Sunday, August 2, 2009

Welcome to India!!


Intrepid foreign travelers to India today, are stunned to experience the cultural richness, diversity, and also amused at the general state of dirtiness, dustiness, and disorder or rather the 'order in the chaos of India'! In the past centuries, traveling to the Indian subcontinent was much sought after by foreigners (for eg., when India was ruled by the Britishers, the Britishers had to 'bribe' authorities in Britain to get a posting in India!). The way Indians today, hanker to go abroad to countries like America, 'Europe' and Australia (?), in earlier times foreigners would love to come to this land. They would either come to the Indian subcontinent to trade or learn (study) or, invade and loot this land, or settle down here. Comparatively, during those times, the Indian subcontinent was a very wealthy land. The Britishers (and other European colonizers) were attracted to the Indianland because of its rich resources and the large market. India was also a large producer of value added products like spices, cloth, gold products, herbal medicines, agro products etc. The Britishers came as traders through the East India Company and finally colonized the nation. The Indian land was a very wealthy, knowledgeable, culturally rich and spiritually tantalizing large subcontinent. Perhaps no other country was as wealthy, learned, or attractive and powerful as the Indian subcontinent then. Politically, the subcontinent was highly fragmented with many Maharajahs and Moslem nawabs ruling thier kingdoms. Obviously, the rulers were busy with their wives, luxuries, and invading each other rather than co-operating with each other. There was also a cultural contradiction - Indian land at the same time then was always a very accomodative country, and it lacked a very powerful militarily aggressive spirit or aggressive self-defense. Perhaps the lack of co-ordination between rulers in the Indian land then, lack of an aggressive self-defence, and over-accomodativeness led to its political fall to foreign rulers, and, economic and cultural ruin. Finally, an Independent India rose to existence in 1947 (at the stroke of the midnight hour of 15th August; our Independence day is round the corner).

Today, the West is once again coming to India - albeit for a different reason - Health (or medical) tourism. India offers the best of surgical facilities and the best holidaying 'convalescence' experiences for recovering from the medical treatment. While India is a fast emerging hub for procedures like knee replacement surgery, dental procedures, cardiovascular surgeries, etc - there is one more reason why India is alluring - YOGA AND AYURVEDA. This is the differentiator or USP (Unique Selling Preposition) of the Indian healthcare tourism industry.

India's medical tourism industry is growing at a zipping rate of 30%, by 2015 it is projected to becoming a Rs. 9500 crores biz. This link reiterates that the present Indian healthcare industry is a sunrise sector and is projected to reach a size of 75 billion USD (by 2012) from the present 35 billion USD. Likewise the pharmaceutical industry will also go places. While Chennai gets the lion share of the medical tourism business in India; Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore are gradually increasing their share of global medical travellers. While the cherry picking biz of Indian healthcare sector is serving international medical tourists, there are huge healthcare problems in India as a whole.

Rise and rise of Yoga

India is a country of surprises. When the Indian society gets pulled down due to corruption and weakness, there come very powerful souls who galvanize Indians in to action, and cleanse the Indian society. When there was a lot of cultural drain in India, a prodigious soul - Adi Shankaracharya awoke the Indian society. In the 19th century, when again India was culturally going down, Swami Vivekananda arose and galvanized the country in to positive action. Today a powerful soul is creating a Yoga revolution - Baba Ramdev. His approach is dynamic and scientific. He speaks the language of medical science when propagating Yoga and Ayurveda. He extols and practices scientific documentation, research and development, for practice of Yoga and Ayurveda. The scale of scientific growth he is creating for Yoga and Ayurveda is unparalleled and has never happened before in India. His approach is practical, straight forward, open minded, and challenging. The net result is a remarkable growth of the Yoga and Ayurveda market. This century promises to be the century of Yoga and Ayurveda.

This trend has a lot of implications to healthcare and pharmaceutical marketers. From the time frame of 5 to 10 years, the demand for products like nutritional supplements eg., Amla juice, Aloe vera juice, etc will grow at geometric proportions. No doubt Patanjali Yogpeeth (the organization of Swami Ramdev) is creating a huge market (market building) for such healthcare products, however, as the market expands and acceptance of such products increases, the demand will outpace the supply of such quality and dependable healthcare products.

Globally speaking, the age of INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE is getting a fillip, and the genuine evidence based nutritional or dietary supplement market is seeing a major boost. Time to take note of this trend!! Yogic & Ayurvedic (herbal) India shining!!

Thanks for reading this blogpost, please scroll down and read all other blogposts, click on OLDER POSTS wherever required; please inform your acquaintances of this blog. Thanks!!

No comments: