Entrepreneur Wages Entire Company for New Brand


Neel Premkumar was willing to wager his whole business when he discovered a market opportunity that he estimated to be worth a billion dollars. While some people would have scoffed at this gamble, Permkumar’s bet has significantly paid off.

Premkumar created a brand called Forto, which is a spin on an Italian word meaning strong. This business provides small shots of caffeine in two-ounce sizes. Dyla, Premkumar’s original company, focused on an enhancer of natural water called Stur. This produce was brought to market in 2010. The Forto brand was unleashed three years later in 2013. Forto products are now being sold in over 50,000 stores across the country. With each passing year, the brand is able to gro by 400%. Forto’s best-selling products include Vanilla Latte, Donut Shop Sweet & Creamy Latte, and Chocolate Latte.

Stur was the first brand created by Premkumar’s company Dyla. With their first line of products, the company was able to compete with major players in the market such as Crystal Light and Kook-Aid. All of the Stur products were made using all-natural extracts from food. Premkumar started this company when his wife became pregnant with twin girls. He realized that she wasn’t consuming enough water. She repeatedly asked her husband to find natural solutions that could make the water taste better without being too unhealthy for the babies.

Premkumar searched endlessly for the right mixtures, but there was nothing of the sort on the market. He started working with a friend who operates as a food scientist. Although Premkumar’s wife didn’t know that the solution wasn’t on the market, she loved the mixture.

Four years after the initial launch of Stur, Premkumar made the gamble of investing a new brand. Even though Stur had been a relative success for four straight years, the business was still creating enough stability to continue in the future. Dyla was generating around $10 million in annual sales and had a steady projection of growth. However, Premkumar noticed an opportunity for which he was willing to bet his entire business.

As a regular consumer of energy drinks and coffee, Premkumar wondered why there wasn’t an easier way to purchase an espresso on the go. Fortunately, the company had already purchased a production facility that produced two-ounce bottles for their Stur brand. With these capabilities already at his disposal, Premkumar began devising a plan for his newest brand. Forto would be the market’s first producer of espresso’s that are designed to be taken on the go. He placed all of the sales from the Stur brand into this project. Within four years, the business had quintupled in value.


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