Dr.Vyanketesh Joshi is the founder of SDF Holistic Healthcare & Research Centre, the chain of holistic healthcare clinics through Ayurveda. He is also chieftrustee of Sidh Dnyan Foundation (SDF), which runs multiple medical centers inMumbai and suburbs and has cured above 10,000 patients with various diseasesspecially kidney disorders, heart, lung diseases, cancer, fibrosis, Parkinson’setc. till date.
SDF Holistic is India's leadingAyurveda Healthcare and Research Center. It was established in the year 1994,by a team of enterprising specialists lead by the visionary Dr Vyanketesh Joshi. This one-of-its-kind specialty healthcare, has taken giant strides inthe medical field with its breakthrough developments in herbal medicines andtreatment.
Replying to Anil Mascarenhas of IIFL, Dr. Vyanketesh Joshi says, “The industry is highly non-regulated, which has spoilt the name of traditional practices like Ayurveda.”
Tell us more about the Nutraceuticals market in India. Are you finding people getting more attracted to Ayurveda too?
India is very popular for the herbal products and Panchakarma therapies. The treatment is based on the mental and physical states that have attracted many people from different parts of the world. In this modern world, for the treatment of any disease or for general use people have begun looking for alternative therapy. It has been observed that in most of the cases, patients are not satisfied with allopathic treatment, except surgery. The herbal medicines are slower in their process of action compared to the allopathic medicines, because the former are capable of curing diseases completely ( from the root). People are getting attracted towards herbal products as they show their effect without disturbing the natural elements of your skin and body. Providing a safe, comfortable, professional environment for our clients allows us to help each client with their health care and also to develop the awareness that is necessary for maintaining good health and peace of mind.
More and more people are now opting for Ayurvedic treatment. Even in other countries Ayurveda has flourished. Ayurveda and Yoga have emerged as a reliable means to regain total health and well-being. Slowly but surely, the world is waking up to the natural goodness and the miraculous healing properties of Indian medical sciences.
Explain to us the business model of your company.
We have chain of advanced multi specialty centers for Panchakarma and herbal treatment. After the patient’s history is studied in detail, a detailed treatment schedule is prescribed for him. We manufacture our own medicines in a scientific manner making use of the active principle of the herb. Our herbal medicines are free from steroids or from any metals. Our unique selling proposition is we are among very few chains of holistic Ayurveda clinics in the country that has consistently been helping patients with effective cure for chronic ailments including diabetes, chronic kidney diseases, heart, respiratory illnesses etc.
How many Ayurvedic clinics do you have? What are your expansion plans?
We have six centers in Mumbai i.e. Borivali, Goregaon, Vile Parle, Dadar, Thane and Dombivali. We intend to open one center in each district of India. We aspire to be the best known brand in the area of alternative healing in the country.
How long does it take to break-even for a clinic?
It takes maximum 2-3 months to break even for a clinic.
What are the opportunities and challenges in this fast-paced world where people seek immediate relief from ailments?
A very big market as people are becoming more aware about the positive effects of herbal cure in terms of safety, lack of side effects, non-surgical ways of treatment, and less rigid manufacturing and marketing norms for herbal medicines . Herbal medicines provide a holistic and complete cure from an illness compared to allopathy, which only cure the affected part but not the root of the illness.
The challenges include a large number of small unorganized players, which may result into a lot of spurious and adulterated products . There is an ongoing perception that in Ayurveda the healing process is slow, or medicines are bitter in taste etc.
Your center has done some research in Kidney Revival. Tell us more about it and what achievements can you cite here?
For the last five years, we have been treating patients with chronic kidney failure. About 10,000 patients are being treated yearly. In Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), where the patient has only two options i.e. dialysis or kidney transplant our treatment has helped to revive the function of the kidney. Our treatment helps to prevent and treat the cause of kidney failure. We have consistently shown that the kidney damage could be either partly or fully reversed.
In the present scenario, one would expect a combination along with allopathy for desired results. Do you feel 100% natural cure can be accomplished? What kind of cost does it entail vis-à-vis other treatments?
Alternative therapy like Ayurveda has its own staging of diseases. In this therapy a disease that is not curable in other medical system can be cured with proper herbal medicines, Panchakarma therapies, and diet, exercise and proper follow-ups. Yet there are some incurable diseases, for which Ayurveda does not have a solution till date. We have instances, where Ayurveda proved to be more effective in treating diseases compared to allopathy with minimal side effects.
