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Wellness Industry 2016-11-18

From medicines to personal care and cigarettes: The rise of Indian Ayurveda

Brands like Patanjali and the creation of a separate AYUSH Ministry have ensured that Ayurveda becomes the in thing today and people go natural.

By Associate Editor
From medicines to personal care and cigarettes: The rise of Indian Ayurveda

Ayurveda is a Rs 4500 crore sector in India today. With a growth rate of 16 per cent, this sector is touted to reach Rs 7000 crore by 2020. What is it that is making Ayurveda grow like never before? It is the transition of Ayurveda from ancient to modern. Ayurveda today is no more about just medication. While exports of Ayurvedic medicines have reached a value of 100 million dollars a year, Ayurveda has spread to other areas like skin care, hair care, and other consumer products.

Brands like Patanjali and the creation of a separate AYUSH Ministry have ensured that Ayurveda becomes the in thing today and people go natural. The demand for organic, natural and herbal products has risen in the past few years and consumer brands are realising the need for taking the natural route.

Ayurvedised personal care

Personal care has gone more organic in the past 2 years. With natural face washes and creams by Patanjali, Himalaya, Ayur taking the lead among consumers, organic skincare is emerging as a huge market. According to reports, organic skin is expected to reach Rs 1,000 crore in the next five years.

In fact, the trend has been seen not just in India, but globally too. According to Grand View Research, the organic personal care market is expected to reach $ 15.98 billion by 2020. As the market for organic personal care opens up, the opportunity for Ayurvedic brands to grow both nationally and internationally is huge. Brands that are open to changing themselves and adding products to their portfolio according to the rising demands are the ones that will drive the Ayurveda industry’s growth.

While Patanjali leads by example and is even looking at introducing baby care products in its kitty, brands like Adara Ayurveda under the Vasudeva Vilasam Group have also evolved with times. “After 2000, wellness tourism took a high and we realised the need to modernise our centres and hospitals. We started establishing Ayurveda resorts. The Europeans started coming and they found the medicinal value of our products,” says Dr Pradeep Jeothi, CMD, Vasudeva Vilasam Group of Companies.

Organic food and Ayurveda

Another market that Ayurveda brands have now started tapping in India is that of organic food and nutraceuticals. While Patanjali has introduced a range of energy bars, the grand old Baidyanath group has been among the leaders in food supplements.

The opportunity here is huge as the organic food market in India is one worth a huge Rs 33,000 crore. But the challenge to be met here is that of quality. “The market is really good, but I want to say this to all the players that we must maintain the quality while the business grows. If any brand goes wrong, the whole brand of Ayurveda suffers,” says Dr Krishna Kumar, Founder, Keva Ayurveda.

The Wellness Tourism Boost

Besides the products, Ayurveda treatments and spas are also on a high. The Indian medical tourism industry is expected to reach US$ 6 billion by 2018. Wellness Tourism is estimated to grow nearly 50 per cent faster than global tourism by 2017, and a significant contribution to this will come from Asia, according to a study by SRI International. While Kerala leads the way, places like Rishikesh are also seeing an inflow of tourists seeking Ayurvedic treatments.

Ayurvedic Innovation

With alarming numbers of the tobacco filled cigarettes in India, three brothers, Piyush, Gaurav and Nitin Chhabra, have come up with the concept of Ayurvedic cigarettes named Organic Smokes under the brand Mea ame and aim to compete with ITC in the future.

“We jointly ventured into our new business. It is an Ayurvedic organic therapy for smokers. We came up with this because we also were smokers, but now we’ve all quit smoking because of this product. The idea came out of smoking only. We were smoking one day, so we thought of using some other ingredients rather than tobacco. We’re from the pharma background, we also used to trade in Ayurveda. So we picked up basil, green tea, rose petals etc, made a blend and rolled it into a piece of paper and smoked it. We consulted some doctors over it too, to confirm whether it was safe. They said it was a brilliant idea to pitch in the market. We got it patented as well. In June 2015, we got patented on the first day itself as a medicine by AYUSH Ministry,” says Piyush Chhabra.

India today presents a broad scope for entrepreneurs wanting to enter the Ayurveda industry, but with a broad mindset so as to change with time. As brand Ayurveda becomes bigger in India, Dr Pratap Kushvaha, Managing Director, Ayurvita Healthcare rightly puts it, “Whether it is a small player or a big player, in our industry at present, everybody is busy. We are not being able to meet our supplies, that is the level of demand.”

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