Ayurveda unlimited: The Arya Vaidya Pharmacy expands

The 65-year old Arya Vaidya Pharmacy shows how a traditional business can adapt to modern marketing techniques to leverage on its inherent strengths.

Chennai: How does an Ayurvedic pharmaceutical company expand? By leveraging its strengths, of course. The Coimbatore-based, 65-year-old Arya Vaidya Pharmacy (AVP) group is doing just that, by developing its over-the-counter (OTC) product portfolio, introducing a new range of food products, expanding its services sector and signing collaboration agreements with overseas and Indian companies to market its products and services.

Food items like jams, biscuits and herbal ketchup would join the group''s portfolio of 500 products, which includes Ayurvedic medicines and OTC products like herbal shampoo, baby oil, soaps, pain balm and others.

The Rs25-crore group''s flagship company is the Arya Vaidya Pharmacy (Coimbatore) Limited. Companies under the group umbrella manufacture and market OTC products. It also has trusts that run a college, conduct research, get into R&D tie-ups, and do other activities. Group outfit Heal Ayurveda Pharmacy Limited manufactures and markets products like soaps, shampoos and pain balm, under the Heal brand.

In a small way, the group has already entered the food business with its innovative chyawanaprash biscuits. Traditionally, chyawanaprash is a mixture of several herbs in a paste form. It was an American who first wondered whether the paste could be made into biscuits, and AVP agreed to implement the concept.

AVP is also looking to sign more collaboration and franchise agreements in India and abroad, for its products and services. In the healthcare sector, AVP has agreements with the Apollo Hospitals chain and the Sadhu Vaswani hospital in Pune, to operate their ayurvedic treatment wings. A similar tie up has been entered into with the Indo-American Centre, which is putting up a 60-bed hospital in Hyderabad.