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Jul, 10 2012

PROFITING FROM HOLISTIC HEALTHCARE

THE origin of Ayurveda dates back some 45,000 to 50,000 years. It has served mankind through the ages offering cures for many human ailments.

THE origin of Ayurveda dates back some 45,000 to 50,000 years. It has served mankind through the ages offering cures for many human ailments. It also lays stress on leading a healthy lifestyle to ward off diseases. In doing so, this ancient science of healthcare has withstood the test of time managing to carve out a niche for itself in modern healthcare. Ayurveda’s growing popularity in recent times may be attributed to the efficacy of its medicines and treatments in providing relief to patients suffering from diseases which were hitherto considered incurable but providing a profitable low cost business opportunity to doctors, especially Ayurveda practitioners and entrepreneurs.

Market size

Ayurveda's popularity in India signifies the system that has bright market prospects. This is all the more encouraging considering the fact that it has managed to position itself favourably in the market amidst the presence of other systems of medicine. This can be gauged from the market size Ayurveda enjoys today.

Sharing his views on the market size of Ayurveda, Vishnu Dutt Sharma, Managing Director, Deep Ayurveda, says: “During the last financial year, Indian ayurveda-related tourism earned Rs 6,000 crore in revenues. It is estimated the total market size of the Indian ayurveda market is Rs 8,000 crore and it is growing substantially between 10 and15 per cent. As modern medicine with its strong synthetic chemical drugs fails to combat diseases, there is a rapid and progressive acceptance of the ayurvedic system. Patients from across the world come to India for ayurvedic treatment. With the popularity of the system the demand for ayurvedic doctors is on the rise in India and abroad while there are many ayurvedic doctors practising as consultants overseas.”

Deep Ayurveda is a Punjab-based ayurvedic clinic and panchkarma centre providing treatment for chronic illnesses and lifestyle-related diseases.

Sane Care, another renowned name in the healthcare sector, is an initiative of Vaidya Sane Ayurved Lab Pvt Ltd, which specialises in ayurvedic cardiac care by the name of Madhavbaug, the world's first ayurvedic cardiac rehabilitation centre. Founded in Maharashtra, Sane Care offers a unique treatment called 'Sampurna Hruday Shuddikaran', which is its USP invented by Dr Rohit Madhav Sane, the chief promoter and ayurveda practitioner of Madhavbaug. About the treatment Dr Sane says: “We treat heart disease through ayurvedic modality with our SHS therapy, standardised processes and protocols, medical as well as administrative, with a wide range of medicines and treatments.”

Franchising: The preferred route

Ayurveda is one of the fastest growing concepts in mainstream healthcare segment. Today it has become an officially recognised system of medicine in India. Globally, the World Health Organisation recognises it as traditional medicine.

Considering the fact that the Indian healthcare industry is the largest in the services sector, many medical practitioners, ayurveda experts and business entrepreneurs are seeking business opportunity in Ayurveda.

“Currently, more than 30,000 branded and 1,500 traditional products are available in the market. As far as treatment is concerned, there are hardly any organised players. “Intending to carve out a niche in this segment, we have started with our franchise model of ayurvedic centres and panchkarma clinics. Deep Ayurveda has the ideal opportunity for individuals, doctors and entrepreneurs interested in the business of natural healthcare services,” says the owner of Deep Ayurveda.

However, Dr Sane feels franchising offers the best way to be socially responsible. “Being into healthcare we think that we are living in society and owe a lot of things to the society; franchise is the best way to be socially responsible. Almost 40% of our franchise owners are those who have undergone our SHS treatment for heart disease and have got good results and they wish to make the same service available in areas where they live. Moreover, the business has its unique product and good returns on relatively low investment,” says Dr Sane.

Opportunities ahead

In the current scenario, Ayurveda has covered quite a distance from treating ailments to providing business opportunities in the healthcare industry. Ayurvedic clinics and centres are restricted not only to the places of their origin but have also rolled out across the country, making their services accessible to patients and also giving great business options to entrepreneurs. “We provide opportunities to entrepreneurs in opening ayurvedic clinic and panchkarma centre under the brand name of Deep Ayurveda, for holistic healing along with panchkarma, yoga, diet and lifestyle modification in their own periphery,” says Sharma.

