Sunday, July 20, 2008

The 2020 vision: India, the global wellness hub

Ex-President of India, Abdul Kalam is a passionate man and a patriot; he has a vision for India. He inspires all people to have a vision for themselves. Dr. Kalam who has breathtaking 30 honorary doctorates and all the three top Indian civilian awards to his credit (Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan, and Bharat Ratna) has written a book of his vision for India – India 2020. In this book he also writes his vision for healthcare in India. Dr. Kalam emphasizes the importance of research, technology, NUTRITION, and service to improve healthcare. It is worth noting that he states that an estimated 5% to 10% of Indians are diabetic. His vision is healthcare for all in India well before 2020. And for this transformation, he rightly says that a change in thinking is required.

It is certainly correct that a sick society is a sick market! And that spells bad business for businessmen. Thus, healthcare should be accorded maximum priority for altruism by the rich in India for all Indians, because healthy Indians make better consumers!

The wellness wave

There is a new robust change on the healthcare scenario thanks, to the inflation, ever-increasing cost of medicare, and the empowerment through the electronic media in India (and world over). The robust change is the wellness trend (in India and the world over). People are ready to invest more time and energy in preventive healthcare products and practices. This is causing a rapid increase in the demand for value added wellness products particularly the nutritional supplements (both in India and abroad). Companies like Ajanta Pharma and Krauter Healthcare have understood this trend and are riding on it. In India, lifestyle disease is already the no. 1 killer (mainly cardiovascular disease and diabetes). Healthcare is becoming expensive and altruistic support for the poor patient is patchy in India. Thus, necessity being the mother of innovation and action, Indians are taking to wellness and preventive healthcare practices like ducks take to water.

Yoga and dietary supplements

Yoga is the talk of the town. Yoga is reaching out to the masses in India. No more is Yoga seen as an esoteric practice of celibates and Himalayan Yogis. Acceptance of Yoga cuts across creed and caste. Wellness and preventive healthcare is a mass trend, and Yoga is at the vangaurd. In fact, it is interesting to observe that the land for the Yog-gram being put up by Swami Ramdev has been donated by a Muslim: Dr. S. Farrukh. It is estimated that 30% to 40% of attendees of Ramdev Baba’s mass camps in rural areas (of India) are Muslims.

Dietary supplements and herbal products are seeing a lot of action and interest in India and the world over, thanks to the media and the evangelists for such products – like Swami Ramdev, Sri Sri Ravishankar, and many more companies and individuals. In USA, about 56% of adults use nutritional supplements, and normally American market is the window of the future of emerging markets like India. The logic is that it is better to take personal care through preventive methods and products rather than suffer through financially draining complex diseases.

Given India’s traditional strengths in the space of wellness and preventive therapies and products eg.,Yoga and herbalism, it would not be out-of-place to have a 2020 vision document for creating India as a global hub for wellness and preventive healthcare.
Tailpiece – a vision on the current scene
The buzz is that India’s low cost pharmaceutical industry and reverse engineering skills are causing heartburn to non-collaborative innovator Pharma companies across the world. The sale of Ranbaxy (promoter shares) - a reverse engineering Pharma major from India - to Daichii Sankyo adds fillip to the Japanese pharmaceutical and healthcare industry. The control over Ranbaxy adds to the marketing muscle of Daiichi Sankyo. As is well known, Japan has made its mark in technology, electronics, and the automobile industry. And now will Japan become a new super power in the global Pharma industry?

Asian pharma power is clearly on the rise. This new Asian pharma order will naturally compete with the well established European-American pharma axis. Any conflict between the old order and the new age pharma corporates will be detrimental to all concerned. The best approach will be to collaborate and grow. It is in the best interests of 'health for all'.

Thanks for reading this blogpost, please scroll down and read all others too, by clicking on Older Posts as when required. I got the above image from here.

5 comments:

charakan said...

As you may be aware dietary supplements and herbal products are mostly useless and is a way for the rich to loose some money.Investment needed for fighting lifestyle diseases for an individual is in time not in money.The ability to find time for increasing physical fitness is the most important thing.For the society ability for infrastructure enhancement to produce more health clubs, parks and safe footpaths to walk and jog determines its physical fitness.

sunil said...

One man's food is another man's poison! It is not the herbal product that is useless, it is the way and the condition in which it is used that makes it effective or ineffective. Many Ayurvedic formulations are classified as dietary supplements abroad.
Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting.

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