For 34 years, this Delhi-based company has been using Ayurveda to cure diseases; clocks Rs 75 Cr turnover
India has a long history of using the age-old practice of Ayurveda to treat human ailments. Also known as the ‘mother of all healing systems’, Ayurveda was usually taught orally for thousands of years, and the knowledge has transcended through its followers.
The beginning of Ayurvedic company Maharishi Ayurveda also harks back to the time when Swami Brahmanand Saraswati, Shankaracharya of Jyotirmath, preached that ‘life is bliss’, and that ‘life reflects itself in suffering and stress when people do not accord with nature.’
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi took it upon himself to spread this message, along with propagating the Vedic sciences like Yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda.
Anand Srivastava, Founder, Maharishi Ayurveda
Incorporated in 1986, Maharishi Ayurveda was created by Anand Srivastava with an aim to rid people of their suffering, and thereby, create a ‘disease-free society’.
In an interaction with SMBStory, Anand says,
“I connected with Maharishi Ji in the 1970s and was a follower of his teachings. My inclination towards Ayurveda started from there seeing the profundity of this science. Hence, with Maharishi Ji’s blessings, I thought to spread this knowledge and science by bringing forth Maharishi Ayurveda.”
Beginning the journey
For decades, ayurvedic medicines were sold in small wrapping papers and their circulation was limited. Even though traditional medicines had existed for centuries, there were very few people who were spreading the knowledge. Anand says,
“Maharishi Ji used to tell us that Ayurveda has the potential to eliminate the disease from society. You see, modern medicine only suppresses or balances the symptoms, it doesn’t cure. The ayurvedic treatment takes long, but it has the prospect to cure as it works on an individual and not the disease.”
Product range by Maharishi Ayurveda
The brand Maharishi Ayurveda inherited the classical formulations for medicines from the Vedic texts. Anand, along with Dr Balaraj Maharishi and others, developed the medicines for the brand.
The company started by setting up a manufacturing plant in SEZ Noida and later expanded to Faridabad and Baddi in Himachal Pradesh. In a span of 34 years, Maharishi Ayurveda diversified its product categories and now clocks Rs 75 crore turnover annually. The company also exports to the US, Europe, Australia, and other international markets.
Maharishi Ayurveda locally sources herbs — like Amla from Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh; Harhar from Madhya Pradesh; Ashwagandha and Shatavari from Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
Challenges and competition
The current global Ayurveda industry stands at around $5 billion, with a healthy CAGR of 16 percent. This growth is expected to continue for the next decade. The Ayurveda companies can be categorised as traditional Ayurveda companies like Baidyanath, AIMIL, Dhootpapeshwar, etc. Consumer-led FMCG companies like Dabur, Emami, etc and wellness companies backed by research like Himalaya.
“Maharishi Ayurveda falls into the wellness zone as the company back its products and services with robust research evidence as well as internationally accepted certified manufacturing processes. This gives additional value to an Ayurveda Company, and this is our differentiator. We draw inspiration from our Ayurvedic texts but present our products in the most modern formats,” Anand tells SMBStory.
He says the biggest challenge is of the supply chain, adding that as an Ayurveda business, the company is dependent on multiple herbs being harvested from different parts of the country. The company is based on systems, and finds it challenging to have the same systems being implemented down the line to the very beginning of the supply chain — that is the farmer.
Over the years, the company has trained many farmers to turn to organic farming.
The other big challenge is ‘international regulatory’. Ayurveda comes under the ‘food supplement segment’ in the western world. This restricts the growth in the international markets.
The way ahead
Talking about the future prospects of the company, Anand says that Ayurveda is a sunrise industry. The company is also planning to establish nodule centres for training farmers and supporting them in growing herbs by supplying quality raw materials. It says the move will help generate farmer incomes. Going forward, Maharishi Ayurveda also plans to develop a direct-to-consumer channel with a disproportionate focus on the digital channels.