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March 02, 2010

Company Focus

Mandura: A Royal Family

by Lauri Dodd


ManduraWith its unique product and altruistic business concept, Mandura has people taking notice.

They say that blood is thicker than water. The ties of family are undeniably powerful. Maybe that’s why the bonds at Mandura have grown so strong so quickly. Not only are the members of the executive team a tightknit group, but the family atmosphere spills over into the field as well. True, as with most network marketing companies, many of the independent business owners are indeed related. However, the “all for one, and one for all”-type desire to see everyone succeed is pervasive throughout the company. The fascinating thing is that while Mandura is not a family business, per se, it certainly has all the makings of one.

It’s no accident. In reality, the family focus at Mandura is something the founders have carefully planned and worked hard to foster. So, just how has Mandura managed to capture the family feel, creating a unified, cohesive group—and how has that contributed to the company’s rise within the direct selling industry? Well, it all starts at the top.

And So It Begins

At the very heart of Mandura is an actual family. The founders are a husband-and-wife team, determined to change the world for the better. Casey and K.C. Yarbrough (yes, you read that correctly) had been searching for a way to make a positive difference in the lives of others and were surprised by what they found. “We had been looking for the right opportunity—a way to help people get healthier,” says Casey Yarbrough, CEO of Mandura. “We set out to find a superior product that we could believe in. And we didn’t have to wait very long before our prayers were answered.”

When you think about just how Mandura came to be, it’s really quite serendipitous. The couple had told only a handful  of people about their plans, and within a short time, the life-changing call came in. In a fortuitous turn of events, a friend of theirs, who was selling a commercial real estate property, just happened to see a brochure sticking out of his client’s gym bag. The subject of the pamphlet, to his surprise, was a unique new liquid supplement formulated to maximize wellness, bottled to exacting standards. Wouldn’t you know it—the client’s friend in California had been exploring ways to market his unique product. And the rest, as they say, is history. “It almost seemed too good to be true,” Casey says. “We knew right away that this was what we had been looking for. We were being guided in our new direction.”

Once they found their product, there was no question the Yarbroughs’ next venture would be to create a network marketing company. The couple had the utmost faith in the business model, since they had risen to great success with another (now defunct) direct selling company. Their experience had taught them what worked and what didn’t… and they were ready to branch out on their own.

Mandura Founders K.C. and Casey Yarbrough

The King and Queen of Fruits

It came to the attention of researchers several years ago that while Americans are suffering from obesity at an alarming rate, they are also extremely undernourished. It is an odd conundrum, if you think about it. For the most part, the foods we choose to eat contain empty calories and lack sufficient nutrition to keep us healthy.

It is something that has weighed heavily on the Yarbroughs’ minds. In fact, with three young boys at home, the couple has long been concerned with everything health- and wellness-related. In addition to their signature beverage, which has served the company well since its inception, Mandura recently introduced Mandura Trim, which helps with weight loss.

“It’s no secret that people are not getting the nutrition they need,” Casey says. “Our goal is to try to alleviate that problem by offering them a nutritional supplement that gives them more energy and helps them feel better at the same time.” When the couple discovered the formulation that would become Mandura, they were blown away by all its beneficial ingredients.

The beverage marries the King of Fruits, durian, with the Queen of Fruits, mangosteen, for a royal drink like no other. In Asia, the durian and the mangosteen have been revered for centuries for their complementary properties. Better together, the fruits work synergistically to help improve nutrition and promote wellness. For good measure, Mandura’s blend also includes two of the most illustrious superfruits, the blueberry and açai. “Mandura is packed with the best fruit around and absolutely no preservatives,” Casey says. “So I like to tell people that it has all of the good stuff with none of the bad stuff!”

A Pristine Product

It is no small feat to deliver a product without preservatives. Not many companies can boast such a claim. And yet, Mandura still has up to a two-year shelf life before it is opened. “We have read so much information about the studies that are being done about the safety of preservatives,” Casey says. “We didn’t want to take any chances, and we’re happy to say we don’t need them in Mandura.”

The key is a unique, patented process, where the inside of the bottle is sprayed and rinsed with a vinegar base that prevents the need for overheating later. Next comes flash-pasteurization and cold filling, which helps prevent spoiling and preserves the integrity of the product at the same time. Only three bottling facilities in North America utilize this FDA- and USDA-approved process, and two of them belong to Nestlé and Pepsi.

