The Indian wellness market is growing at a staggering pace and is set to cross USD 72 billion by 2025. The market is presently growing at a CAGR of 28%, stemming from growing demand for wellness, healing, and long-term rejuvenation. As the space between tourism, hospitality, and vacation is slowly and gradually blurring, the buoyant industry is further getting a strong push. In the future, alternate healing systems comprising medical tourism & healing, medicines & pharma, FMCG & nutrition, diagnostic, healthcare centers, etc. are set to thrive.
Once believed to be a periphery, the sector is now moving to the core. The government is also extending its support in the form of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, Homeopathy) ministry. It happened first time in the globe when a dedicated ministry has been established in a country focusing completely on alternate healthcare.
The ministry Ayush has been entrusted with the task of developing the alternate treatment industry, building dedicated capabilities, funding and establishing research centers, building awareness about alternate healing both in India and abroad, and much more.
The alternate medicine practices cannot completely eclipse the scientific practices and modern medicine and healthcare systems but can complement the same. This will also help in GOI’s objective to create a universal healthcare system in India.
Under the flagship of the AYUSH, some commendable work has been done. In Dec 2022, a full-fledged AYUSH hospital has been inaugurated at Pernem, just near the international MOPA airport. Besides offering quality healthcare, the hospital will also help in transforming Goa into a medical tourism destination.
In the year 2022, the first global investor and innovation summit on alternate healthcare took place at Gandhinagar, Gujrat. A new WHO-sponsored alternate healing center has also opened at Jamnagar Gujarat, which is also counted as a major achievement.
One of the reasons that are favoring the growth in Wellness is the rise in chronic and lifestyle diseases. While in recent years, communicable diseases have lowered, other ailments such as diabetes, blood pressure, and obesity have jumped over the roof. This is now forcing people to look beyond short-term prevention and treatment and opt for addressing the root causes. This has necessitated the need for alternative treatments such as Yoga, Ayurveda, Reiki, etc. which over time can be instrumental in placating the root cause of diseases and result in long-lasting cures.
Besides chronic and lifestyle diseases, alternative medicine systems are also highly beneficial in cosmetics and skin care, sexual and psychological wellness, etc. Likewise, they are also becoming widely popular for nutrition and immunity-building purposes.
There are also growing concerns about limiting the use of foreign substances and chemicals and emphasizing more on natural and herbal products as they generally have lower side effects. The trend has further picked up post-pandemic, as nowadays natural, sustainable, and holistic living is taking center stage.
Meanwhile, it is noteworthy India is naturally placed to play a global leader in the field of alternative healing and wellness. The country has a rich tradition of Yoga and Ayurveda. Since ancient times, hundreds and thousands of foreign nationals came to India each year to heal and avail treatment. The country’s dominance in the healing space is acclaimed globally.
India is also rich in herbal plants, spices, etc. It is home to 8000 herbs and plants and is the second largest exporter of herbs in the world after China. Indian herbal products are high in high demand in UAE, Japan, USA, Europe, etc.
India is a vast country with diversified landscapes, which include extensive seashores and backwaters, hilltops and foothills, wild trails, spellbinding valleys, exotic deserts, riversides, and much more. The country is already rich in numerous world-famous ashrams, temples, monasteries, yoga centers, etc.
This further enables it to become a fertile ground to seamlessly blend wellness with tourism. While there are numerous thriving wellness businesses running in Kerala, Goa, and amidst Himalayan peaks and foothills, there is still a great headspace for the business to grow and develop. From the verdant tea states in Siliguri and Northeast India to the scenic hill stations in the Sahyadri mountains to the extensive seashores in India, the potential for wellness, tourism, and the alternate healing business in India is immense.
In a post-pandemic world, there is a growing trend of weekend gateways, taking short-haul breaks, and spending quality time in the midst of nature. This will further help the sector grow at a staggering pace.
To offer higher value, increasingly hotels, resorts, and even residential communities are bundling complimentary services such as Yoga and Reiki classes, naturopathy cottages, Ayurveda centers, etc. Likewise, they are offering numerous healings, spiritual and other wellness packages to help tourists and local inhabitants refresh and rejuvenate.
The Indian alternate healing space is set to grow at a scorching pace in the times backed by a jump in demand, transformation in the industry, and availability of plenty of capable manpower. As 100% FDI has been allowed, the number of foreign investments will also grow in the foreseeable future.
Alongside the central government, the state government in numerous states are taking initiatives to support the sector.
This will also unlock new business opportunities in the following segment