Realising the need and scope for ayurveda treatments, The Yash Birla Group started Birla Kerala Vaidyashala. In an interview N Venkat, CEO & Managing Director, Birla Wellness Group shares the company’s latest health venture.
Abha Garyali (AG): When and what inspired, The Yash Birla Group to initiate Birla Kerala Vaidyashala?
N Venkat (NV): Yash Birla Group had decided to venture into the wellness sector in 2007. As one of the steps in the process, YBG had acquired Birla Kerala Vaidyashala (BKV).
AG: What is the USP of Birla Kerala Vaidyashala? What all services are offered in the centres?
NV: BKV is known for its authentic ayurveda for wellness and preventive and curative therapies for ailments. BKV specialises in offering treatments for chronic ailments like arthritis, obesity, spondylitis, hair fall, skin disorders and various lifestyle disorders, which conventional medicines may not be able to treat.
AG: What strategies have you developed to face the competition in this sector?
NV: We have developed strategies to focus on various ailments, regularise customer contacts through camps and also have patient referral program to Kerala stay care centres.
AG: What target have you set by the end of year?
NV: We will be opening 12-15 franchise centres in financial year 2011 – 12.
AG: What are your future plans in terms of expansion through franchising? Where do you see the company after five years?
NV: We intend to have more than 100 centres in India as well as overseas in the next five years.
AG: What according to you is the scope for aspiring franchisees in this business? Is the future bright in the years to come?
NV: The aspiring franchisees would have the following benefits and advantages:
They can join ayurveda revolution for preventive healthcare which is growing at the rate of 30 per cent each year.
Investments could be as low as Rs 20 lakh for a day care franchise centre. We have seen a lot of interest by many franchisees that have a genuine interest on healthcare of people through preventive methods.
AG: What are the qualities and the criterion for the selection of your prospective franchisees? How much investment is required by them?
NV: We look for people who have genuine passion for healthcare through alternative methods, particularly ayurveda. They should be willing to invest minimum of Rs 20 lakh and also have a good network of people who can bring in potential customers.
AG: What are the challenges that can be faced by a franchisee in this business? How can they overcome these challenges?
NV: The challenges that can be faced by a franchisee are:
However franchisees can overcome these problems. Faster breakeven can happen if franchisee aggressively participates in local network marketing. The brand (BKV) provides extensive training on Kerala Authentic Ayurveda as well as centre operations to all franchisees.