This Startup is bringing back Home Remedy medicines to improve people’s healing power
19th, May 2020 - Health care
Today the health condition of a person is at stake due to many reasons. The healing power of a person is reducing and depending upon quick-relief medicine. These medicines may give quick relief but the permanent cure may not be possible. Home remedies and Ayurveda are known medicines for India and lately, we started understanding the importance. Our team connected with team YgeiaX for an interview to know their journey so far.
S J: Please introduce your founding team to our readers.
YgeiaX: YgeiaX has three main people involved in the core management.
- Founder Sam who comes from a long line of well-respected hakims served royal families and possessed great knowledge of healing. Intuitively Sam followed the will of the Great Spirit and founded Ygeiax in 2014.
- Co-founder Tara Bargaia has a master's in clinical hypnosis, working in the field for almost a decade and a half. Her unconventional approach to psychology gets to the root of healing. She has a passion for integrating both mind and body, and for this reason co-founded YGEIAX, as a way to better serve her clients in a more holistic approach to health.
- David has previously worked with start-up giants like Uber & Zomato. He has also worked with many NGOs and organic farms over the years. He is an exceptional organizer and provides invaluable support to the team. He is identifying new markets/players and expanding business.
S J: YgeiaX as a brand name. Please explain how and why you selected this name?
YgeiaX: Υγεία or Ygeía is an ancient Greek word that means health.
S J: What made you select the Ayurveda as a business segment? Also, tell us the process you have adopted to produce the product.
YgeiaX: We found answers and inspiration in nature, in the inter-connectedness of everything. We saw if a region or group of people were ill there is a direct correlation to being disconnected from the land and plant medicines, consequentially the soil, the animals, all intertwined suffer. In this revelation, it became clear anything we offered as our piece in the collective puzzle had to be rooted in these principles: sustainable for mother earth, provide holistic multipurpose healing to the people, and maintain ethical honest business practices.
All our products are AYUSH certified formulations. In terms of process, all the ingredients are sourced from a network of permaculture farms across India & Nepal. Using only locally sourced ingredients has lowered carbon footprint and helped them keep our prices competitive with cheaper chemical and toxic ingredients products used by competitors in the health & wellness segment.
All our signature products are built around the same principle of reducing planned obsolescence of single-use products which fast-forward natural resource depletion, fill up our shelf space, and burn a hole in our pocket. We are striving to make and inspire multi-purpose products of vegan, chemical-free, paraben-free, cruelty-free origin based on Ayurveda texts which can serve in more ways than one for our body, hair, and mind.
S J: Can you tell us a bit about some of your unique products?
- Holy Smoke: It is an AYUSH approved formulation containing 17 herbs among the 50 herbs which are mentioned in the Vedas for use in poojas, inhalation, and general well-being and inducing positive effects to the person and surroundings. The herbs include intellect tree, holy basil, valerian, guggul, Indian lotus, mango ginger along with 11 other medicinal plants. This powder mixture has properties which help shift the nicotine addiction and act as an aid to quit tobacco. This mixture can also be consumed as a tea. It produces similar effects of relaxation as experienced when smoking it. Founder Sam believes "We hope to shift the smoker from tobacco first to smoking this herbal mixture and eventually to a point where he can have a similar experience of relaxation while drinking tea brewed from this mixture. In addition to relaxation, the various herbs cause detoxification of the body which helps build immunity and keeps diseases at bay." This product is also white-labeled for a few companies around the world.
- Magic Potion: We have mixed 8 plant oils with aloe vera to form this gel. Each oil has its benefits which result in an antiseptic, anti-fungal, antispasmodic, anti-bacterial gel which also acts as a natural sunscreen and helps prevent acne. Tara says "We wanted to create a gel for men & women which can be applied daily on the face/body without causing any chemical harm while helping the user tackle most common issues faced like acne, bruises, bug bites, and muscle soreness/pain. Our aloe vera gel has a shorter shell life due to natural preservatives used, hence we prepare batches on per order basis and using JIT process"
- Happy Pills: This is a vegan capsule containing two highly useful ingredients for the brain which is Intellect Tree & Valerian. They act as a natural substitute for sleeping pills and act effectively to help people with depression. Co-founder Tara says "This formulation was initially formulated specially to serve my clients who were having more side-effects than benefits from using pharmaceutical drugs to fight mental illnesses. After receiving AYUSH approval we have started exporting this formulation to 8 countries"
S J: The present society is not considering Ayurveda & Home Remedy as the mainstream of medicine. What is your opinion?
