Bengaluru-based startup, AyurUniverse is an online wellness aggregator

In a world where stress and lifestyle diseases rule, wellness matters. India, which should have been on top of the wellness game with Ayurveda, Yoga or Siddha medicine, does not seem to have benefited much despite these homegrown concepts resonating worldwide.

It was this thought that led Vijay Kumar Karai, a corporate professional turned entrepreneur to make AyurUniverse in 2016. Karai also holds an MBA from University of Southern California, and has 18 years of corporate experience with companies like Coke and Pepsi in sales and marketing. His aim was to just put Ayurveda, Yoga, meditation, and other concepts on the global wellness map.

Today, AyurUniverse is an online wellness aggregator startup that leverages technology to let customers worldwide search, choose and book a wellness package of their choice without any intermediaries.

The idea for this venture came while Karai was running an Ayurvedic spa center in Mysore. At this time, he realized that there was tremendous potential with strong demand for wellness centers in India although all such units in the country were operating in silos and lacked marketing bandwidth.

The entrepreneur in him knew that the golden triangle of Indian tourism, was Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur. These drew the most international tourists and so he decided to focus on the wellness options in this circuit.

Over the last two years, AyurUniverse went about building a technology platform that would act as a one-stop aggregator for these wellness concepts.

Today, AyurUniverse provides customised Ayurveda and yoga packages for ailment management, wellness, and training. A team of doctors and yoga experts offers online consultation on health concerns to customers while a team of advisers helps them choose the right package at the right centre, based on requirement and intent.

The startup soon brought 300 certified centres across India and Sri Lanka on to its platform.

It also leveraged on technologies like AI to map customers’ expectations with a centre’s offerings.  Today, AyurUniverse claims to enjoy a diverse clientele from 190 countries. Customers from India account for 35 percent of its business, followed by UK and US. Vijay believes that fitness does not necessarily equal wellness as most diseases are psychosomatic. Here, concepts like Ayurveda, yoga, and meditation fit in well as they “go to the root of the problem and act as a preventive measure”.

According to recent estimates by FICCI and EY, the wellness industry will grow at a CAGR of nearly 12 percent for the next 5 years, and reach an estimated high of Rs 1.5 trillion by 2020. The growth is being attributed to the increase in disposable incomes and rising prevalence of non-communicable diseases.

AyurUniverse is looking to tap this rising demand. It aims to design its own packages that are better suited to modern-day requirements and expand into newer geographies outside India.

Vijay believes they have very little competition in the space of Ayurveda. Sta

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