact, fostering sustainability, and leaving a lasting legacy that extends beyond mere business success.

Why did you choose your business?

I started Calgee with my wife, Shreya, in 2020. That year, during a routine check-up, I was surprised to learn that my cholesterol levels were in the “very high” range. Despite being young and healthy, they were higher than they should have been for someone my age. To make matters worse, I discovered that both Shreya and I were at a higher risk for cardiovascular diseases due to our family histories.

With everything else happening in 2020, our health became our top priority. We fine-tuned our diets and increased our exercise routines. It still wasn’t enough.

Our doctors suggested taking fish oil supplements, but as vegetarians, we were reluctant to consume fish oil. We didn’t want to compromise our principles for the sake of our health.

Convinced there had to be a better solution in nature, we discovered vegan omega-3 oil supplements as a sustainable alternative to fish oil. However, we learned that most of these capsules contained carrageenan, an ingredient known to cause stomach inflammation.

Frustrated by the lack of suitable options on the market, we decided to create our own product.

Determined to develop something pure, sustainable, and environmentally friendly, we embarked on our journey to establish Calgee. Today, Calgee is a mission-driven health and wellness company committed to using its influence to create a positive impact on the environment.

What prepared you for entrepreneurship?

My father’s entrepreneurial journey and his unwavering support for independent thinking have played a pivotal role in preparing me for entrepreneurship. Growing up in an environment where my father was an entrepreneur himself, I had the privilege of witnessing firsthand the challenges, triumphs, and mindset required to navigate the business world.

From a young age, my father encouraged me to think independently and nurtured my ability to analyze situations critically. He instilled in me the value of taking calculated risks and embracing creativity as a means to solve problems. His entrepreneurial spirit was contagious, and it ignited a fire within me to pursue my own path as an entrepreneur.

Seeing my father’s dedication, resilience, and relentless pursuit of excellence, I learned that entrepreneurship is not just about running a business; it’s a way of life. I understood that it requires determination, adaptability, and the ability to seize opportunities in the face of uncertainty.

What has been your greatest achievement so far?

In the past year, our team’s greatest business achievement that we would like to celebrate is the successful transition from bottles to pouches for our products. This strategic move presented both risks and rewards, including potential subscriber loss and concerns about maintaining air-tight seals. However, the overwhelming positive response from our customers made it clear that we had made the right decision.

The introduction of pouch packaging brought significant convenience and sustainability benefits that resonated with our customer base. Our attention to detail and rigorous quality control measures ensured that the air-tight seals were maintained, preserving the integrity of our products and further building trust with our customers.

This transition also set us apart from our competitors in the market, attracting new customers and forging valuable partnerships. The switch to pouches not only enhanced customer satisfaction but also contributed to improved retention rates, showcasing our commitment to sustainability and customer-centric innovation.

The success of this transition was a pivotal moment for our business, as it validated our dedication to meeting customer needs while making a positive environmental impact. It served as a testament to our team’s ability to adapt, innovate, and execute with excellence.

As we celebrate this milestone with our team, we recognize that this achievement represents more than just a packaging switch. It symbolizes our capacity to identify and embrace opportunities for growth and improvement, while always prioritizing customer satisfaction and sustainable practices.

Moving forward, we will continue to build upon this success, leveraging our newfound market differentiation and customer trust to further propel our growth and solidify our position as a leader in our industry.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of being an entrepreneur?

The most rewarding aspect of being an entrepreneur is the freedom to turn my vision into a reality and make a tangible impact on the world. As an entrepreneur, I have the autonomy to shape the direction of my business and bring innovative ideas to life. Witnessing my ideas come to fruition and seeing the positive response from customers is incredibly fulfilling.

Moreover, being an entrepreneur allows me to embrace my passion and work on projects that align with my values. I have the flexibility to pursue my interests and create a company culture that fosters creativity, collaboration, and personal growth. This sense of purpose and fulfillment is unmatched, as it goes beyond mere financial success and touches upon the intrinsic satisfaction of making a difference.

Additionally, the personal growth and development that come with being an entrepreneur are immensely rewarding. The challenges and obstacles I face on a daily basis push me out of my comfort zone and help me develop new skills, expand my knowledge, and enhance my resilience. Each hurdle I overcome and each milestone I achieve serves as a reminder of my capabilities and strengthens my self-belief.