He adds: “We provide assistance in training the staff, selecting a location and designing the interiors of clinic/panchkarma centre, procuring panchkarma equipment and furnishings, placing doctors and panchkarma expert therapist, supplying the best ayurvedic medicines, providing support for advertising and promotional literature and ongoing training to upgrade skills and to make available new opportunities for our franchisee and business owners.”

However, the Madhavbaug franchise package maintains a full business format that provides the franchisee an opportunity to own and operate a business that is backstopped by an established company and product offerings. The brand will help its franchisees to achieve financial security and build their net worth through proper training and adequate technical support from time to time.

Even five years down the line one sees great opportunities for Ayurveda in the market. Companies are already contemplating high returns and a bright future for this system of medicine. Sane Care, for instance, looks upon itself as a Rs 100-crore company in the next three years and believes it would attain the Rs 250-cr mark in five years with pan-India expansion through the franchise route.

Potential and requisites

As Ayurveda's popularity grows overseas, patients from across the world have started coming to India in large numbers for treatment. But there are many who are unable to travel to India for treatment. They seek ayurvedic treatment in their own country. As a result the demand for ayurvedic doctors is on the rise in India and abroad. The customised treatment for each individual, providing permanent cure for ailments with herbal medicines, panchkarma therapy, naturopathic therapies and other therapies underscore a great potential in Ayurveda which can be exploited to make this business venture a profitable one.

There are, of course, certain requisites to be fulfilled before one acquires the franchise of an ayurvedic clinic or a healthcare centre.

For instance, to become a franchisee of Deep Ayurveda one should have own/rented space of minimum 1000 to 1,500 sq ft in an accessible, central area, a background and competence in running any type of business, as well as a retail experience, besides an investment of Rs 12-15 lakh for a complete panchkarma centre and Rs 2-3 lakh for an ayurvedic clinic.

As for the franchise of Madhavbaug of Sane Care, a total investment of Rs 7-10 lakh and an area of 800 -1,200 sq ft are required to clinch the deal.

Marketing Strategy

Ayurveda is not limited to products alone but exists in every aspect of the healthcare industry. A successful business venture in any sector or industry requires a combination of logistics and marketing of a brand, and this is equally true for ayurvedic products and services.

Quality of the service is the key to ensuring satisfaction and wellness of customers. Every ayurvedic product is evaluated on a range of parameters pertaining to the ingredients and the ratio of constituents, and their effect on the human body is also ascertained. They are also evaluated for compliance with all relevant national and international standards. “Our qualified team of ayurvedic doctors examines, evaluates and studies the efficacy of each of our ayurvedic preparations which are marketed by us. To sustain and enhance our standards of excellence in the healthcare industry, we have tied up with some of the most respected ayurvedic pharmacies. We are using quality medicines for our panchkarma centres and all packing and packaging of medicines are of world class level and are GMP (good manufacturing practice) certified,” informs Sharma.

Current presence and roll out plan

Operational since 1999, Madhavbaug clinic at Dombivali is curing patients with heart disease, diabetes, blood pressure, piles, arthritis, ladies' health problems, etc. Madhavbaug boasts of 75 franchised units and 40 company owned units operational in India while plans to open more than 200 new franchised centres by 2013 targeting Tier- I and II cities and towns of Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka and Chhattisgarh via the franchise route.

On the hand, Deep Ayurveda plans to roll out its clinics and panchkarma centres in Chandigarh, Amritsar, Ludhiana, Patiala, Bathinda, Pathankot, Hoshiarpur, Panchkula, Kapurthala, Phagwara, Ambala, Karnal and Kurukshetra by the end of this year via franchising, while through online consultation the brand aims to reach out to the people all over the world.

FRANCHISE FACTS

Deep Ayurveda

Area (in sq.ft): 1,000-1500

Investment

Panchkarma Centre: Rs 12-15 lakh

Ayurvedic Clinic: Rs 2-3 lakh

Madhavbaug (Sane Care)

Area (in sq.ft): 800-1200

Investment: Rs 7-10 lakh

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