Taking Over The Reins: Arjun Vaidya, CEO, Dr Vaidya’s New Age Ayurveda
Dr Vaidya’s is one of India’s largest Ayurvedic online brands with more than 1,000 orders per day.
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Drawing on the 150 years of knowledge of Ayurveda passed down through six generations, 25-year-old Arjun Vaidya, CEO of Dr Vaidya’s New Age Ayurveda, is carrying the family tradition forward. In 1923, when his great grandfather started a clinic in Mumbai, he believed that no one would be paying to talk to a doctor. Staying true to his belief, Dr Vaidya’s provides free consultation call to consumers across India through WhatsApp, phone call, video call, etc. Today, Dr Vaidya’s is one of India’s largest Ayurvedic online brands with more than 1,000 orders per day and is aiming to build a deeper presence in the offline and global markets soon. His work and dedication have placed his name in the BW Businessworld 40 under 40 list.
While traditional Ayurveda brands have been built offline, Dr Vaidya’s is a complete online brand. “With the advent of cheap data and seeing huge potential to solve problems and queries online, we set out to build a digital-first brand,” said Vaidya. Today, Dr Vaidya’s is one of India’s largest (if not single-largest) digital Ayurveda brands with 95 per cent online sales. “We realised that detailed content and a high-quality experience can only be built on one’s own platform and thus, drvaidyas.com went from 1 order a day to more than 1,000 orders a day to become India’s largest-single branded Ayurveda store (giving us more than 65 per cent of our sales),” he added. The products are sold through its own channel and third party channels such as Amazon, Nykaa, Netmeds, Medlife, Pharmeasy, etc. and offline stores include Noble Plus, Twenty Four Seven, etc.
The challenge of establishing an Ayurveda selling company is tough. The company started with just 4 people, and now after 2.5 years, it has 85 members. “From building a challenger consumer brand to creating a unique position in the consumer ecosystem, we pride ourselves in finding innovative solutions to problems,” said Vaidya. He added, “With a growing team and a business, keeping pace is critical and thus, constantly keeping track of the micro while still having a zoom out position on the macro or long-term objectives of the business is the most important.”
Giving much credit to the government in helping out his company, Vaidya stated, “The creation of the Ministry of AYUSH has been a masterstroke. The effort to build Ayurveda as an important export from India goes all the way to PM Modi, who he mentions in many of his speeches and this is very heartening for an industry that has traditionally not been given much importance.” He pays tremendous respect to his father in teaching him strong values of hard work. He reminds his father teaching him ‘whatever you do, be the best at it even it is selling peanuts’.
With the Modi government, there has been a renewed interest in Ayurveda and Arjun says that has helped things. However, the industry still has miles to go because of the lack of Ayurvedic hospitals, clinics, and doctors vis-a-vis the popularity and reach of Western medicine. Taking charge of the opportunity with full force, Vaidya stated, “We aim to make 5,000 years of science palatable to modern consumers. With unique concepts like LIVitup Hangover Shield and Chakaash – Goodness of Chyawanprash in a toffee, we are innovating products, formats and deliveries to the 21st century.”
Talking about his success, he said, “When the going got tough or I needed to make an important decision, I always had people with more experience to fall back on as the mentors.” He recommended everyone to read ‘The Purple Cow’ by Seth Godin, which he states were his bible in disruptive marketing.