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How 5000 year-old Ayurveda is adapting to digital commerce

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Naman Dhamija
Naman Dhamija
Founder and managing director of Dharishah Ayurveda.

As traditional wisdom is converging with contemporary technology and changing consumer preferences, the entire Ayurveda industry is moving towards a new-age world

New Delhi: The roots of Ayurveda trace back to 5000 years in India. It is an ancient medical practice that has started experiencing a renaissance in the modern world. As traditional wisdom is converging with contemporary technology and changing consumer preferences, the entire Ayurveda industry is moving towards a new-age world. The evolving transition from conventional pharmacies to the dynamic landscape of e-commerce and retail has not only broadened the market’s reach but has also ushered in a wave of innovation and personalized treatments. According to the Forum on Indian Traditional Medicine (FITM) in 2014-15 the market size of the Ayush industry was 2.85 billion and in 2020 it increased to 18.1 billion. 

Originally rooted in traditional pharmacies, Ayurveda earlier relied on herbal remedies and local practices. At that time, the knowledge of Ayurveda was only limited to passing down through generations and Ayurvedic products were only available in offline pharmacy outlets. People who wanted to use these traditional remedies had to visit these outlets to access the healing power of Ayurveda. 

Impact of the Pandemic on the Ayurveda Industry

The COVID-19 pandemic posed difficulties that not only reshaped long-standing conventions but also changed how consumers behaved. People started focusing more on the importance of maintaining a healthy mind and body, they started looking for foods and products that were more health-centric, leading to gaining renewed attention of Ayurveda. People started looking for ways to enhance their overall health and immunity. They started recognizing the potential benefits of Ayurvedic solutions in bolstering their resilience against the virus and overall well-being. 

After the pandemic, the evolution of new-age Ayurvedic brands played a vital role in evolving the Ayurveda industry. Today’s new-age Ayurvedic brands blend the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda with modern technology. These brands prioritize taste preferences while harnessing the power of herbs, spices, and natural ingredients, making them a preferred choice among health-conscious consumers.

Role of E-Commerce and Retail in Ayurveda

The rise of e-commerce has been a game-changer for the Ayurveda industry, allowing it to transcend geographical boundaries and tap into a global consumer base. Factors such as changes in consumer behavior, increased digital penetration, secure payment gateways, m-commerce adoption, and Cash on Delivery (CoD) options have contributed to the thriving e-commerce market for Ayurvedic products. 

The e-commerce market for Ayurveda is not only riding the digital growth wave but is also benefiting from changes in consumer behavior. Furthermore, with Ayurveda’s online presence, there is much better transparency and information exchange. Quality control standards established by the Ministry of AYUSH are also helping to boost consumer confidence, as companies are now able to apply for certification with labels such as the AYUSH Premium Mark and the AYUSH Standards Mark. Customers and patients can also speak directly with trained specialists and producers to learn more about product ingredients, applications, and dosages. 

Initiatives and Support by the Government

The Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) has launched programs like Ayush Health and Wellness Centers (AHWCs) and Ayush Information Cell which has helped increase the accessibility to Ayurvedic healthcare services, especially in rural areas. The government’s recognition of Ayurveda as a crucial form of alternative medicine has led to increased budget allocations, with a 20% rise to Rs. 3,647 crore in 2023. This has also promoted evidence-based research and integration into modern medical practices.

From traditional pharmacy to e-commerce and retail, the journey of the Ayurveda industry has been fueled by a combination of consumer awareness, government support, and innovative brands. As people understand the importance of healthy food and freshly prepared meals, the entire Ayurvedic industry is continuously evolving. Today Ayurvedic remedies are not just limited to adults, numerous new-age brands are bringing out Ayurvedic products for the little ones of the society. The blend of tradition and technology is shaping a vibrant future for Ayurveda, offering a comprehensive approach to health and well-being in an increasingly health-conscious world.

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