The world, today, has been fighting the worst kind of crisis that can ever take place in the form of the Covid-19 pandemic and while this has brought people’s attention towards health and immunity building, the pandemic has also made people think about their mental health, in ways they had never paid attention ever, before. And this has brought a fundamental shift and inclination of consumers towards natural herbs and Ayurveda. Recognized for ages as one of the ancient streams of medical science which uses the goodness of rare natural herbs to cure a lot of ailment and stress and anxiety, Ayurveda is being used by a number of newer brands in the health and wellness segment to treat ailments and to maintain health and wellbeing by balancing the mind, body, and spirit.
The market for Ayurvedic and herbal wellness products is expected to reach US$ 9.5 billion by 2024 and businesses/ start-ups should pay attention to this potential and lucrative market, for better growth.
According to IBEF, the Indian Ayurveda industry has several large players, with the micro, small and medium enterprises capturing 80 percent market share.
Vikas Chawla, Founder & Director, Vedas Cure, avers, “People are becoming more aware of Ayurveda's benefits and role in strengthening immunity, and the pandemic provides an ideal chance for traditional medicine to achieve global recognition. PM Narendra Modi stated that "Ayurveda might accurately be defined as a holistic human science" during the fourth edition of the Global Ayurveda Festival 2021, which was attended by over 25 countries. The Indian government, led by PM Modi, has stated that Ayurveda is important to them. As the Ayurveda market in India is believed to be worth US$ 2 billion and expanding at double digits, businesses and start-ups should focus on Ayurveda products and contribute to the larger goal of providing Indian households with side-effect-free remedies to various diseases and disorders.”
India has the potential to become a health and wellness hub, attracting investments and creating additional jobs and the government has set a target of increasing spending on health care from the current 1.3 percent to 3 percent of its GDP by 2022 and this seems in line with the continuously growing popularity of Ayurvedic products among the millennial population at domestic and global levels.
“In the recent year, sales of these herbs have risen considerably. Because it does not require a doctor's prescription, it is also used as a supplement. Ayurveda is capable of treating a variety of lifestyle disorders, including diabetes and piles. Young people are becoming more aware of the benefits of mixing Ayurveda with evidence-based therapy, and they are increasingly embracing Ayurvedic products,” maintains Chawla.
What’s on Offer?
Ayurveda is known to cure and treat ailments without causing adverse effects on the body or mind and Vedas Cure is riding on this USP with its range of products and health care services for diseases and ailments.
Chawla explains, “Our key strength is our product formulation and selection of high-quality natural herbs to alleviate the disease to its entire extent. With over 40 years of experience in product development and formulation, we have cured thousands of patients suffering from many diseases in the most cost-effective, gentle, and natural way. We have over 200 products that are absolutely natural and made of pure herbs. Herbs and Ayurvedic proprietary medicines should only be taken after seeking professional advice. After identifying the problem, we suggest the appropriate medication and dose; this is why we have a specialized team of healthcare specialists who interact with clients and provide a one-on-one consultation to achieve the best potential outcomes. For almost all lifestyle disorders, we have created very good formulation and composition."
"We're developing new treatments to treat neurological conditions like migraines, depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. We intend to launch essential oils for skin and mental well-being in addition to Ayurvedic herbs. For example, jojoba and kumkumadi oils are healthy for the skin; lavender oil composed of Tagar, is helpful for mental health and insomnia. Fat Care, a new product that will be launched next month, is on the way. We'll also offer Ayurvedic treatments for psoriasis, vitiligo, and other skin conditions. We're developing a concept called sound healing, in which we create sound vibrations through singing goals, and these vibrations induce deep sleep and relaxation in the listener,” he adds.
Vedas Cure only operates through online mediums and would continue the same channel, given the accessibility and acceptance of online medicine. The brand does not believe in thorough marketing strategies or physical expansion and intends to reach even the remotest of areas through word of mouth and referrals.
“Our CRM contains information on over 6 lakh users who use our products. As a result, we don't need to advertise them. If we provide them with excellent service and a quality product, they will refer us to others. We aim to please every one of our customers, so we have 30-35 individuals using CRM software that talk to them and take their comments. If the customer is dissatisfied, we return the merchandise and replace it with a new personalized item. Our goal is to deliver the finest service possible, thus we have a service strategy in place and rely on referrals from customers who have purchased our products,” prides Chawla.
A qualified team of experts sources all the herbs for this D2C Ayurveda brand. They analyze the quality of the raw materials and pick the best quality ingredients to ensure that the customers get the best product without any compromise on the quality. The brand’s manufacturing units are in Haridwar and Bhiwadi.
Vedas Cure has recently introduced a non-invasive line of treatment for hemorrhoids that ensures remedy without surgery. It has also developed a unique herbal formulation composed of excellent herbs that effectively control the problem of pigmentation. The three-step program to get rid of pigmentation includes three products – Pigmento Care, Aarogyavardhani Vati, and Anti-pigmentation Gel.
The D2C Push
While the Ayurveda health and wellness segment is continuously on a growth trajectory, what’s working for the brands/ start-ups in the segment is connecting directly with their consumers, eliminating the middlemen. The year since the pandemic has been a witness to a number of brands adopting this business model and even consumers are opting for brands that are directly connecting and engaging with them.
In order to seamlessly connect with its customer base, Vedas Cure uses SaaS solutions that facilitate the entire retail process for sales, marketing, and other aspects of the business. The direct-to-consumer (D2C) approach allows firms to reach out directly to their target customers, bypassing the traditional business model's inherent flaws, such as middlemen and retail storefronts. Brands are increasingly taking full advantage of the situation and conducting business directly with consumers.
Advising fellow D2C brands, Chawla says, “For any D2C brand, storytelling should be a key component of their marketing approach. It aids in the creation of a genuine connection between the brand personality and the identity of the customer. In their campaigns and marketing communications, brands must stress product distinctiveness and high quality. To win new-age discerning consumers, D2C firms should invest in AI-based consumer intelligence technology. To provide customized attention and an immersive experience, make the most of the humanistic element by using live chat, video conferencing, WhatsApp calling, and other methods. To establish customers' trust, it's also critical to have solid return/refund policies.”
The Way Ahead
Even as Ayurveda has been here for a very long time, Indian consumers have very recently realized the real potential and benefits of this medical science and gradually started switching from chemical-based medicines to safe, natural products. There definitely have been challenges in the growth of this segment, but with the government’s intervention and growing interest of the consumer base in Ayurveda, the category is slated for phenomenal growth.
Chawla points, “Certain enhancements are required, such as the provision of stronger infrastructure for Ayurvedic hospitals that lack contemporary technology and diagnostic methods. This is an issue for Ayurvedic practitioners because specific tools are necessary to identify modern disorders, such as a sugar level, blood pressure machine, and so on.”