Sunday, September 16, 2007


Chak de, India (means Go India Go!) has caught the imagination of moviegoers in India and the Indian Diaspora. Moreover, corporate India and B schools have taken up to Chak de, India with great gusto. There are lessons in leadership. There is a rare joie-de-vivre. Chak de, India is not just about women’s hockey – it is about a leader-coach making ordinary people do extraordinary things. It is about inspiring the team and inducing passion for the game and winning. It is this spirit of Chak de, India that is the hot button of the movie.

India is on a winning spree on the Pharma wicket too. Indian Pharma field was an importer of medicines, during the time of independence (1947) and today self-reliant India is a net exporter of pharmaceuticals. Today, traditional Indian healthcare science is gaining momentum too. Ayurvedic Liv 52 is the numero uno pharmaceutical product of the Indian Pharma market. (The Economic Times, front page on 12.9.2007 announced rather cheekily, AHEM! LIV 52 CLIMBS ATOP DRUG CHARTS.)

Indian soft power in marketing themes

It is said business is marketing and marketing is business. The major component of Indian Pharma market is allopathic. The success of Indian Pharma industry is based on reverse engineering under the umbrella of Indian Patents Act, 1970. However, enduring marketing success is possible by banking on the soft power of India.

What is soft power?

The soft power of a country rests primarily on three resources: its culture (in places where it is attractive to others), its political values (when it lives up to them at home and abroad), and its foreign policies (when they are seen as legitimate and having moral authority.)

Soft power is a great product and service differentiator. Even the giants of global Pharma industry cannot match the way Kerala serves the world through Ayurveda (soft power component here is Ayurveda). In fact, the solidity and depth of success of companies like The Himalaya Drug Company comes from the fact that they have banked on the soft power of India. The successes of companies like Himalaya are not easily replicated. The milestones achieved by such companies and the depth of business is matchless as their business journey is based on an indelible cultural theme of Indian society. In contrast, the successes of Indian global Pharma companies like Ranbaxy, Nicholas Piramal, Cadila, Mankind… are notable but on shifting sands. The point is there is a product obsolescence factor in manufacture and marketing of allopathic products. But the natural based products can seemingly go on forever, they are dependent on brand building activities. Thus, with soft power based products and services we have an enduring business model. Product obsolesence is a rarity. The business journey of the large companies in India is lacking in the soft power component.

Is it impossible for Indian Pharma companies to use SOFT POWER?

It is possible to use soft power by Indian Pharma but what is apparently lacking is an appreciation of playing on the soft power theme and the corporate will to use soft power in business processes of Indian Pharma companies. This is vital since this soft power differentiator is not available with competing companies from advanced countries.

Is use of soft power a rocket science?

Obviously not! All it requires is back up by scientific trials in modern metaphors and language; presenting traditional themes in modern terms. Brand building is the second most important aspect for using soft power in business processes. Brand building will involve a unified signage, logo, color, font …

Dr. Kishore Patwardhan’s efforts to contemporize the soft power of India

Dr. Kishore Patwardhan is a young dapper MD in Ayurveda – a part of the faculty at Benaras Hindu University, Varanasi. While he is gaining popularity as a good teacher he is also pursuing Ph D and has made a great effort in contributing to Ayurveda by way of a book with an original and interesting perspective. Dr. Kishore Patwardhan’s effort is laudable, as he has created a compact easily readable book demystifying the concepts of Ayurveda and has presented the same with reference to modern medicine. It is a grand effort to present the soft power of India in a relevant way.

I sincerely recommend this book to all healthcare professionals in the world – particularly for those in marketing of natural pharmaceuticals.

Let us remind ourselves that there is a great appreciation for natural medicine in modern medical practice. Saw palmetto and silymarin are international best seller medicines. Moreover, modern day anti cancer vincristine and vinblastin have their origins in Ayurvedic Vinca rosea alkaloids. That is an example of soft power from India.

Please click here for contacting Dr. Kishore:

You could also contact Dr. Kishore at:

The book penned by Dr. Kishore Patwardhan:

Human Physiology in Ayurveda

Here is how you can buy the book online:

Or you could contact Dr. Kishore at (for purchasing the book)

The publishers of this book:


I am also happy and proud of Dr. Kishore

Dr. Kishore happens to be my wife’s cousin (to be specific: Dr. Kishore is the eldest son of my wife’s father’s elder brother. Dr. Kishore’s father is retired Prof. Of Kannada, Shri Dharmasthala College, Ujire, and he too is an author of repute in Kannada. So Dr. Kishore is a chip of the old block!). Dr. Kishore is happily married to Dr. Medha (a dermatologist) and they live at Varanasi with their bubbly baby boy Satvik. Their photos are at the top of this blogpost.

Kudos to Dr. Kishore on his contribution to the soft power of India.

Thanks for reading this blogpost. Please read all other posts, including by clicking on OLDER POSTS as they are all worth it. Thanks once again.


DR. RANGESH said...

It is indeed a highly commendable effort of this young Ayurvedic doctor to bring out the tenets of this ancient system into modern understanding. Thanks to Sunil for linking this work with the Indian potential of bringforth soft power in marketing themes.

However it is also true that many Indian Pharma cos are apparently lacking the appreciation of playing on this soft power theme but should use this soft power generated from the cultural and yet scientific knowledge health systems in India to pharma business processes.

It is also true that, in contrast the competing companies from developed countries do not have this soft power and is the differentiator that Indian companies can exploit.

Sunil S Chiplunkar said...

Many thnks Dr. Rangesh, it is a honor to have you commenting on the blog. Natural medicine is a major trend globally. For instance, Merck Medication Familiale, France too is in to use of herbal actives in their formulations. (In fact, I am involved in marketing of these preparations.).

Kishor said...

Thank you verymuch for having written those encouraging words about my book.

My effor has always been in the direction to explain Ayurvedic concepts related to human physiology in contemporary terms.

For example, many of us don't know that the physiology of blood-circulation is explained in Ayurvedic textbooks. (The credit goes to Bhela, who, for the first time explained that the cardiovascular system is a closed circuit.)

Similarly, almost all basic physiological concepts have been described in Ayurveda in a unique way.

Thank you once again for those kind words.

Sunil S Chiplunkar said...

The internet is here out to revolutinize commerce and life itself. Hidden pearls of wisdom - until now ignored due to lack of publicity, financial - muscle power and marketing will now virally get out of the closet. Internet is creating a level playing field. Humanity will ultimately be benefited.

You are doing great work, Dr. Kishore Keep it up.