Indian culture and heritage is replete with age-old treatment methods and medicine systems like Ayurveda and naturopathy. But, have you ever wondered what would happen if the strengths of all these medicine systems were combined to treat ailments? Bengaluru resident and entrepreneur Vasudha Sharma seems to have figured it out and has been offering alternative treatment options by combining Ayurveda, Yoga therapy and naturopathy for years at Vivekananda Health Global (VHG) centres, a venture she launched in 2014.
The services offered at VHG centres include consultation, acupuncture services, Yoga classes and, treatments and therapies in Ayurveda, Yoga and naturopathy. The 43-year-old has a BAMS degree, a masters in Yoga therapy and a PhD in Yoga. She is a practising Ayurveda and yoga therapy consultant with over two decades of experience and worked with Hindustan Lever Ltd’s Ayush Therapy Centre and Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana (S-Vyasa) before launching VHG.
Vasudha says that by making inroads in the integrated health management space early on, VHG was able to gain the first-mover’s advantage. She cites adopting a holistic approach to treating non-communicable diseases and the use of mind-body therapies among the major opportunities that her brand has been able to tap into.
“It was my dream to contribute to the process of creating a healthy society. We are bringing in integrated medicine to work with conventional medicine. I want to bring traditional medicine to the forefront,” says Vasudha. As she understood the strengths and limitations of various systems of medicine, she started by looking for ways to bring in the best line of treatment by compiling different systems of medicine.
“Initially, it was challenging to integrate them as their treatment approaches are different, but gradually, my understanding of the systems helped me amalgamate them.” She saw that a condition which was taking 10 days to be treated with just Ayurveda responded well within seven days when combined with Yoga therapy. “The results were more promising when I started integrating simple naturopathy therapies including acupuncture. The clinical outcomes made me think that I should take these treatments to more people,” adds Vasudha. It was with that thought that she opened the first VHG centre in 2014. Since then, there has been no looking back. By November 2020, the business’ total revenue had surged to Rs 25 lakh.
After opening the first VHG center in Bengaluru, Vasudha launched franchisee owned centers in Shanghai, Mumbai, Trivandrum, Hyderabad, Seoul, Varanasi, Kolkata, New York and Guwahati, among other cities.
While talking about the challenges that are hindering her business’ growth, she feels the lack of awareness about the systems and methodology of integrated medicine treatments are crucial ones. Vasudha says the limited reach of the brand and an operational crunch are other areas where she feels that her business lags behind.
Elaborating her vision for the company, Vasudha says, “My aim will be to establish standardised processes for the best treatment delivery. We have to scale up our technical capability as it is the backbone of VHG. We have to co-exist with administrative and operational protocols as both technical and non-technical processes complement each other. A robust application is the major technology requirement over the next three years,” says Vasudha.
Vasudha is among the 24 women entrepreneurs who are participating in GAME’s Xcelerator Bangalore programme. The programme aims to support women entrepreneurs in non-IT fields to grow at scale by providing them with opportunities to connect with various stakeholders and offering mentorship sessions.
Talking about Xcelerator Bangalore, Vasudha says that the she is looking forward to learn more about structured operations, financial management and marketing strategies during the programme. “I want to learn and adapt more, so that I can grow my business and make VHG a global brand in a true sense,” explains Vasudha.
Xcelerator Bangalore aims at accelerating the growth of women-owned, non-IT businesses in Bengaluru. It provides support to the women entrepreneurs to learn, collaborate and network with various stakeholders through a multitude of workshops, learning and mentoring sessions. This series highlights the work of 24 women entrepreneurs who will be participating in the first cohort of the Xcelerator Bangalore programme.