From the start, the one-of-a-kind bottling process was a big selling point for the Yarbrough family. “We want to deliver a superior product that we can be proud of,” Casey says. “And we want people to feel confident about what they are consuming. Best of all, it tastes great!”

That was a primary concern for K.C.—both as the Vice President of Operations for Mandura and as a mom—because it doesn’t really matter how nutritious a product is if no one will drink it. “I said from the start that if it doesn’t taste good, the kids won’t drink it,” K.C. says. “But we don’t have to worry about that. In fact, there have been times when we’ve had to ask them to slow down so that we can have some, too!”

Building a Better Business

“One Line. One Team. One Vision.” It is a motto that goes deeper than mere marketing jargon. Launched Oct. 14, 2008, Mandura has grown to an impressive 15,000 independent business owners (IBOs) in just over a year’s time. Even more notable is the fact that the company really started mushrooming last summer, after rolling out their new compensation plan. “With our system, the more you do personally, the more you share in the success of the company,” Casey says. “And I really do believe this is the reason we have grown so quickly.”

Whether it is by accident or by design, Mandura has achieved a rare companywide unity, reminiscent of family, for which they are at once proud and thankful. “Everyone works together to help their neighbor succeed,” Casey says. “Because when they do, we all benefit.”

Without a doubt, the company’s consistent training program ensures an IBO’s success at every level—no matter what their experience with direct selling has been prior to starting with Mandura. “We offer a wide variety of training options to our people,” Casey says. “No one learns the same way. So we try to provide several different ways for our teams to stay engaged and plugged in to help them reach their goals at every stage of the game.”

The majority of people prefer traditional training methods, such as the nightly conference calls and twice-weekly leadership calls, to stay connected and up to date with the latest news and information. For the computer-savvy crowd, Mandura hosts a webinar one Saturday every month that lasts several hours. And for those who prefer learning at their own pace, a training Web site will soon be available that will outline the “30 Days to Platinum” program. While there, IBOs can also print a workbook from the site, and they can watch videos, download forms and get answers to just about anything they need to know about how to build their business.

“Some people would rather watch a video than listen in on a call or read a manual, so we created Mandura TV,” Casey says. “It’s a link on our Web site that allows us to provide new information to the field in a fun, entertaining way.”

In addition, the company has launched their own social network, “Mandura in Motion,” that operates very much like Facebook or LinkedIn. The site enables teams to share valuable information or just stay in touch with a few clicks of the mouse. “Mandura in Motion has been a great tool for our people,” Casey says. “This is how people communicate today. And more than anything else, it has been a great way for us to build lasting relationships with each other.”

In an effort to help more people get started on the road to financial freedom, Mandura has a low entry point for their IBOs. To be on autoship, all someone has to do is buy one bottle a month. It sounds simple, because it is. “We want people to begin making more money than they spend right away,” Casey says. “In this economy, people need as much help as they can get. We want to make it possible for anyone to benefit from this opportunity.”

A Mission of Caring

In an effort to encourage philanthropy and make it easy for people to donate, it is automatically part of the system. “This way, people can give back without doing anything different,” K.C. says. “Mandura Missions has partnered with Kids Against Hunger to help feed hungry children in our own neighborhoods.”

The way it breaks down is that one bottle equals one meal for a local person in need where the bottle was sold. “We know there is a lot of need overseas, but there are also a lot of people here at home who need our help,” Casey says. “The sad truth is that we have people who are starving in our own communities. And we want to start here in the United States to do what we can to help.”

Not only do their donations provide the food, but Mandura corporate also hosts local packing parties to help put together the bags of food to be sent out. To date, they have packed as many as 28,000 meals in one month. And even though their primary focus is eradicating hunger at home, the group absolutely believes in helping people anywhere in the world who need it. When an earthquake devastated Haiti recently, Mandura Missions gathered to pack 6,000 meals for the survivors there.

Within the next 90 days, Mandura will expand into Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and food will start going to help hungry children in those areas as well. “Although the main purpose of Mandura Missions is to help prevent people from going hungry, this program also has had a huge impact on the leaders who deliver the packets to the food pantries, too,” K.C. says. “Who knows… maybe their involvement in this project will create a spark to get them to ask what else they can do to help out.”

One thing leads to another. That’s just the kind of grass-roots thinking that will keep Mandura on their path to success. “We believe strongly in giving back, and we try to show that through our actions,” Casey says. “It’s one thing to say you care about people, but when you study your business opportunity, your product and your philanthropy—do they reflect that as well? We strive to make sure ours does.”