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Global Businesses Dig deep into Indian Culture for Growth These three ideas from Indian heritage have become a global phenomena

By Komal Nathani

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Whether it's an age-old science of Ayurveda or an ancient Hindu philosophical practice Yoga, heritage of India has become a big source of ideas to startup for entrepreneurs globally.

From providing the service of types of Yoga to the apparels one can fascinate about, a large number of entrepreneurs are finding the barrage of ideas from India to start-up.

Entrepreneur India takes a look at three ideas from Indian heritage that have gone beyond the Indian peripheries to grow worldwide as a good practice.

Yoga

From the by-lanes of holy place Rishikesh to the broad streets of Vatican City, Yoga has become a flavor of fitness globally. The age-old Hindu philosophical practice, yoga, is now a global phenomenon, followed by millions of people. Indian entrepreneurs are not the only ones who are eyeing the lucrative side of it, but there are entrepreneurs globally who are betting high on Yoga for a starting up a business. A Los Angeles based 44-year old McKenna Rowe turned her passion for Yoga into an entrepreneurial journey by starting up Chakra 5 Yoga, a company that specializes in teaching on-demand yoga classes at busy corporate offices.

In a chat with Entrepreneur US, Rowe explained why offering yoga at work is just smart business. Yes, it's beneficial for the soul, and "sure, it contributes to employees' well-being, no doubt about it," she says. "But doing yoga at work has also been shown to increase productivity, which can make for a healthy bottom line, too."

Chakra 5 Yoga has a wide list of top notch clients that include the likes of Paramount Studios, ABC and Disney, several major hospitals etc. Similarly, another men's apparel brand Vuori introduced its clothing range of Yoga apparels one should wear while doing Yoga.

After years of beating himself up playing football and lacrosse, Joe Kudla took up yoga. But he couldn't find much to wear. "Out of 17 million people doing yoga, six million were men—the fastest-growing demographic," told 40-year-old Kudla to Entrepreneur. "Yet there was not one brand targeting that market." This is how Kudla started his venture in 2008 and today the company plans to open a second store in Southern California. Next year, revenues should reach well north of $10 million.

Ayurveda

While India's ancient culture has a big contribution in today's algorithms of science and technology, an ancient science of Ayurveda has also touched a global base with its effectiveness. Over the years, the globalization of Yoga has eased the path to globalization for Ayurveda. A large amount of legacy old businesses are reviving their base to go towards the bigger markets. One of them is a 100-year old Ayurveda legacy company, Baidyanath.

"The globalization of Yoga has eased the globalization of Ayurveda as India is already developing an adherence across the world which states people believe in the Indian systems now, said Anurag Sharma the Managing Director of Shree Baidyanath Ayurveda Bhawan, one of India's oldest Ayurveda companies.

He says organic skincare products are seeing wider reach and the market is anticipated to expand further. 'That's the space which we can now take abroad and globalize Ayurveda,' says Sharma.

According to the 2017 Orbis Research, the Global Ayurvedic Market accounted for $3,428.0 million in 2015, and is expected to reach $9,791.0 million by 2022 growing at a CAGR of 16.2 per cent from 2015 to 2022.

On asking if global consumers are interested in centuries-old natural processes and practices used in India, Sharma said 'Indians as well as global audiences have realized that going back to the centuries-old technology and adapting it to the current technology is indeed the best way.'

Even the India's leading FMCG Company, Baba Ramdev's Patanjali is flexing its muscles on the world stage. The company is reportedly set to go global with INR 3000 crore investment from a French luxury brand Louis Vuitton.

Sanskrit

A language which is the source of origin of other languages of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, has its multiple uses in today's advanced forms of technologies. According to Indian President Ram Nath Kovind, Sanskrit is the most suitable language for machine learning and Artificial Intelligence. Kovind said, "It is not that the works in Sanskrit are limited to spiritualism, philosophy, devotion, ritualism or literature. It is also the language of knowledge and science. Important works of scientists and mathematicians such as Aryabhatt, Varaah Mihir, Bhaskar, Charak and Sushrut were created in Sanskrit."

The president said now yoga is being discovered across the world and celebrated internationally on 21 June, while Ayurveda is also gaining popularity and all this knowledge was originally available only in Sanskrit. "Many scholars believe that the grammar of Sanskrit, which is rule-bound, formula-bound and logical, is the most appropriate to write algorithms, or to be used in machine learning and even artificial intelligence," he said.

Komal Nathani

Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia Pacific

A firm believer of hard work and patience. Love to cover stories that hold a potential to change the momentum of business world. Currently, a part of all-women web team of Entrepreneur’s Asia Pacific edition to jig the wheel of business journalism!

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