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Soothika seeks funds, in talks with investors to pursue growth in maternal & new born care

Nandita Vijay, Bengaluru
Monday, July 17, 2017, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Ayurvedic maternal care provider, Soothika, is now discussing with the venture capital and angel investors to raise funds to chart its next growth path. The company was seed funded by Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation.

The four-year-old company has now set its eyes on non-resident Indians and foreign tourists as part of its expansion plan. Founded as a partnership firm in 2012, Soothika is gearing up to portray its expertise globally in maternal and new born care.

“We are also a brand equity partner of Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd. There has been no other fund infusion as of now. We are operationally self-sustainable. However funds are needed for future growth, especially for a national level brand building exercise,” Rekha C Babu, Founder, Soothika Ayurveda Pregnancy Prodice, told Pharmabiz.

The action plan is to bolster the wellness tourism sector where Soothika is tapping the NRIs who wish to come to India for birthing with comfortable facilities where they could shift from the maternity hospital directly to its ‘ Moliday’ (mother’s holiday) centre. Those young couples who do not have a support system at home can now avail all the facilities of postnatal care. Ayurveda brand Soothika has been well accepted by gynaecologists for its  post pregnancy care practices, she added.

The company has created a network to reach out to 3.3 percent of its target market. At present only 5 percent of the households in India can afford the Soothika products and services. It is estimated the India’s affluent class is expected to grow to 41 per cent by 2025. Soothika is optimistic to reach out to 5 lakh households by 2025, which is around 6% of the affluent market. Soothika has resorted to online and social media marketing and awareness creation in hospitals.

On how easy is to get the right candidate to serve for Soothika after the training programme, she said that even an unskilled uneducated mother could become a therapists. The key benefits are flexible working hours and remuneration of Rs. 300 per hour.

Soothika products are priced from Rs. 650 to Rs. 2,500 for post pregnancy care. Third party manufacturers who go through stringent quality control process are engaged for the production of products.

There are homecare centers which provide post pregnancy homecare. Ayurveda outlets selling generic oils can also be used for post pregnancy care. Soothika has developed a 4 step therapy program which involves application of oils, heat therapy, bath and abdominal binding.

Wellness through Ayurveda for newly delivered mothers is a totally unexplored segment for the working women. Inspite of the premium pricing, there is a demand for Soothika trained therapists. Home healthcare centers are keen to provide the specialized Soothika service instead of the non-definitive care they provide, she said.

 

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