How Baidyanath entered the e-commerce game 20 years ago with Allayurveda
Allayurveda.com is a multi-vendor aggregator of natural and Ayurvedic products across lifestyle, healthcare, personal care, wellness, childcare as well as FMCG. The site is an end-to-end platform that provides content, consultation and e-commerce.
After witnessing the dotcom boom in the US, the Baidyanath group started India’s first Ayurvedic and natural wellness platform. It was launched in 1998 with the aim of selling all Baidyanath products online. Today, the company has transformed its platform to be an aggregator in the Ayurvedic industry. It has over 35 vendors, 100 consultants, and 2,500 listed products.
“In early 2016, we started noticing that there was a massive amount of traffic coming in without any marketing, which meant people were accepting Ayurveda in their daily lives. It was an opportunity for us to make Allayurveda a standalone entity and tap the online consumer base,” says Ameve Sharma, 30, Director, Baidyanath Group.
The Ayurveda system of medicine, which dates back to 5,000 years, is still relevant. Ameve claims it is widely practised across the world as part of natural healing remedies. The Allayurveda platform offers three services, namely content, doctor consultations and a ‘shop’ option.
The website has a dedicated Knowledge Centre where one can access all the content from industry experts and blogs. After the e-consultation sessions, one also can buy the products from the website.
Jeevika Tyagi, CEO, Allayurveda explains: “It works on a knowledge-based formula, where one accumulates the knowledge, becomes aware of the root cause and is later cured completely. We understood that cycle of Ayurveda and accordingly revamped our website.”
The company claims sales of over Rs 1.9 crore in the domestic market during 2016-2017. Their total sales stood at Rs 3.2 crore, the average ticket-size being Rs 1,000.
Jeevika’s personal journey with Ayurveda
A graduate of Drexel University, Jeevika heads the team at Allayurveda. She previously worked with the edtech company, Purple Squirrel, which was backed by Matrix Partners and shut down late last year, besides Fleet and New York Film Academy.
While growing up, Jeevika had acne prone skin. And, even after a number of medications and treatments, the problem did not go away.
“When my parents asked me to consult an Ayurvedic practitioner for the acne, I didn't pay much attention and took it as another drill. However, when I realised that the root cause had been solved, it boosted my self-esteem and changed my entire lifestyle.”
Since then Jeevika has been using Ayurvedic products. During her stint with the New York Film Academy, she started looking for opportunities to work in the field of Ayurveda and natural medicine.
It was around that time Allayurveda was looking for someone to spearhead its business. And Ameve hailing from a marketing background, was able to find and meet Jeevika, thanks to several corporate connections.
Beginning her journey as Allayurveda’s CMO, Jeevika rose to become the CEO of the company within two years.
“After my engagement with the platform, my knowledge of the science has increased. I have realised how relevant Ayurveda had been in my past. As the Ayurvedic study needs years of learning and development, we have built a team of experts to advance and transfer the same to our Indian and overseas consumers.”
Patanjali distributors on board; products to be listed soon
India has also achieved global prominence for its vast Ayurvedic product range and is emerging as a preferred destination for medical tourism.
The company claims that 50 percent of its clients are from overseas. The products are widely shipped to countries in Europe, the United States and Asia. The team at Allayurveda has 15 members on board.
Allayurveda also has a line of FMCG and F&B products. Presently, almost 70 percent of the sales come from its sister brands — Baidyanath, Good Care and Kapiva — but this is changing. Soon, they will list products from Patanjali. Also on the anvil is an app for mobile friendly consumers.
“We will launch a lifestyle app in January 2018. It will help schedule all the diet and exercise plans. A user can customise as per his/her daily routine, assisted by the experts, in this process,,” adds Jeevika.
Allayurveda is fully backed by the Baidyanath Group and is all set to raise a Series A funding with them.
What differentiates them from others is the expert content. Jeevika says, “The in-house doctors, the experts work relentlessly to make the content SEO friendly. We are backed by a 100-year legacy and have built that trust in our users.”
With free doctor consultations, they claim to do two lakh sessions a month and fulfil 500 orders a day.
The government along with AYUSH ministry has opened a number of AYUSH institutes and AYUSH yoga institutes in various parts of the country. This has positively influenced the market. Some of the major players in the market include Dabur, Himalaya Drug Company, Patanjali and others.
According to a recently released TechSci Research report, India’s Ayurvedic products market is projected to register a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16 percent during the period 2016-2021. Increasing awareness of the benefits of Ayurvedic products, government initiatives to encourage usage, rising purchasing power to drive demand for Ayurvedic products in India will aid this growth.
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