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Indian-origin entrepreneur to revolutionize dip industry

Embracing the challenges inherent in the food industry, Khera remains steadfast in her mission to enhance the lives of others through Niramaya

Indian-origin entrepreneur to revolutionize dip industry / UNCG

Mehek Khera, an alumna of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) and a woman of Indian origin, is on a mission to bring the rich flavors of her heritage to American tables through her Niramaya line of dips.

Inspired by a Sanskrit term she gleaned from her great grandmother's blessing, Khera named her venture "Niramaya," meaning "wellness for all." This ethos, she explains, embodies her aspirations for both herself and her clientele.

Khera's journey towards Niramaya was sparked by a pivotal moment when she faced health challenges, including autoimmune conditions, prompting a reevaluation of her lifestyle. Following this wake-up call, she pursued a post-graduate nutrition certificate through an online institute based in New York, laying the groundwork for her venture.

In a recent press release by UNCG Mehek said, “I had developed some autoimmune conditions, as well as some chronic ailments, and I collapsed one day at the Los Angeles airport. That was a wakeup call for me to do better in taking care of myself.”

Reflecting on her upbringing in India, Khera recognized the inherent nutritional value in the cuisine of her homeland, which she had previously taken for granted due to its delectable nature.

“I realized that what I grew up eating back home in India was so nutritious, and I had never stopped and thought about it because it was so delicious,” she says.

Embracing the challenges inherent in the food industry, Khera remains steadfast in her mission to enhance the lives of others through Niramaya. She underscores the versatility of her vegan, gluten-free, and oil-free dips, crafted from a blend of wholesome ingredients including sweet potatoes, tomatoes, onions, garlic, spinach, and beets, suitable for various culinary applications.

“American consumers love dips as a snacking product,” she says. “And dipping in India is a favorite choice to eat flatbreads like roti and naan.”

Niramaya’s vegan, gluten-free, and oil-free dips are made from sweet potatoes, tomatoes, onions, garlic, spinach, beets, and other plant-based foods, she says. “They can be used as marinades, as dipping sauces, or as toppings to your favorite bowls.”

“Mehek was one bright eyed, hardworking, and eager student,” says Tuisha Stack, her graduate adviser and now administrative director for graduate programs in the Bryan School. “She never missed a professional development opportunity and was an active member of our Spartan Women in Business chapter. What has stayed with me about Mehek is her humility given how brilliant she is.”

Available initially in Sprouts Farmers Markets, Khera's flavorful dips are set to grace the shelves of 900 Albertsons Companies’ grocery stores nationwide, including Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, and Shaw’s.

Offering counsel to aspiring business students, Khera emphasizes “It doesn’t matter what profession one chooses, whether it’s a full-time job or entrepreneurship, that calling should come from inside of you,” she says, “or from an inspiration that you feel so deeply about that you’re willing to take on the challenges that come with that decision.”

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