#9 Episode: Arjun Vaidya is taking Indian Science of Ayurveda to Modern Consumer
EFox Question -Mr Arjun Vaidya, Congratulations for amazing work you are doing, to start off with tell me about your background in Ayurveda?
Arjun Vaidya - Dr. Vaidyas’ story starts 150 years ago in Gujarat. As traveling Ayurvedic doctors, the ‘Vaidya’ family practiced their trade across the state. In 1923, Dhirajlal Vaidya moved to the big city and set up his first clinic in Masjid Bunder. With time, his son, Dr. Natoobhai Vaidya graduated from medical school and joined his father’s practice. In 1971, he took over the reigns of the clinic and, the rest is history.
By the mid 90s, Dr. Natoobhai Vaidya assumed legendary status with more than 300 patients walking in to his clinic every day and more than 12,000 patients writing to him via post every month. Even with all this success he stayed true to his roots and vowed never to charge a patient for consultation – free consultation is something that Dr. Vaidya’s still offers to all its patients (agnostic of the medium i.e. in person, via phone, video call, live chat, text message. Whatsapp, email, Facebook, Instagram etc.).
EFox Question -When was the time you really thought you are ready to take up the family business?
Arjun Vaidya - In 2016, I took on the reigns of the business. I wanted to do more and expand the scope of these effective Ayurvedic medicines to more than just the clinic. I had spent time in the US and seen first hand the move towards natural and organic products. I had witnessed the ‘Whole Foods Revolution’. Yoga has also become a truly global phenomenon and, I had seen the creation of a lifestyle around yoga through yoga mats, yoga pants and yoga gyms. In India, the consumer had changed too.
I spent 2.5 years in the private equity domain working for a fund that focused on consumer sector investing. With the Modi government, a new burst of national pride, the creation of the Ministry of AYUSH – I sensed an opportunity. While Ayurveda was growing, I saw that the science had lost touch with modern consumers. I believed that Ayurvedic medicine and products were perceived as boring, old style, poorly packaged and hard to understand. This is what I set out to change and make Dr. Vaidya’s a new age Ayurvedic products brand that made this science appealing and accessible to modern consumers in language, communication and format of products.
EFox Question -What is your experience when it comes to treating patients? How is Ayurveda different from modern medicine?
Arjun Vaidya - Ayurveda is different from modern medicine in two ways. First, we use 100% natural ingredients (herbs and minerals in nature's bounty). Thus, with 5,000 years of research and completely natural ingredients, our science is largely side effect free. Secondly, and most importantly, Ayurveda looks to cure ailments from the root while modern medicine looks at the symptoms. While no approach is right or wrong, they follow different paradigms. Thus, Ayurveda may take longer to show effect but also gives a longer lasting solution. This is very important to understand when thinking about Ayurveda.
EFox Question -What do you think about future of Ayurveda in India?
Arjun Vaidya - Ayurveda has been a trending term for the last 5 years but, consumers are sometimes confused how to find their gateway into this seemingly complex and age old science. Dr. Vaidya’s has stepped in to solve this very problem. The brand is focused and committed in being the gateway for modern consumers to Ayurveda. It truly makes the science appealing and accessible in an easy to understand format. As a brand, Dr. Vaidya’s is waiting for you to adopt the Ayurevdic Routine (‘Dincharya’). So, stop waiting and adopt the new age Ayurvedic way of life!
EFox Question -Out of people curiosity, can Ayurveda medicines be consumed without Doctor's consultation and prescription? Can Ayurveda be practiced at home or does one have to seek guidance?
Arjun Vaidya - A doctor's consultation is always recommended since it gives the consumer the desired knowledge and perspective. At least for chronic ailments, I highly recommend a chat with an in house Ayurvedic doctor. With an in house team of highly experienced doctors, our brand endeavours to serve as many as they can as Dr. Vaidya’s believes there are thousands of consumers who required but cannot find high quality Ayurvedic care.
Thus, whoever the customer may be (whether or not they buy a Dr. Vaidya’s product or not), our brand will offer a free Ayurvedic consultation with an expert doctor through whatever medium you feel comfortable (in person, phone, video call, Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram, Live Chat etc.). This is testament to Dr. Vaidya’s deep rootedness in its past but goal to move forward. The free consultation was a legacy that the business did not want to give up but it moulded itself in the digital age.
EFox Question -On your technology platform Drvaidyas.com, How many products have you initiated in the areas of illness and wellness?
Arjun Vaidya - We have more than 55 different SKUs on our platform in the illness (chronic disease) and wellness (lifestyle diseases) space including products for arthritis, diabetes, cough, cold, immunity, indigestion, weight loss, weight gain etc.
EFox Question -How can Ayurveda help with weight loss? Can you recommend products from your platform?
Arjun Vaidya - Treating weight loss naturally is definitely a new age problem that Dr. Vaidya's endeavours to solve. Dr. Vaidya's Weight Reduction Pack combines a two supplements Lipoherb and Kabaj Pills. They ensure increased metabolic rate, controlled appetite and proper digestion which are the pillars of losing weight in a healthy manner (the challenge today is that consumers are getting misled by a large number of products). These supplements coupled with a simple diet plan and daily exercise can go a long way. The key is to set expectations and work to get to one's goal in a periodic and healthy fashion that one can maintain.
EFox Question -Which Ayurveda medicines do you recommend for fitness & maintaining good health?
Arjun Vaidya - Dr. Vaidya's HERBOfit is your perfect one-a-day. It combines the 21 actives of Chyawanprash in a easy to consumer 280 mg capsule. This convenience but still gives one the daily immunity and energy boost required to stay fit, keep away from falling sick and keep one's bodily systems functioning perfectly.
EFox Question -Can you brief about 'New Age Ayurveda' on your platform?
Arjun Vaidya - I started with just two products in 2016 and today have repackaged a range of more than 35 products. The Dr. Vaidya’s range embodies new age Ayurvedic medicine with innovations like LIVitup (Hangover Shield), HERBOfit (Goodness of Chyawanprash in capsule), Chakaash (Goodness of Chyawanprash in Toffee) and Sung Ho (Ayurvedic Inhalant). Other than this, Dr. Vaidya’s has always been famous since Dr. Natoobhai’s time for its chronic ailment focused products. The brand has very effective formulations in the domains of arthritis, diabetes, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) etc. Dr. Vaidya’s also understands that 21st century consumers have lifestyle issues and thus, it has a very effective range of products focused on sleep, weight loss, anxiety, depression, sexual wellness, immunity, energy and common cold/cough.
EFox Question -What advice you would like to give to fellow entrepreneurs who are just starting? What is your take on Entrepreneurship?
Arjun Vaidya - Keep hustling, stay true to yourself and be patient.