“We strive to provide health benefits to people all over India by our result-oriented herbal products. We also strive to expand and get into exports.”
Sudha Agarwal, started her business way back in early 2000 when she saw positive healing effect of ayurvedic medicines in Chattisgarh. She noticed that allopathy did not provide permanent remedy to people with health problems, they suffer from serious side effects. She shares with Shree Lahiri how she started her own business – Ayurved Health House in 1995 and how she worked hard to keep the business going. Today it is manufacturing more than 100 proprietary and classical Ayurvedic products.
- How did you get the idea of starting this business?
I used to see sick people around me and most of them had taken recourse to allopathic medicine, which often left serious side effects. I also remembered my grandmother’s natural medicines that she recommended for any kind of illness. These were more effective and had no side effects. So, I thought why not serve people by giving them good medicines when they fell sick.
Our mission is – “To be recognized around the globe as the essence of true Ayurveda – in its purest form” which is clearly put in our website: www.paawanherbal.com.
- What was the support from your family?
I got full support from my family – from my husband and everyone else. My children being small supported me at their best. My husband helped me a lot and advised me to take on this business. It is because of his able guidance and complete support, both in production and marketing, I had been able to achieve success in business.
- Where did you get the funds?
I started my business with small savings that I had done and had further I had taken bank loan to supplement my further requirement for plant & machinery and working capital.
- Did you get any training?
Initially Ayurveda was a new subject for me. So I read a lot of ayurvedic texts, had discussions with ayurvedic doctors and vaidyas for development of herbal formulation. We had formed a team and with various trials we were finally able to develop formulations with good results. Today, my daughter is also an ayurvedic doctor, and got gold medal in her finals. I discuss with her for new innovations in Ayurveda.
- Are you aware of any government schemes that support women entrepreneurs?
I haven’t taken support of any government schemes. I came to know that government is supporting women entrepreneurs and there are various schemes for them. But most of the schemes are for starting a new business. I would like to know if there is any scheme for expansion and renovation of existing units. I definitely look forward to expand business with government support.
- Did you face any problems in your journey?
Definitely, we face various problems in running a business. And being a women entrepreneur marketing is a tuff job for me. Besides in our state there is not much support for local units in government purchase. Moreover, Chhattisgarh being a small state we have to be dependent on other states for procuring packing material, for getting lab test of our products and various other things.
- Any achievements of that you would like to share with us?
Our unit got National Award for Best Small Scale Women Entrepreneur from Ministry of SISI Central Government in the year 2002. It was given by Hon’ble Ex Finance Minsiter Jaswant Singh and Hon’ble Ex Industry Minister Vasundhara Raje Sindhia under Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
We received another award in 2014 – State Award for Best Woman Entrepreneur by Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Hon’ble Dr Raman Singh.
- Would you like to meet other women entrepreneurs like you, if you get the opportunity?
Yes, I would really like to meet them.
- Where do you see your business going in the next two years?
In next two years we would like to expand our presence across India. We also want to expand and get into exports. Already we have customers who carry our products abroad. We also send our products through VPP to most of the parts on India which gives us confidence about its acceptability across nation. If I get some training for improving my online sales, I will definitely take it up as only then we will be able to progress.
- How large is your team and how do you motivate your team to do better?
We have around 15 – 20 people for marketing and production consists of around 10 – 12 people. So, a total of around 30 members are there in our team. We inspire them by giving regular perks on the basis of their performance. We also provide residential facility to our employees who are in need for them. Our aim is to build conducive environment for them so that they can give their best.
- Tell us something more about your business ?
Our products are GMP (Goods manufacturing Practice) certified are available in various Khadi Stores in Delhi, Mumbai, Nagpur and so on.
Our range of products includes – syrups, tablets, capsules, ointment, soap – shampoo, herbal juices and classical medicines like guggul-vati, asav-aristh etc
We manufacture medicines for all age group of any gender. Our range of medicines covers therapeutic indication like – joint pains, gum problems, liver disease, gynecological problem, men’s health, children’s health, digestive issues, obesity, diabetes, piles, blood pressure, cold-cough, and others.
We take part in various National Trade Fairs on regular basis. It gives us good exposure and helps to reach out to new people.
Moreover, we also support the NGO for publication of a quarterly health magazine “Herbal Health”, which has a circulation all over India, since 2007.