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Traditional System Of Medicines Is The Trend To Look Out For In 2018

The Make in India initiative is pushing the wellness, as well as other related industries ahead so as to bring much more investments and opportunities to our country

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The Health and Wellness industry is being fueled by an intense and growing consumer affinity towards natural, herbal medicines and solutions. People are moving away from synthetic, chemical based products for themselves and their families. This shift will see more prominence in the coming year considering that wellness is currently trending in India. The National Health Policy, 2017 also replaces the previous policy of 2002 and places great importance on the alternative medicine systems - Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy and brings them into the mainstream in-order to fill the gap in medical care.

These alternate practices of medicine have promulgated the concept of both physical and mental well-being. And with the passage of time, wellness and usage of wellness products have assumed a vigorous meaning, including the person's desire for societal acceptance and communal welfare. Changing lifestyle patterns and nutritional status have been contributing factors to bring the wellness industry to the forefront. Swift urbanization is further fueling this inclination. India's urban population, as per census 2011 was 31.16% and is growing at a CAGR of 1.2%. Influenced by the changing consumer dynamics and awareness, the trend will increase manifold in the coming year. The wellness industry in India has evolved swiftly from its nascent unstructured start in the early 1990s to an extensive network today. The government has set up a department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) with the intention of providing push to these traditional healthcare systems with a targeted thrust.

With a wealth of 6,600 medicinal plants, India is the second largest exporter of AYUSH and herbal products in the world. Moreover, the AYUSH industry is to reach 1.4 trillion rupees by 2020 and is expected to grow in double digits by providing direct employment to 1 million people and indirect jobs to 25 million persons by 2020, according to various reports and surveys. There is an expected three-fold increase in the AYUSH sector in the next five years. The products market is worth about INR 40 billion with over-the-counter products such as digestives, health food and pain balms, constituting almost 75% the segment. India has 9,000 units engaged in the manufacture of AYUSH drugs. The urban infrastructure is being re-vamped with the government planning smart cities. And as mentioned earlier, India's holistic approach towards healthcare is also gaining popularity with each passing day as more people are turning towards these alternative sources of medicine instead. India has conducted international exchange programmes, conferences and workshops on AYUSH. MoUs for 'Country to Country cooperation in the field of traditional medicine' have been signed with China, Malaysia, Hungary, Trinidad and Tabago and is in the pipeline with Serbia, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Mexico.

Along with all this the Indian government is also launching a number of other initiatives to uphold the wellness industry. The Make in India initiative is pushing the wellness, as well as other related industries ahead so as to bring much more investments and opportunities to our country. Ancient practices like Yoga and Ayurveda is India's contribution to the global map. Therefore, determined efforts should be put in to consolidate these sectors further and convert potential opportunities to achieve maximum benefit for the country.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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opinion Year End 2017 ayurveda yoga

Mansoor Ali

The author is Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Hamdard India

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