Why are Health and Wellness Startups Flourishing? All these factors have significantly helped startups to flourish in the health and wellness verticals

By Surendranath Chilamkurty

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The health and wellness industry is experiencing exponential growth. These have become mainstream, and the proliferating startups in these sectors are a testimony. Till last year, there were 4892 startups in the health tech space and raised $504 million between 2014-2018. Same is true for the wellness industry as well, which has been growing at a CAGR of nearly 12per cent and is expected to be ₹1.5 trillion industry by 2020. Largely unstructured and docile in the 1990s, today, these are one of the most active and growing industries. Startups have been quick in harnessing the vast business opportunities that the wellness and health sector offers.

The following factors have facilitated the startup boom in the health and wellness sector:

Surge in Lifestyle Diseases: There has been a constant rise in the urban population across the country. Urbanisation has come with its own pros and cons. With rapid exposure to global cuisines, work-life imbalance, increasing stress levels and changing lifestyles, the urban population is getting exposed to lifestyle-related diseases and disorders.

Increasing Health Awareness: The increasing health issues and lifestyle concerns are also giving rise to health consciousness among people. There is a surge in demand for lifestyle correction among people of every age group. The trend is peaking among the millennials. They are taking up routine health check-ups and wellness regime more seriously than ever.

Increasing Disposable Income: Along with awareness, people's purchasing power has aided in lifestyle corrective measures. Current financial year, India is expected to become a $3 trillion economy. People moving to the cities in the lure of better jobs and lifestyle have sizeable disposable income. There is a paradigm shift in the spending habits of Indians. The domestic consumption in India has increased 3.5 times in the last decade and is expected to touch $4.88 trillion by 2028.

The Entry of the Internet of Things: There has been a huge gap between the physical and the digital arena in the health and wellness industry. To bridge this gap, there is a wave of startups capitalising on the Internet of Things. By using the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, startups can provide medical professionals and brands with a direct medium to communicate and diagnose people in real-time. People are only a click away from experts' consultations, and they can make use of it anytime, anywhere.

All these factors have significantly helped startups to flourish in the health and wellness verticals. They have been able to personalise and customise products and services according to the customers' need. There is an increasing trend of consumer centricity and the wellness players, are catering to it by providing customised solutions. They are providing services to customers at the convenience of place and time. This trend is expected to augment further with the use of a predictive approach enabled by Artificial Intelligence.

Startups will continue to expand in the health and wellness vertical with each passing year. These industries are getting organised and structured, and their demand is increasing in tier 1 and tier 2 cities too. As this trend of personalised and 24*7 healthcare and wellness facilities will continue to grow, more professional startups will enter into these sectors. Even at the business level, to address the lifestyle challenges, startups can expect more demand and growth in the form of corporate tie-ups, mergers and acquisitions, paving more opportunities for building efficient wellness and health industry.

Surendranath Chilamkurty

Co-Founder of Ayuriti (A product of HealthSignz)

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