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Ayurveda Industry 12 Jun 2017

Consumers should be educated so that they can see the difference among various ayurvedic products offered to them- Anurag Mathur

Ayurveda has been garnering people’s attention and the competition has risen due to many brands venturing in the industry.

By Tanvi Jetly Feature Writer

Ayurveda has been passed down the generations ever since its existence. The Indian culture has involved various ayurvedic treatments and remedies which are still being used by the people. In a conversation with Mr Anurag Mathur, Partner- Consumer Goods and Retail, PwC India, we get to know the driving force behind the Ayurveda industry and the future of it.

Ayurveda has started to catch people’s attention after being in the market for a long time. What is your take on the same
Ayurveda has always been a part of our health and wellness conscience. It is something which has been passed down generations and has been our traditional heritage. We have been using it as a part of home remedies. What we are seeing now is credible, organised, both packaged as well as service players bringing it to the fore in the market and that is where it needs to be to build into a larger consumer conscience. We have a large trend in the country per se from moving to organised from unorganised, given as in the macroeconomic changes, lifestyle changes and driving more consumers into branded environment. Ayurveda is really on the back of that as globally, packaged foods and products are organising into branded businesses. With this, Ayurveda and other Indian heritage products are building towards that path because these are those products which we have trusted. They have been proven to be efficacious for the Indian consumers. As more efficacious formulas are built up, the consumers start to balance much more of their regimen onto this and this trend will continue to grow. So, Ayurveda field, as a natural product's market, will grow in the current market.

Do you think customers still need to be brutally aware of Ayurveda as they seem a little hesitant knowing about the ingredients of a certain product?
The critical part of this business is very much like other parts of wellness and health businesses but what sells here are naturals. There are products which are perceived naturals as they do not have anything natural in them but just a tinge or a packaging gimmick which perceives it to be containing natural ingredients down to exactly as per Ayurvedic recipe and built up exactly in the same tradition. There is a big ladder and there are a lot of products or services in between that straddle their path. So, consumers definitely need to be aware as there is a clear premium to be had for the higher end of the spectrum. Only if you are able to educate consumers, they’ll see the differentiation. If they don’t see the differentiation, the premium won’t stick and the model won’t work.

Is there a need for filtering ingredients and products in Ayurveda so that the right products reach the consumers?

The regulatory bodies and lot of the other work that goes down this path are about reaching safe products to consumers. To that extent, the bodies are able to filter out the products which are safe or non-safe in the organised domain. The rest is about creating marketing proposition around what you are building. To be called pure play Ayurveda, there is a clear recipe one has to follow. The governing bodies clearly define that but there are ways and means of adding ingredients and marketing ayurvedic proprietary medicine which are available around the world. The associations of Ayurveda and the ones which are building the businesses to some extent have got a lot to do with the ayurvedic ingredients. Ingredients like neem, sandalwood etc are some examples which are added to the products and help in building their credibility as an ayurvedic product. This is something a regulatory body cannot filter out, though they can monitor its efficacy. We, as a country, are far behind in this area and need to get much more strenuous in categorising Ayurveda.

What are your views about the future of Ayurveda industry?

The growth of Ayurveda is coming in the consciousness and it is being set up as a separate piece all together in the government. There is a desire to drive more consciousness towards it to make it grow in a manner where there are clear perception and understanding from consumers as well. So, I definitely see Ayurveda industry improving in the future.

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