#005 - 🌿 Ayurveda 2.0 Trends in India

The modernisation of a 5,000 year tradition.

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“The yoga industry is worth over $84 billion worldwide” (I saw many numbers online and picked a big one). Yoga’s commercial value has been realised in far greater numbers by non-Indian entrepreneurs despite India’s first-mover advantage of a few thousand years. We’re seeing the same happening to Hemp which has been used in India for millenia but the global narrative is dominated by other countries.

The Global Ayurveda industry was about $3.5 billion in 2015 with $3 billion out of that from India itself. The Global Wellness Industry, however, is a $4.5 trillion market with traditional medicine constituting $360 billion in 2018. Why can’t Ayurveda be a bigger chunk of this market? What is stopping Ayurveda from becoming a global force like Yoga? What can Indian entrepreneurs do to change this global narrative?

But first - they probably need to crack the Indian Market itself. The Indian consumer is also changing fast and so is their relationship with Ayurveda. We explore the opportunity of building an Ayurvedic business in this week’s newsletter.

🧐 Market Gap

🥊 Players


Drugs for Human Consumption

  1. Ayurvedic Drug Manufacturers Association (ADMA)

  2. The Himalaya Drug Company

  3. Patanjali Ayurved

  4. Dabur

  5. Kerela Ayurveda

  6. Matsya Veda

  7. Millenium Herbals

Venture Funded Startups

  1. Oziva - $5 million

  2. Dr. Vaidya’s - $4.6 million

    • “Offers ayurvedic products to treat illness and to maintain wellness.”

    • Watch out for our Podcast with Dr. Vaidya’s founder Arjun Vaidya.

  3. Kapiva Ayurveda - $2.5 million

  4. Akiva Superfoods - $2.5 million

  5. &Me - $2.1 million

    • Female focused solutions.

  6. 1Balance - $2 million

  7. The Ayurveda Experience - $1.4 million

    • US Focused

  8. Aadar - $250k

  9. Gynoveda - Undisclosed from Fireside Ventures

    • Female focused solutions.

Veterinary Medicines and Feed Supplements (700cr market 😱)

  1. Dabur Ayurvet - 110cr revenue in FY17

  2. Himalaya Herbal Healthcare

  3. Ayursun Pharma

Cosmetic Products

  1. Kama Ayurveda - 110 cr revenue - 100 cr investment pledge from Puig.

  2. Forest Essentials - 40% ownership by Estee Lauder.

  3. Soultree - Lotus Herbals acquired SoulTree for $13 million.

  4. Amrutam - Also sells health care products

  5. Shaz & Kiks - US Based.

  6. Inatur - Bootstrapped with 9cr revenue.

  7. Nourish Mantra - US Based

  8. Zymo Cosmetics - Private Label Ayurvedic Cosmetics

  9. Krya


The services section can be broken up into:

  • Consultations (online or offline) through Ayurvedic Doctors & Nurses

  • Hospitals & Clinics

  • Dispenseries

  • Ayurvedic Spas & Wellness Centres

The services sector is more heterogeneous than the manufacturing sector because of the low capital requirements. However, companies like Jiva have been able modernise and consolidate the

Jiva Ayurveda - 90cr Revenue - Read their story here.


🙏 Our Predictions

  • The key to opening up the Ayurveda market is going to be standardisation, research and validation.

    • R&D will provide the legitamacy required for Ayurveda to suceed in the modern world.

    • Standardisation by government or industry bodies will create a safe environment for consumers.

  • The myriad players entering the Ayurvedic space with large VC cheques will drive consumer awareness, opening up the space for even more players.

  • The Ayurvedic startup sector is still struggling with supply chains and logistics and “the other complexities of claim validation, building trust, and creating the right sources and manufacturing processes”.

    • As more money pours into this sector, these problems will eventually need to be solved, just like the cold chain problem continues to be solved right now.

  • Attitudes in the Western World towards China have shifted dramatically over the past year.

    • The Ministry of AYUSH, and the Government as a whole, have the opportunity to push Ayurveda on a Global level. Predicting the Government’s success is beyond our best supercomputers.

    • To launch Ayurveda on a global scale, standardisation and quality control are essential.

  • Technology has already shifted the way the industry works.

    • As telemedecine deepens and Direct to Consumer brands flourish, small dispenseries and hospitals may lose out to digital first brands.

🛒 Opportunities

  • Create modern content around Ayurveda to help consumers understand the relevant products for themselves.

    • Baba Ramdev has been a content producer who marketed Patanjali to its enormous success.

    • We say this in every edition of the newsletter and we’ll say it again - start with building your Audience First.

  • Start a consumer facing Ayurvedic brand - it has never been easier.

    • A bunch of US based/focused Ayurvedic brands are now popping up - why not look at International markets as your target segment?

    • Kama Ayurveda and Forest Essentials showed everyone the potential of a luxury Ayurvedic brand.

  • Manufacture for private labels - also a large export potential.

  • Build a marketplace for Ayurvedic products.

  • Enable Customer Trust:

    • Start a certification body, such as The Fairtrade Foundation, to certify that products match the Ayurvedic standards to build customer trust.

    • Set-up a testing lab for companies to verify their raw ingredients or final products to build customer trust.

    • Content creation also enables customer trust.

  • Build a farm focused on Ayurvedic herbs grown as per traditional needs.

    • Getting consistent high quality supplies is an issue with large players sourcing from multiple small farms and locations. For example, “the roses for (Kama Ayurveda’s) products are sourced from Kannauj, the saffron is sourced from Kashmir and the Indigo is grown in Kama Ayurveda’s own organic garden in Coimbatore”

    • Modern farming practices do not mesh with the traditional requirements of Ayurveda in addition to the “low-quality air, water pollution, soil pollution and an abundant use of insecticides and pesticides”.

  • Start an Ayurvedic Old Age Home.

🥡 Takeaways

  • Ayurveda is modernising across the entire supply chain.

  • Consumers are consuming more wellness products - in India & abroad.

  • More Government focus on Ayurveda.

🧐 Looking to explore this market?

You can drop us an email and we’ll do our best to connect you to relevant people.

Email Us

📉 Challenges

“How do you even know these products work?”

This is where clinical trials, standardisation & certification will play a key role.

“Ayurveda is just a fad amongst these hipsters.”

A 5000 year old fad doubling every few years.

“These herbs are full of chemicals & pesticides”

It’s a common problem across our food chain - we need to get more serious about soil pollution.

🦋 Share the research with your Friends


🔗 Links

  1. Origin And Development Of Ayurveda (A Brief History)

  2. Returning to roots: Resurgence of Ayurveda and Indian ethos

  3. Luxury Ayurveda brands could be India’s entry to lucrative global beauty business

  4. Ayurveda Industry - Market Size, Strength and Way Forward - Lengthy report that goes into detail about the different parts of the Ayurvedic market.

  5. Ayurveda 2.0 - On the Cusp of Change - Lengthy report looking at the changing landscape of Ayurveda.

  6. Heal At Home: by Dr. Vaidya's - Podcast about Ayurveda.

  7. How to start an Ayurvedic Manufacturing Unit and Types of Manufacturing License for Ayurvedic / Herbal medicines

  8. USA - Canada Regulations & Ayurveda Practice

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