YgeiaX: The availability of OTC pharmaceuticals offers a quick fix to most common ailments. We now have a generation growing up which doubts the efficacy of home remedies which were much more common in my childhood days. It is actually concerning to see the degradation of the ancient practices to mere lure for tourists. Even most products offered as of ayurvedic origin have too many chemicals in it and which are just namesaked Ayurveda which poses a huge risk to long-term health.
S J: What are the challenges you faced initially when you started Ygeia
YgeiaX: When we started in 2017. Plant-based medicine was still emerging in India back into the mainstream. So, for our unique products that cater to multiple product categories, it was hard to find a specific distribution network for us to go offline. There is also a misconception of products made in India can be of cheaper origin in the premium segment. Liaisoning with various government and certification agencies were cumbersome initially. Funding was also a challenge to which we had to adopt. The quality of our products and the growing use of e-commerce have really helped us catapult sales and go global and sell in over 10 countries as of right now.
S J: What is your view on the present market scenario?
YgeiaX: The international market for herbal medicine is booming and as some studies suggest it is a $5 trillion market by 2050. As for India, yes we have more families opting for Ayurveda products over the years compared to 10 years ago.
S J: How did COVID 19 affect your business? How did you overcome and turned the challenges into opportunities?
YgeiaX: We had luckily stocked up on inventory a month back and sent our stocks to warehouses across the US, UK, and Australia two weeks before the COVID-19 situation got worse. In terms of sales, we are seeing a huge surge in sales, and our sales haven't been affected since we come under 'essentials' worldwide. Our team used this time to re-connect with our loyal customers, who might be have been at home during the lockdown period and get feedback on our products and offer a word of comfort.
S J: What are your views on Post Covid19? How do you see the market going to react?
YgeiaX: COVID-19 has definitely helped most of us realize the inter-connectedness of everything. A lot of things will change in terms of how we interact and the protocols followed during such outbreaks which can’t exactly be remarked upon as of yet. In terms of the market for us, we the huge potential for growth, since it has helped a lot of us reflect on the need for improving our immunity, benefits of exercising, and the need to take care of our mind & body in changing times. It is becoming very clear the need for having pure plant medicine over chemical-based ones for overall nutrition and well-being on a long term basis.
S J: Please explain in details - Pre COVID19 where did you predict the market for your segment will be there in 2025, and now post COVID 19 where do you see the market by 2025.
YgeiaX: Pre-COVID- 19 we were not so keen on entering the India market extensively since we already had a pretty strong growth trajectory in the international market. But, we have seen a surprising surge in orders in India for our products through our website and on e-commerce platforms. So, our team is re-considering an aggressive entry into the Indian market based on the stats. We are also predicting a worldwide acceptance of Ayurveda as a way of living improving immunity post-COVID 19 which will also help us grow further.
S J: Being Entrepreneurs (all three). What are the challenges and issues you faced initially?
YgeiaX: It has mostly got to do with self-belief for the most part. Once, the unwavering belief in the self is in place, then it is all about careful extensive research into the segment you plan on entering based on your idea. For us, it has been a way of re-connecting with ourselves as who we are as humans and what is our place in the eco-system and how we can contribute to the whole of life on earth.
S J: What is the business model you have adopted and are you thinking to change the model post COVID19? Is yes please explain why and what
YgeiaX: We have been selling in 10 countries worldwide through Amazon on prime delivery at all locations. We also have an affiliate partner program where health practitioners, yoga practitioners, alternate healers, therapists, diet experts, boutique studios, or anyone who connects with our mission and the benefits our products to their clients. We are also white-labeling for some players in the market. Hence the B2B and B2C have helped our gain reach in 10 countries over the last 3 years and grow substantially faster
S J: How you are sustained initially and from when you started generating the revenue. How is your bottom-line?
YgeiaX: We have seen a 10x growth in revenue in the last 3 years. We hope to grow at a much faster rate for the next 5 years with the introduction of data-driven products specific to body-type.
S J: What is your suggestion for a person who wants to start his own business?
YgeiaX: India will always be a huge market and it is just starting to grow with the huge young demographic we have in our country right now. With a 120 crore population as long as your idea can help people lead a better life, it will grow. Just be persistent and do your research before you hop in.
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