The resurgence of Covid-19 across the country has led to people everywhere become fixated on their immune systems while the pandemic has continued to overwhelm the healthcare systems of most countries, including India. In such a situation, complementary and alternative therapies have become quite popular among citizens. People are adopting the holistic approach to health and Ayurveda is globally acclaimed for its preventive healthcare properties and treatment of many chronic lifestyle disorders. The recent rise in awareness about Ayurveda’s holistic approach has led to rise in the number of players offering wellness therapies and curative treatments. The ongoing pandemic has caused a steep rise in demand for treatment packages, healing sessions, and even ayurvedic products. In fact, the Ayurveda economy has witnessed up to 90 percent growth since the pandemic.
Birla Ayurveda is one such firm that employs a plethora of services ranging from a combination of special revitalization and purification therapies coupled with nutritional guidance and herbal medicines for the prevention and treatment of body ailments.
Ashish Thakur, Business Head, Birla Ayurveda, avers, “Birla Ayurveda is a one-stop platform for all individuals to get a holistic approach to Ayurveda in their leading life, its an adaption of natural formulation and herbs. While we started with therapies, with a positive response from our customer base, we expanded to other services including naturopathy, Ayurveda treatments, dietary agenda, to even personal care products. Birla Ayurveda is a trusted name and we have been growing on the back of our offerings and services and also the potential this market holds. Ayurveda is globally acclaimed and according to a Nielsen report, the Ayurveda market in India was valued at Rs 300 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach Rs 710.87 billion by 2024, expanding at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.06 percent.”
Ashish further talks about the functioning of the brand and its strategies to innovate during the current times.
What’s on offer and how pure is it?
Birla Ayurveda employs a plethora of services to ensure that the brand offers purity of mind, body, and soul.
"Ranging from a combination of special revitalization and purification therapies coupled with nutritional guidance and herbal medicines, we at Birla Ayurveda stress on the prevention of body ailments, in addition to curing them. At Birla Ayurveda, we combine authentic and time-tested therapies with the expertise of our trained therapists. These wellness therapies are aimed at curing chronic ailments like arthritis, obesity, spondylosis, hair fall, skin problems, and various lifestyle disorders. Basically, we are engaged in all segments of Ayurveda. We offer Ayurveda products at the price range of Rs 300 to Rs 800, Ayurveda treatments start at Rs 4,000 and go up to Rs 50,000, and Ayurveda therapies range between Rs 1,500 and Rs 4,000," he says.”
So, how really does a brand manage all this while ensuring it's pure and honest? It is of utmost importance for a brand in this segment to offer the best of what nature has to its discerning consumer base. Even as Birla Ayurveda does not manufacture its range of products in-house, all of its products/ medicines are verified by the Ayurveda doctors while the raw materials are tested by Ayurveda experts and procured from Kerala and other parts of the country.
“During the ongoing production or manufacturing, clinical experts test the products that are sent across to them in the form of samples for trial. If the sampled product fails to show or give an accurate result, it is sent back to the manufacturing department for rectification. Besides, from the ready batch as well, one randomly picked product is sent out for testing. Once approved, the entire product batch is sent for retail,” states Thakur.
Birla Ayurveda retails through online channels including its own website. Besides, it also retails through its vendor base and its centers and stores located in different parts of the country.
The Covid Impact and the Way Forward
With the second wave of the pandemic calling all shots, Ayurveda centres are taking extra precautions even as they continue to take in patients for therapies and treatments. The pandemic has had its impact on the segment but the wellness centers are continuously innovating and pivoting to remain relevant and survive and these strategies are mostly successful courtesy of the popularity of Ayurveda among people.
Thakur says, “The current pandemic situation has completely changed the working pattern of the company. There is an increase in fixed cost and manpower cost. We are aware that we cannot compare pre-COVID-19 times with the current trends and that is okay. We have our strategies in place and we will strive for the same regardless of the challenges. Our e-commerce websites are updating, our centers are well sanitized and safe, online purchases via social media platforms are picking up in a big way. We take it as a positive opportunity that only brings a good outcome. Birla Ayurveda has started focusing on the production of immunity booster medicines for people to stay healthy and strong and we are sure that these will get a great response. We also provide home therapies for people to get comfort and a fearless environment at the comfort of their homes.”
The brand is further working on its marketing and promotional strategies and has included both offline and online activities. “We live in a country with more than 400 million active online users. Young consumers in the age group of 18-25 years haul their spends online. Eating healthy is the topmost priority and that’s where we need to increase our presence. Our consumers want to be remembered and considered, that’s the reason why we are enthusiastic and super active. We are working hard to increase visibility and are connecting with our target audience on social media websites by posting engaging messages, videos, visuals, bringing onboard social media influencers, bloggers, etc.,” concludes Thakur.