Ayurveda has seen a roller coaster ride in the Indian industry.
Once the mainstay of Indian medical knowledge and science, it became an ‘alternative’ system of medicine, practiced and usually followed by devout followers.
It may have developed here, but as the spread of allopathic drugs took over, it became a distinct second.
Ayurvedic pharma companies in India are slowly but surely, making a comeback.
Ayurvedic Pharma Companies Future in India
Luckily, Ayurveda has made a comeback of sorts. It was never entirely gone from the medical field.
In many rural areas, Ayurveda accounted for almost 80% of the medical consolations and treatment. However, this was a largely unorganized and informal sector.
In many cases, Ayurvedic physicians worked independently, even making their medicines. In urban areas, Ayurveda has always had dedicated followers.
These were usually small clinics or lone physicians—most of the time, the clinics made their Ayurvedic formulations.
The medicines used were rarely the same when compared to two different clinics. In other words, Ayurveda was almost similar to a small-scale medical practice with a cottage industry to support it.
This made it ill-equipped to handle the invasion of allopathic medicine and the even more significant presence of powerful multinational pharmaceutical companies.
As a result, Ayurvedic medicine and the industry was relegated to the fringes, primarily confined to people who believed in it. However, this following remained strong, especially in rural areas.
Ayurveda in the post-Liberalisation era
In the past two decades, this scenario has changed again. Liberalisation gave a new lease of life to the Indian pharmaceutical industry, and the Ayurvedic pharma companies were not far behind.
Although it was feared that competition with big companies would harm the Indian pharma sector, the reality has proven otherwise.
The Indian pharma sector today leads the world trade in generic drugs, and the Ayurvedic industry is also climbing.
So, how did liberalization change the Ayurvedic pharma companies in India?
- It brought in increased funds.
- Technical expertise in setting up manufacturing units.
- Exposure to international marketing tactics and scenarios
- It provided an opportunity for Indian Ayurvedic companies to explore new markets.
- Enabled them to seek partnerships with international firms that could provide them with much-needed financial, operational, and marketing support.
- Underscored the necessity of compliance with international standards.
- We have developed a competitive instinct among Indian industries, with particular attention paid to every tiny factor, such as packaging.
As a result, Ayurveda has become a more mainstream medical system with several hospitals and recognized physicians.
Many big corporations are in the field today, and they have made their mark both in the domestic market and internationally.
Enter the FMCG Sector
One of the significant developments of Ayurveda in India occurred with the entry of several big FMCG companies in the field.
While some of these have always had a small production of Ayurvedic products, increased demand has seen an expansion in more than one product.
These range from medical products like cough syrups to cosmetic products. The entry of the FMCG sector has been a game changer for Ayurvedic pharma companies in India.
Big corporations brought in big money, extensive marketing campaigns, and improved manufacturing, production, distribution, and packing.
The Ayurvedic pharma industry was finally poised to become a significant player.
The worldwide herbal industry (in which Ayurveda is counted) in 2015 was valued at USD 80 bn. By 2050 the market is expected to reach USD 6 trillion!
The Indian pharma companies are now uniquely poised to take advantage of this. As one of the leading sectors in the field, interest in Indian exports is naturally high.
In 2015 the Indian Ayurvedamarket was at approximately Rs 4205 crores. The export of Ayurvedic and herbal products is estimated at Rs. 440 crores. Experts predict this number will be at an impressive Rs. 27000 crores by 2029.
The Ayurvedic pharma companies in India are poised to take off. But there are particular challenges that the sector must overcome, such as establishing a more recognized validation, tighter control on sourcing of raw materials, and a more comprehensive infrastructure.