If you take the entire cost of treatment including the cost of surgery, diagnostic tests, hospital stay, medicines, doctor fees, etc., you will find that Ayurvedic treatment is far cost-effective compared to conventional treatment methods.
Give us some interesting anecdotes of patient cases?
A 76-year-old patient, Shevanti Vishe who had developed gangrene in her lower right leg and was advised for amputation by orthopaedic specialists in Mumbai was saved by holistic treatment at SDF Holistic. Leading allopathic doctors had advised her angiography for atherosclerosis and amputation for gangrene. As her kidneys were already weak, angiography would have further affected her kidneys.
The treating Ayurveda doctor was strictly against these methods. Instead he advised her for holistic oil Dhara twice daily. Within the whole duration, her serum creatinine was maintained at 1.4.
The patient’s gangrene has completely reversed. Now the patient can stand for about 3-4 minutes herself. Itching sensation has decreased. Her allopathic painkillers (called NSAID’S) have been stopped as she was taking it frequently which indirectly was affecting her kidneys and liver.
Another case is about Ms Yamini Karnik, who suffered from Chronic Kidney Disease with Small sized Kidneys. A detailed case study was done and the holistic treatment was started. In the initial phase allopathic medicines were also kept in run as no medication can be stopped instantly. Then only within a period of 15 days itself patient started feeling much more fresh and energetic, that on her next follow up she herself insisted to stop the other treatment. She is now completely out of her urinary tract infection. This is an excellent example to prove that SDF Holistic’s herbal treatment not only cures the disease completely, but also cures every other associated ailment of the body, making it completely disease-free and healthy.
For AIDS and Cancer patients, what is your offering? How many cases in your centers?
Research to find a cure for AIDS is still on at SDF Holistic. For cancer about 60-80% of the research has been completed. Treatment of cancer in Ayurveda is based on rejuvenation of cells which helps to act on DNA Level. Unlike other places, we have got a full-fledged inhouse research team and it is only after thorough research that we arrive at a conclusion about a medicine’s effectiveness.
Where do you source most of your medicines from? What assurances do you have regarding the supply?
We cultivate our own medicinal plants. About 100 acres of land are used for cultivation of medicinal plants. We train our farmers to ensure an optimum quality and yield of plants and herbs. We manufacture our medicines inhouse. We aim to give the people effective, holistic treatment free of any side-effects, where not only the affected part, but the whole of body and mind are healed.
What is your current staff strength? What are your hiring plans?
We have a current staff strength of 55 employees. We intend to open about 25 new centers in Maharashtra with each center having an initial strength of 10 employees.
How do you see Indian Healthcare in comparison to developed nations?
The major difference between India and developed nations is the doctor to population ratio. In developed nations, a doctor consults about 5-10 patients in a day, compared to 40-50 patients in India. Due to this the quality of counseling and consultation is much higher in developed nations compared to India. The quality of health care provided in western nations is also much better. In India, insurance is mostly taken care by the state run insurance companies, whereas in developed nations like America, it is directly governed by the US Federal government.
As an industry what are some developments on the regulatory front or the insurance front which would boost the growth of the sector?
As of now, the industry is highly non-regulated, which has spoilt the name of traditional practices like Ayurveda. We would like the government to put an effective regulatory authority to check the level of quality offered by service providers. As far as insurance is concerned, a number of insurance companies have started providing mediclaim for Ayurvedic treatment.
Tell us about your financials. What is the outlook?
Currently we have a turnover of more than Rs 3.85 crore. We expect to double our turnover in the next 2 years.
What is the shareholding pattern of your company? Are you planning any stake dilution?
Right now it is a 100% family owned. We have plans to raise funds for our expansion and are looking at all options.
Would you be looking at inorganic growth?
We have no plans of inorganic growth for the moment.
Healthcare at affordable cost has been spoken about a lot but not really seen in action. What are your thoughts on the same?
The Indian healthcare industry is seen to be growing at a rapid pace. Both the government and private sector are working in tandem to ensure both quality and accessibility in healthcare delivery is achieved. There needs a strong strong collaboration between government, industry and academia to ensure quality in healthcare. A vast majority of the population is still deprived of basic healthcare facilities.
Indian hospitals are establishing themselves globally as world class facilities through national and International accreditation. In the next 2-3 years, we will witness a lot of small hospitals of 50-100 beds. With the public becoming more aware about the ill effects of chemical medicines, we will also witness healthcare centers offering alternative treatment.
With the growing population and various diseases, it has become mandatory to improve the standards of health care on a whole right from primary health care centers to district hospitals to multi specialty hospitals.