Ultimately, the most rewarding aspect of being an entrepreneur is the ability to build something from scratch, create positive change, and continuously evolve both personally and professionally.

What challenges have you faced as an entrepreneur?

Being an entrepreneur is not without its share of challenges. Some of the common hurdles I have faced include:

a) Uncertainty and Risk: Entrepreneurship inherently involves stepping into uncharted territory, which comes with uncertainty and risk. The future is unpredictable, and there are no guarantees of success. Navigating through this ambiguity requires a strong mindset, adaptability, and the ability to make informed decisions amidst limited information.

b) Financial Constraints: Starting and growing a business often requires significant financial investment. Funding can be a challenge, especially in the early stages, and securing capital through investors or loans can be a time-consuming and demanding process. Managing cash flow and ensuring sustainable growth while balancing financial constraints is an ongoing challenge.

c) Competition and Market Dynamics: In most industries, competition is fierce, and staying ahead requires constant innovation and differentiation. Understanding market dynamics, keeping up with evolving customer preferences, and staying one step ahead of competitors demand continuous monitoring and strategic decision-making.

d) Work-Life Balance: Being deeply involved in every aspect of the business can make maintaining a healthy work-life balance challenging. Long hours, intense dedication, and the pressure to constantly perform can take a toll on personal well-being and relationships. Finding ways to prioritize self-care and create boundaries is crucial to sustaining long-term success.

Is there anything you wish you’d done differently?

Reflecting on our startup journey, one aspect we would have done differently when starting is to actively engage in discussions and seek advice from others. While we believed in our idea and were enthusiastic about its potential, we now recognize the immense value of collaborating and seeking insights from experienced individuals.

By discussing our idea with others, we could have gained diverse perspectives and valuable feedback that may have helped us refine our concept from the early stages. Engaging in conversations with mentors, industry experts, and potential customers would have provided us with a broader understanding of market dynamics, potential challenges, and untapped opportunities.

How can others get started in this business?

If you have an idea and aspire to get started in this business, my advice is simple: go for it. Embracing your idea and taking that first step is crucial in turning your vision into a reality. While the journey may seem daunting, with careful planning, goal-setting, and a willingness to learn from mistakes, you can pave your way to success.

Conduct market research, identify your target audience, and assess the competitive landscape. This will provide valuable insights into the viability and potential profitability of your business concept.

Once you have a clear understanding of your idea’s market potential, it’s time to create a solid plan. Outline your business goals, objectives, and strategies. Develop a roadmap that includes key milestones, timelines, and action steps. A well-structured plan will serve as a guiding framework and keep you focused and accountable throughout the journey.

While planning is essential, remember that perfection is not attainable, especially in the early stages. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Seek mentorship and guidance from experienced entrepreneurs or industry experts who can provide valuable insights and share their own experiences. Their expertise can offer invaluable guidance, helping you avoid common pitfalls and make informed decisions.

Finally, don’t underestimate the power of perseverance and resilience. Entrepreneurship is a journey filled with ups and downs, requiring determination to overcome obstacles. Stay committed to your vision, stay motivated, and celebrate small victories along the way. With passion, perseverance, and a willingness to learn from both successes and failures, you can set yourself on the path to entrepreneurial success.

Do you have any advice for future entrepreneurs?

  • Things take time – you have to stay patient, remain focused on your goals, and persevere through challenges
  • Keep learning – to really become an expert in your field; you have to spend a few years learning and absorbing all the information you can.
  • You will fail a hundred times – the only way to really succeed is through learning from your mistakes.
  • Take a break – there are always things to do that can be overwhelming. Sometimes to be more productive, you have to switch off from work and take a break.
  • Decide when you want to make an impact – it’s easier to be a sustainable company at scale where your volume makes economic sense. You can reach more people and do more as an operational company than as a super sustainable and bankrupt one.
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About Dequiana Jackson

Dequiana Jackson, Founder of Inspired Marketing, Inc., helps overachieving women entrepreneurs conquer limiting beliefs and create marketing plans that grow their businesses. This includes one-on-one marketing plan development, digital product creation, web design and content marketing. Dequiana is the author of Know Your Business: How to Attract Ideal Clients & Sell More and runs the award-winning blog,

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