Why ayurveda in Kerala should remain exclusivist

The practices and traditions of Ayurveda are steeped in Kerala's cultural history. Ayurveda hasn't been commercialised the way other 'wellness' movements have been. Partly because Ayurveda has had most of its Marketing Ps mismanaged, thus dictating the state it is in, at the moment.

The organised 'Ayurveda Industry' in Kerala, worth 600 crores, is now beginning to attract the likes of organised Retail giants in India. Joining the fray include Reliance Retail, through its Reliance Wellness unit, Hindustan Unilever Ltd’s (HUL’s) Ayush and Pantaloon Retail (India) Ltd with its Tulsi brand of Ayurveda drugs and health centres. In response to newcomer threats, Kerala’s organized Ayurveda industry is embarking on an expansion and quality improvement drive as it braces to compete.

A group of 15 Ayurveda firms in Kerala are trying to reinforce the strength of their traditional knowledge of the “science of life” with the marketing muscle needed to take it to potential consumers around the country. Vaidyaratnam Oushadasala, for example, which makes and markets Ayurvedic drugs and runs a nursing home, plans to set up 500 retail outlets across the country in two years, taking the total to 1,500.

Are such moves good enough to counter the retail biggies? I have my doubts. In fact I would recommend the traditional players to not engage in widespread expansion. It is wiser to keep Ayurveda more exclusive by limiting its 'wellness delivery' to only certain locations depending on whether such a place is conducive to its practice. Ayurveda still retains its perceptions of 'medicinal purity' simply because of its strict adherence to practices that have resulted in it being limited in its 'availability'. The target for the Retail biggies are urban mass consumers. It wouldn't be wise for traditional Kerala based Ayurvedic concerns to go after that very same segment. In fact, even if they did, they wouldn't be able to match the distribution and communication muscle of the organised biggies. The smart thing to do in such a scenario would be retain the 'exclusive' tag that these traditional firms have inherited, target the niche domestic/foreign wellness seeker and charge premium prices. Going the mass route is a sure recipe for disaster.

Pic: http://www.naturthermetemplin.de


Agn! Sharman said…
Kerala is one of the sought after International tourist destinations in Asia.

Kerala has a unique geographical features that has and is attracting tourist from across the globe.
Kerala is the south west tip of India, enclosed by the Arabian Sea on the west and Western Ghats on the east.

This coastline state of India stretches to about 600 Kilo Meters of clean beaches, serene backwaters, green paddy fields, swaying coconut lagoons, dense green jungles and hill stations.

Kerala's rich and unique art forms and a highly literate society has always been a part of its Unique selling point.

Kerala! the charming, seductive, serene, exotic and blessed land is no wonder called "God's Own Country".

As Jose says (joseyown@providence.usa.com) "When life gets your heart tiring, think of KERALA, and here the nature will heal you".

In the following linked pages, I attempt to give you some facts and useful information about Kerala.


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