“India’s first medically focused Naturopathy”
The naturopathy movement in India has found its first citadel in Gujarat. Swas Healthcare founded by Sanjay Singh is India’s first naturopathy clinic and hospital that is providing treatments that are medically focused. Yourstory leant more from the Young Entrepreneur about Swas Healthcare and Naturopathy medicine.
What is Naturopathy and how does Swas Healthcare use it as a form of medicine?
Swas Healthcare is setting up India’s first chain of Naturopathy clinics and hospitals. We currently have 1 hospital in Kutch and 3 clinics in Rajkot and Ahmedabad. Through use of traditional medicine, namely Naturopathy, Ayurveda, and Yoga, we provide good quality, safe, and affordable treatment for chronic diseases. We provide treatments for several medical conditions like Chronic Kidney Disorders, Ulcerative Colitis, Arthritis, where traditional medicine has a superior solution, apart from treating common chronic disorders like Diabetes, Hypertension, Asthma, Obesity, Chronic GI tract problems.
Where can one find Swas Healthcare and get Naturopathy treatments?
Swas Healthcare (www.swashealthcare.com) currently has operations only in Gujarat. So while clinics mainly serve the people in its vicinity, people from across the world come to our hospitals for treatment. In last 3 years of operations, we have had people from 31 nationalities, ranging from Guatemala, Kenya to USA, visiting our hospital in Kutch. Our hospital normally receives about 500 patients in a year while clinics serve about 1000 people each.
What about Swas Healthcare makes it the first of its kind in India?
We are first and only chain of Naturopathy clinics and hospitals in India.
We are more medically focused than most nature cure centers.
We provide affordable, safe, and effective healthcare solutions for chronic diseases through use of traditional medicine.
Most of our revenue comes from stay and treatment of patients in hospitals and from consulting and treatment in clinics. As we build our network and our services become more accessible, clinics would act as referral point for advanced cases, would treat early stage cases, and also provide follow up services for old cases.
Are there any plans to expand outside of Gujarat?
We plan to scale up by setting up several clinics across Gujarat and then expand our network of clinics and hospitals to other states in western region.
What made you set up a venture in Naturopathy?
At the very root, I wanted to do something more meaningful. Something that can benefit a large no of people and also help me earn a respectful righteous livelihood.
What would you change about your entrepreneurial journey if you could?
I waited too long to start the operation. I would have learnt more working than contemplating and designing an ideal solution.
How did you fund Swas Healthcare and how much did you invest?
It was friends and family who provided the seed capital. It was Rs 50 lakh. We also had commitment of a larger sum from a friend whom I had helped earlier and he had made it big by the time we started our venture. Though we finally didn’t need that money and hence didn’t take it. We have grown about 50% year on year and now have 4 branches and about 20 employees on board.
What was the turning point for Swas Healthcare on its road to success?
Seed capital was just good enough to demonstrate our basic capabilities. Since then we have been able to bring in Institutional Investor, Aavishkaar, on board. This we did at the darkest time of financial markets, in March 2009. We are using that capital to build our first hub and spoke unit in Gujarat.
What are the long term goals that motivate you?
One is the goal that we have in mind. It is big and having a real shot at achieving it drives us. Secondly, when we see our patients making the journey from “hope in eyes” to “smiling faces” it gives us immense strength to continue our efforts in spite of all hurdles.
Our goal for 2010 is to have in place our first hub and spoke model in Gujarat and ready our organization to grow on an exponential pace.
What other talents aside from entrepreneurship have you been successful in?
I was a decent cross country runner in my school but never came tops. In one race I was ahead of everyone else. Close to finish line, a friend came from behind (he had been unsuccessfully trying to overtake me for sometime) and asked me to let him come first. Something told me to let him have his wish. That was perhaps the best second award I have received. Yes, “best people do finish second”.
What should an entrepreneur be ready to on their entrepreneurial journey?
Start quick and dirty – don’t wait till you have the perfect solution
Always keep an eye on the cash flow – make some bucks on the side whenever possible. In the beginning, all this extra cash would help you stay put during tough times and sometimes also spin into a new revenue streams.
Always have a reason beyond money to do what you are trying to do.
Yourstory thanks Sanjay for his time and invaluable insights into his entrepreneurial venture. We wish him good fortune and hope that all his patients find succor at Swas Healthcare.