The Network of Indian Cultural Enterprise (NICE), a “not for profit” company, was set up to create an ecosystem for cultural entrepreneurs of India to build successful, profitable and valuable business enterprises to strengthen India's cultural and creative economy. This in turn will lead to the presence of Indian brands at the global stage and contribute to India's soft power.
It recently held the NICE Aarohana Business Plan Competition, with the finals taking place on Feb 26th and 27th. An eminent selection committee and jury adjudicated ten finalists in the Early and Growth stage each. This was the 1st such competition in India with prize money, mentorship and other assistance being offered.
NICE Stories, features the finalists of NICE Aarohana Business Plan Competition. The founders were interviewed by Chitra Aiyer from the NICE Team.
Featuring Wellbeeing, a brand of Aurazia Wellness Pvt. Ltd, that offers Integrated and Functional Medicine by blending western and eastern systems of medicine. Wellbeing was a finalist at the NICE Aarohana Business Plan Competition – Growth Stage. The enterprise's focus is not only on health but more importantly also on wellness. This approach seeks out the root causes of medical conditions and provides sustainable, safer healthcare and wellness.
- Dr. B G Roopa Lakshmi (h c) – Founder & Managing Director
- Mr. R Mahender Singh – Co-founder & Director
- Dr. B G Gopala Krishna Hebbar – Co-founder & Director
More about the team here.
Dr. Roopa Lakshmi is a graduate in pharmacy (B Pharma) and management (PGDMM), MPWE-IIMB. She founded Wellbeeing after 17+ years of experience in eminent pharma companies and group hospitals.
Read her story about Wellbeeing.
The Motivation to Found Wellbeeing
When my mother was diagnosed with cancer, I found myself helpless during her treatment, even though I was working in an eminent hospital. That’s when I explored Ayurveda and other holistic & energy treatments along with the chemotherapy. The combination of treatments helped – her recovery was dramatic! We were not only able to reduce the chemo dose and totally avoid radiotherapy but also help her in having a healthy life for over 15 years!
Wellbeeing, an Integrated Health Centre
During my interactions with doctors in the different systems and with my experience in both the pharmaceutical industry (chemical drugs vs. herbal drugs) and hospitals (Western standardized services vs. Eastern personalized therapies), the importance of treating the whole body (body, mind & spirit) became evident to me. I realized that every system of medicine has its own strengths and weaknesses in aligning with the current lifestyle demands – one system’s strength is another system’s weakness.
With this backdrop, I started WELLBEEING as an Integrated Health Centre in 2013. We have doctors from various medical systems – Allopathy, Ayurveda & Naturopathy – working together to transform the lives of people who have lifestyle disorders. We offer non-invasive and integrated solutions for preventive, curative and rehabilitation services.
The limitations of the single system made me restless for many years, until I plunged into offering integrated and holistic solutions at WELLBEEING.
Bringing together the two systems was effective in treating illnesses using a multi-pronged holistic approach. I realized that it was high time we redefined our healthcare system! India possesses a treasure trove of over 5000 years of Ayurveda knowledge and traditional medical science in various forms.
Here’s what we have done successfully:
- Reverse diabetes in over 500 individuals with our flagship offering, the Diabetes Reversal Program
- Develop solutions for over 15 disorders. We are confident that we can handle many more types of disorders, both chronic and acute cases.
- Touch over 30,000 lives with various services and have succeeded in transforming the lives of individuals and their families
I was convinced that both the systems could be scientifically amalgamated for a safer and positive outcome in every disease. By combining the strength of standardization of one system with the personalization of the other system, we were able to reduce the dependency on long-term medication and suffering, while improving the quality of living and aging and reducing the cost burden and hospitalization.
We use standardized allopathic treatments to front-end our offerings that are supported and aided by Ayurveda, Yoga and other therapies to complete our integrated and holistic offerings. Our approach helps us address serious ailments and better the standard of practice of other systems. It enables us to provide an end-to-end solution while handling both chronic and acute cases.
Our competitors offer only Ayurveda integrated with yoga and nutrition, without a complete integration between the two systems. The existing wellness centers are perceived more as a luxury service and not a necessity. Our offerings are far more accessible and affordable to all.
Our endeavor has undoubtedly been challenging from inception. The entrepreneurial journey has been nothing short of a roller-coaster ride.
A lot of our time and burn that went into R&D for creating protocols (clinical services can’t be patented) are now ready to be converted to technology solutions. These are our IPs (Intellectual Property).
Our ultimate goal is to develop a ‘Center of Excellence’ – specialty-wise, a global destination center.
We incorporated a non-profit organization called IIM Foundation (Institute of Integrative Medicine Foundation for Research & Education) to access the support of both Govt. and private institutes in parallel. This Foundation will not only undertake research to provide scientific evidence of Ayurvedic treatment and its protocols but also establish standards while enabling the personalization of treatments. This will help us achieve global awareness to the power of holistic treatments.
Our mission requires significant support of systems and processes as well as trained doctors who are enabled with digitization and technology, which will help us scale, collaborate, ideate and develop a sustainable business. This needs good funding and coaching support as we convert a “need” into a ‘want’ in the market.
Our vision is to develop a “scientific-heritage” place for the global community to visit, explore and experience. We aspire to be an Indian multinational brand of value by uplifting the Indianness and ethos of our leadership culture.
Looking back, it sure feels like we started this venture ahead of its time. Due to bootstrapping, we faced challenges with financial management and operational complexities.
The transformation of professionals, perceptive management, collaborative mindset and business ethics have been some of our valuable learnings. It has been an interesting and innovative journey – we strongly feel it was all worth it.
Advice for Cultural Entrepreneurs
The good you do always comes back multi-fold.
The cultural richness and values of our country definitely can lead us to be on the global platform. Our cultural heritage has a positive impact on our mind, body or spirit inherently.
Current Market | Typical Customer
At WELLBEEING, we strive for the holistic healthcare system that every individual aspires for. From a youngster who wants to be fit to a middle-aged person who is starting to have lifestyle disorders to an elderly person whose vital organs have begun to deteriorate. Integrated Medicine & Functional Medicine (IM & FM) interventions can make a huge difference in preventing the progression of the disease, reducing further risks and offering a better quality of life.
The future of healthcare is in an evolved system that focuses on clear outcomes – higher quality, lower costs, and better overall safety.
On Making it to the Finals of the NICE Aarohana Business Plan Competition
Making it to the finals of the NICE Aarohana Business Plan Competition has meant a lot to us. Even though we have experienced many mentoring platforms in the past, the NICE mentoring team has strengthened our conviction towards pioneering in the field of IM & FM.
Being an enterprise that believes in Indian values and culture, we hope to be mentored in transformational leadership than in transactional leadership. We want to be nurtured and prepared for a business model that has long-term stability, is sustainable and stands for its values.
In valuing our kind of business, NICE Aarohana has encouraged us to march forth!
This conversation, originally published in NICE Resource Center,was authored by Chitra Aiyer.
Chitra is interested in all things Indian and enjoys reading and writing. She has been a technical writer, a freelance writer, blogger, professional photographer, content creator, and an architect. She has worked in startups and has also been part of various citizen-led initiatives, both in the online and offline world. She trained in architecture and professional writing. She is an alumna of Mysore University and San Jose State University.
Images from Dr. Roopa Lakshmi, founder of Wellbeeing, one of the finalists at the NICE Aarohana Business Plan Competition – Growth Stage.