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AYURVEDA: THE NEXT BIG OPPORTUNITY IN RETAIL & FRANCHISING

The term Ayurveda is composed of two Sanskrit roots Ayush meaning life & Vid meaning knowledge or science. This Science of Life originated in India over 5000 years ago, making it one of the world’s oldest health care systems. It is not merely a health care system to treat ailments but a complete philosophy that encourages the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle. Ayurveda is known to be the 'Mother of all healing systems' as it predates all other healing therapies and natural medicines.

Ayurveda can be seen as one of most visible faces of alternative medicines practiced throughout the world. In India, it has regained its lost ground in mass appeal along with renewed interest for it in the west. There has been noticed a renewed tendency to turn back towards natural cure. Therefore, herbal therapies, natural medicines and yoga centres have made a huge comeback. The Indian government supports research and teaching in Ayurveda through many channels at both the national and state levels. World Health Organization statistics demonstrate traditional medicine as being the primary system of health care. In neighbouring Sri Lanka, the number of traditional Ayurveda practitioners is greater than trained modern medicine professionals.

Ayurveda has a brilliant future in India as a business proposition due to the ever increasing demand for natural therapies. This huge demand is driven due to various factors like the stressful working culture, exhaustive lifestyle, the endless quest of peace, the growing ailments with less healthy environment. Today, people are on a constant run for serenity and are ready to splurge for the services that can offer them the same in a natural way, which leads to Ayurveda posing a welcome break for all.

The methods of cure related to Ayurvedic massages, herbal therapy, yoga and traditional surgery are catching everyone’s imagination very fast and promise to be the next big thing in the medical and wellness industry. This translates into a huge potential in the market for the different verticals that Ayurveda spans out in times to come. It has the unique advantage of having something to offer for every class of the society. The opportunity is really vast as it spans through all the possible verticals like Yoga centres, Ayurvedic spas and Herbal medicines. Yoga centres are growing at a rate never seen before as are spas that offer herbal treatment. Combined with the recent trends of increasing acceptance of natural medication, this accounts for a huge potential in the up and coming times for Ayurvedic products.

The business prospects amounts to a $20 billion ready market, which is growing at a very fast rate and would become a $5 trillion market worldwide by 2050. It goes without saying that large portions of this market would be centred in India being the origin. The total size of the Indian Ayurvedic market is INR 50 billion and it is growing substantially at a rate between 10-15 percent, with the same growth rate targeted for the next 10 years.

There are two big advantages in this industry to be gained by prospective investors. First, that it is recession proof – as the healthcare industry has always been. Second, it reaches out to a larger chunk of target consumers across all income groups. As such, this happens to be a great time to be in the Ayurveda market as it is expected to grow exponentially in the next few years. The fact that Ayurveda provides a viable business opportunity is borne out by the long and successful runs of several brands in this field that include Dabur (launched 1884), Amrutanjan (launched 1893), Himalaya (launched 1930), Baidyanath (launched 1917), VICCO (launched 1952) and many more!

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