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Jan, 16 2010

Ayurveda marvel

The world, today, has come to understand Ayurveda as a wonderful system of herbal healing. During the last three decades, there has been a worldwide ‘back to nature’ trend. Naturalism and ‘total wellness’ concept has entered people’s lifestyle with greate

The world, today, has come to understand Ayurveda as a wonderful system of herbal healing. During the last three decades, there has been a worldwide ‘back to nature’ trend. Naturalism and ‘total wellness’ concept has entered people’s lifestyle with greater emphasis on mental and physical well being. Therefore, the world has naturally accepted Indian disciplines of yoga, meditation and Ayurveda. There is great interest in Ayurveda in many countries, prompting studies and scientific research to assess its worth.


Ancient traditions

India is a country where ancient traditions have flourished alongside modern technological advancements and Ayurveda is an ideal example. It has existed for centuries and has become part of our heritage. Ayurveda, which means ‘the science of life, is the oldest and most developed system of herbal healing in the world. It is not merely a system of healing but a way of life. It does not belong to any particular culture or era.  It can be adopted by any culture or civilization, at any time, because it aims at helping man live in harmony with nature. Ayurveda contains the knowledge of the practical usage of the healing power of plants and other natural substances.


Global & domestic markets

India’s rich cultural heritage has immense economic potential. The challenge today is to develop our cultural industries to compete in international markets. In fact, there is a growing global market for alternative medicines and herbal products. This also includes essential oils, which are used in the related field of Aromatherapy. In countries around the world there is a growing interest in alternative therapies. Medicinal plants can also be grown and processed for export.

The domestic market also has tremendous growth potential. The growth rate of the herbal beauty care business is at around 40 per cent. India is one of the largest markets in the world for personal-care products, with herbal beauty care driving the growth during the past decade. Some figures suggest a four-fold growth of the beauty industry in the coming years.

The growth of the Ayurvedic service industries, like Ayurvedic centres for Panchkarma, Dhara and Kairali massage, Ayurvedic skin and hair care, as well as Ayurvedic Spas can be developed to attract tourism due to the growing worldwide interest in these treatments. Both Ayurvedic products and services can enter the international market through the franchise system.

As far as Ayurveda-related activities are concerned, one of the areas that have potential for income and employment is- growing of herbs and flowers for beauty products, health care and essential oils. The extraction of herbs and essential oils, formulation of health and beauty products, packaging, etc., are the related industries that can help in growth and development of Ayurvedic beauty products.


Coming of spas

With the concept of ‘total well being’ gaining ground, spa treatments are becoming popular. Nowadays, salons are being converted into day spas and offering both salon and spa treatments. Ayurvedic treatments are ideal for spa treatments. Therefore, service industries like spas, beauty salons, Ayurvedic centres, have scope for growth in the international market. In fact, the west is looking towards India and her herbal traditions for spa and salon treatments. The Shahnaz Husain Group has tied up with the Hyakumata Group of Japan and set up the world’s largest Ayurvedic health resort, based on the franchise system, on the US island of Saipan, off the Pacific Coast.

The growing of medicinal herbs and flowers, both for Ayurvedic formulations and export has to be developed as an organised sector, by integrating it into the entire global vision for Ayurveda. This entails creating awareness of the global demand, providing information and knowledge in the techniques of growing herbs and flowers, as well as providing information and access to markets.

Centres for vocational training have to develop skills that are needed for productivity. This would include training in extraction, processing, preserving as well as packaging. The service sector would also require vocational training. Ayurvedic centres, yoga centres, spas and beauty clinics require therapists, masseurs and other trained personnel.


As a service sector

Cultural and creative industries related to Ayurveda and yoga provide great potential for income generation and self-employment, which has already been mentioned. The beauty business as a service sector itself offers great scope for employment. The mushrooming of men’s salons has opened up further career avenues. A school leaving certificate is adequate to acquire vocational training for many of these jobs in the service sector.

The main impetus should be towards an organised network. The effort should be to focus on global demands and the global market, which would require meeting international standards of quality. Traditional knowledge needs to be related to modern demands and techniques. Our traditional knowledge is mainly empirical and needs to be backed by scientific research in quantitative terms.

Today, the Shahnaz Husain Group is ideally positioned in the international market, due to its business expansion through the franchise system. Among the reasons for our success are our remarkable foresight and vision to recognise the immense potential and relevance of Ayurveda. I have always believed that India has so much to offer to the rest of the world by way of her herbal heritage.

Today, Ayurvedic beauty treatments have become an important component of cosmeseuticals. Extension of our franchise ventures worldwide and international branding are very much a part of our future plans. We have found in franchise system a distinct advantage in terms of business expansion.

It is a dream come true to see the worldwide recognition of Ayurveda. I strongly believe that Ayurvedic beauty care can lead the international cosmetic industry within the next decade. It has been tested by the most exacting test of all- the test of time.

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