Is business synonymous with risk? This is the question that many have in their minds before venturing into a business. Most successful entrepreneurs have proved that with proper planning and implementation, risk can be minimised. Sridevi Gaddam is one such entrepreneur.
Her AYU Ayurvedic clinic, started in 2002 with `2 lakh investment, has grown steadily by reinvesting profits back to the enterprise rather than depending on external investments.
Sridevi always aimed to be a doctor. “It was my childhood dream to become a doctor. This passion drove me to complete BAMS. After that, I went to Kerala to do research on herbs and to do a course on panchakarma. After finishing the course, I established AYU Ayurvedic Panchakarma centre by offering minimum facilities that were required by the patients,” she recalls.
“The industry was at a nascent stage. I was the first Telugu woman to start a panchakarma centre at that time. I had a doubt whether patients consider ayurveda as an option for some of the diseases. Fortunately, the industry was created after AP government invited Kerala tourism to the State.
“The Kerala Tourism started huge marketing campaigns which made people aware about the ayurvedic panchakarma centres. Media also created awareness among the people about Ayurveda. It took almost two years for the market to be created and to convince people that ayurveda is a better option for some of the chronic diseases,” she explains.
On venturing into herbal products, she says, “I used to formulate and manufacture herbal preparations in small quantities for my patients. I knew that as a doctor that I cannot grow a beyond point.
“However, with the launch of these ayurvedic products that I could take my formulations to the masses and expand my company without geographical barriers.
“Initially, I started with total skin care product which acts against wrinkles, marks, tanning and other effects of dehydrated skin. After the instant success of my first product, I have formulated and brought around 34 hair and skin care products in to the market.”
Talking about uniqueness of the products, she says, “We try to use maximum of herbal extract and minimum chemical base to give it a form. Many companies are branding their products as herbal by using just 1 per cent of herbal extract. We also prescribe diet and life style changes to give the problem a complete cure rather than simply depending on external application.”
The company is growing steadily without any marketing campaigns in accordance with the investments that generate from profits. It is aiming to triple its turnover to reach around `36 lakh this fiscal.
The company has started retail sale by taking space in 10 major stores across the City where in the advisor will help the customer to choose the right product along with dietary changes.It also wants to expand its retail base and market its products globally and eventually create a global herbal brand.