Alternative medicine is booming in India, and these 5 startups are leading the way
With awareness about complementary medicine rising, demand is burgeoning across India and the world. These 5 Indian startups are working hard to tap this market.
The systems of alternative medicines, mainly comprising the AYUSH streams (Ayurveda, Unani, Yoga, Naturopathy, Siddha, and Homeopathy), are fast gaining traction and popularity in India. The government, in the 2018 Union Budget, increased the allocation to the AYUSH Ministry, purposed with developing education and research in these areas of medicine, by more than 13 per cent to Rs 1,626.37 crore. Backed by strong government support there is a steady increase in graduate and postgraduate institutes for the study of AYUSH medicine. Central regulatory councils are also being established to create infrastructure and put in place a strong regulatory framework.
Increased awareness of these systems of medicine is creating a burgeoning demand across India and the world. AYUSH is a $10 billion market and is expected to grow to a $15 billion market by 2020. A range of startups is working to tap this market. While some of them are working to repackage medicines and formulas offered by Ayurveda and Homeopathy, others are offering preventive and holistic treatment through the same. Customers who have been failed by conventional medicines or have suffered side-effects are being driven to these alternate sources of healing.
We list down five startups that promise alternative care with a personal touch and long-term engagement with their patients.
This startup was founded in December 2015 by husband-and-wife duo Deepti and Vishal Arora, who were also working professionals. The idea was born while trying to help a relative suffering from a rare disorder find alternative treatment. It was bootstrapped with 50 clients and about 200 practitioners, and was soon growing 25-30 percent month-on-month.
HealClinic offers online healthcare packages offering over 30 non-conventional therapies. It offers holistic products across various categories like apparel, Ayurveda products, nutritional supplements, aroma oils, rudraksha, and skin and hair care. Once a client is on board, they recommend practitioners, handhold till the end of treatment, and keep in touch post treatment to monitor progress.
In the future, the startup plans integrated clinics, and will offer preventive healthcare and early detection of illnesses. It expects to earn revenues upwards of Rs 2 crore in the coming years.
It was started in November 2014 by Dr Jawahar Shah, a Homeopathic Physician; and two of her patients who benefitted from her treatments, Punit Desai, and Nidhi Desai. ith the aim of making Homeopathy treatments and doctors more accessible to all consumers, it is now a full-blown tech platform that provides services such as doctor discovery, consultations, diet and nutrition plans, and medicine delivery through communication touch-points like live chat, video chat, telephone, and email.
Before setting up, the startup invested in two years of extensive research and now claims to have the world’s largest database of homeopathy. They now aim to service 100,000 customers each year and be the Mecca of all forms of natural medicines via the online route.
The Silver Lining
Started by Aman Chandra, this well-being startup is based in Delhi and aims to provide holistic treatment. The services include different alternative healing practices like Reiki, Theta, Pranic, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Chakra Healing, Life Coaching, Spiritual Counselling, and more. Their website provides a seamless experience in locating and connecting with the right healer. The Silver Lining believes that healing is not restricted just to the physical body and must transcend to the mind and soul, and provide a transformative experience.
The team claims to have achieved revenues of up to Rs 50,000 in the early stages of operation. They are looking to expand their operations in North India, and then to the West and the South.
Dr Arjun Rao, who returned to India after a long haul in the US, started up in 2014. He was driven by the possibility of combining the best of global medicine with traditional and time-tested methods of treatment to achieve healthy living. He set to work with the idea of transforming the medical treatment approach from curative to preventive.
Syncremedies uses the internet as a channel of communication between patients and doctors and an Electronic Medical Record platform to collect and record the history of treatment of each of its patients. The company currently clocks annual revenue of Rs 1 crore and aims to partner with firms in the US and the UK. The aim is to unite the beliefs of the patient and the doctor in integrated medicine.
CEO Arjun Vaidya, of Dr Vaidya’s, is drawing on his knowledge of Ayurveda passed down through six generations, and repackaging it to appeal to modern customers.
Dr Vaidya’s owns 96 FDA-approved formulations for Ayurvedic proprietary medicine, all produced in-house in their factory in Silvassa. From being run out of a clinic in Mumbai and through postal services during the times of his father and grandfather, Arjun has moved the business online through his own website to keep in touch with technological advancements.
Currently, their range is available online and through mom-and-pop stores in Mumbai. Driven by the increased interest in Ayurvedic products, Dr Vaidya’s aims at launching more OTP products, spread its reach across India, and then expand to the global market.