Parag Kaushik and Vishal Kaushik, Cofounders, Upakarma Ayurveda
For millennia, Ayurveda is practised by many as a holistic approach to health. This traditional practice, that goes back centuries, has therapies that many believe can boost immunity and shield the body from various diseases.
While there has always been a debate between modern medicine vs Ayurveda, in recent years, this age-old medicinal industry has seen a boom with many young entrepreneurs bringing its benefits to the fore.
Vishal Kaushik, a marketing professional, saw great potential in this market and thought to give a contemporary spin to the traditional wisdom of Ayurveda. Thus, he entered into the business along with his younger brother Parag Kaushik to found Upakarma Ayurveda.
In an interaction with SMBStory, 36-year-old, Vishal says,
“We grew up seeing Ayurvedic products in our home. Though Ayurveda is an ancient Indian medical science, it started seizing the market shelves only in the recent past. There are many old and trusted brands which we respect a lot. With Upakarma, we aim to capture space between old and new brands in the segment.”
Upakarma Ayurveda was founded in 2017 in Delhi, and in a span of four years, the brand has seen over 100 percent year-on-year rise in its turnover.
Edited excerpts from the interview:
SMBStory (SMBS): How did you start Upakarma Ayurveda and where do you manufacture your products?
Vishal Kaushik (VK): We started Upakarma Ayurveda to bring a mix of healthcare, wellness, and trusted, age-old Ayurvedic system, in a contemporary form for today’s generation who is turning to natural remedies.
For manufacturing of the products, we have channel partners in our board along with the OEM facilities. Currently, there are two OEM facilities based out of Uttar Pradesh.
Upakarma Ayurveda sources the best quality products from across India, including Shilajit from the Himalayan Nepal range, Saffron from Kashmir, Ashwagandha from Uttar Pradesh, and more.
The entire product range of Upakarma Ayurveda is sold across ecommerce platforms like Amazon, Flipkart, Nykaa, FirstCry, 1Mg, and HealthKart, among others. The brand is also present in the retail space through a distribution partner network and sells around 50,000 units of products in both offline and online sale. Each of our new products is launched after months of hectic R&D and suggestions from industry experts.
Onion hair oil and Vitamin face serum by Upakarma Ayurveda
SMBS: What are your challenges in terms of sustaining the business?
VK: Meeting the challenges of the market while innovating is important. We keep innovating and meeting the market trends at the right time. However, providing the best quality products to our consumers is what our foremost mission is, which is challenging sometimes. Our focus has always been on great customer experience and to achieve that, our premium packaging and post-sales services also play an important part.
The recent most challenge we faced was due to COVID-19 when aligning the logistics was a nightmare due to lockdown. But still, we survived through the crucial time, and on the other hand, have seen a rise in our immunity-boosting SKUs.
SMBS: How do you differentiate yourself from the competition in the industry?
VK: As per MarketWatch, the global Ayurvedic market was valued at $4.5 billion in 2017, and is expected to reach $14.9 billion by 2026 at a CAGR of 16.14 percent. There are many brands for Shilajit and Ashwagandha in the market, however, Upakarma’s pure Shilajit in resin form is one of the novel features the company has garnered recognition for.
Upakarma Ayurveda has brought to the fore some of the industry-dominating products in the Ayurveda both in the online and offline retail spaces. We have built a network of more than 10,000 outlets via a distribution channel partner.
Kesar and Ashwagandha by Upakarma Ayurveda
SMBS: What are your plans ahead?
VK: After making a strong presence across India and the US, we are on our way to expand further with Europe, Canada, Middle-East Asia, and Mexico. We have already expanded our product infrastructure with Ayurvedic skin and hair care products. With more new innovations in the pipeline, we continuously keep on expanding so that we can bring forth more quality products.
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