Ram Kumar’s NirogStreet shows the way in showcasing Ayurveda
Ram Kumar makes no bones of the fact that he struggled with ailments and economic distress to finally reach where he is today. He is a true son of the soil who never forgot his roots even when he was struggling and trying to make it big, in the big city. He is the man who always greets you with a big, warm smile. His eyes shine with enthusiasm about his obsession – Ayurveda and how he plans to take it to the world. There’s no stopping the man who combines the ancient with the modern.
FAB: What made you passionate about Ayurveda?
Ram Kumar: Not long ago I struggled with a serious ailment and was bed ridden for a few months. Allopathy and modern healthcare were not able to help beyond a point. At that time, I got in touch with an Ayurvedic doctor who helped me on the road to recovery. Allopathy is well entrenched and has a huge support in the larger ecosystem. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of Ayurveda. This got me thinking that the rich knowledge of Ayurveda needs to be rediscovered in relevance to modern healthcare concerns. And this led me to conceptualize, NirogStreet, My startup was a way to make Ayurveda go mainstream and accessible to everyone.
FAB: Was it easy to set up NirogStreet?
Ram Kumar: Since its in 2016, we have come a long way. The path has been full of ups and downs, but we have been fortunate to get the right support and partnerships. India being the second most populous country in the world has an overburdened health care infrastructure. Today’s, modern health care system of western medicine is becoming more expensive and ineffective in terms of assuring overall health of the common man. Treatment costs are escalating day by day, making healthcare accessible only to a very small percentage of the ever-increasing population of the country.
No medicine system understands body and mind so deeply and wholly as Ayurveda does. Its natural herbs-based treatment approach and therapies can cure any disease. This medicine system is so profound that just by following the right Ayurvedic advice on lifestyle and diet, one can stay healthy. Ayurveda is also the only comprehensive answer to the more serious, chronic diseases.
Ayurvedic medicine system is cost effective and can enhance healthcare accessibility to the vast population. It is important to make Ayurveda mainstream and the preferred healthcare option. We have got great support from CSIR-Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (IIIM), Ayush Ministry and the Ayurvedic doctors’ community. They have all put faith in our efforts to make Ayurveda go mainstream. We have also got support from investors who are backing and fuelling our growth.
FAB: How do entrepreneur groups provide support to each other?
Ram Kumar: Entrepreneur groups are great platforms to share insights about the success or even setbacks of new businesses. The brainstorming and knowledge exchanges provide a fresh perspective suitable for new age businesses. That means decoding traditional approach and using out of box ideas in the current dynamic, business scenario. Last, but most important, the references and moral support that we get from each other is unparalleled.
FAB: What is your vision for your company?
Ram Kumar: Majority of people have trust in Ayurveda, but they don’t have same trust in Doctors and Medicines. NirogStreet’s vision is to develop faith and bring credibility into Ayurvedic Treatment as the preferred choice in modern healthcare. Our endeavor is that people, not just in India, but across the world should recognize Ayurveda as the most sustainable healthcare solution.
FAB: What is the legacy you want to leave behind after say fifty years?
Ram Kumar: The biggest challenge for Ayurveda is the lack of documentation and passing on the knowledge. We are in the process of establishing strong channels to exchange knowledge and creating platforms to record the right treatments. We aim at making Ayurvedic healthcare easily available for future generations.
FAB: How can small businesses get the required expertise from professionals?
Ram Kumar: Getting the right set of advice and professional expertise is a key, deciding factor between success and failure. To achieve the dream of being a small business owner, you need to get help from different professionals. The first step is to look for the right mentor. It’s a good idea to talk to other business owners and understand the technicality and challenges of establishing a business. Finance experts can help you in dealing with various ways of funding, managing funds and preparing effective and impactful financial proposals. Legal experts are also essential for small businesses to develop a solid business plan, establishing the right kind of business structure and registering the business entity. From collections to other legalities of business, they are your best companions in the journey of moving towards an established business empire. Recruiters and hiring consultancies can help you in creating the right team to take your business to new heights. Also, one of the critical aspects of consumer reach is strong marketing support. One should actively seek help from marketing advisors and agencies to take your product or service to market in the most impactful way. They will help you in exploring new avenues and platforms to penetrate deeper into the identified consumer base.
FAB: What advantages, in your opinion, do small businesses have over the more established larger ones?
Ram Kumar: Smaller businesses have a major advantage of quick decision making and implementation. While bigger organisations have to go through a long cycle to implement a new idea. A small organization can turn around quicker in the most effective and efficient way. Also, while established businesses are careful and hesitant about experimental campaigns and changes, smaller organisations are more open to adopt experimental actions. There is a huge scope for creativity and freedom to explore new avenues.
FAB: How has your family been a su Smaller businesses have a major advantage of quick decision making and implementation pport in your journey?
Re: Family for me is the center of everything. While we fight many lonely battles as an entrepreneur, it is our family which becomes a pillar of strength. ‘The you can do it’ approach from family members makes us strong at times when we are overcome with weakness.