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Homeopathy pops a growth pill in Gujarat

Sohini Das  |  Mumbai/ Ahmedabad 

While the homeopathy industry in the country clocking a 30 per cent growth rate, the homeopathic clinics in the state seem to have received a shot in the arm, with some of them reporting even 100 per cent growth in the last two years.

Apex industry chamber Assocham (Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India) has recently said in its report that the overall homeopathy industry in the country is likely to reach a size of Rs 4,600 crore as the number of takers is growing fast within India. Globally, the homeopathy market is estimated at Rs 26,300 crore with France being the largest contributor, according to the study by Assocham. Last year, the domestic homeopathy market size was about Rs 2,758 crore.

A Batra of Dr. Batra's Clinic, which operates four clinics in Gujarat including two at Ahmedabad, one each at Vadodara and Surat, said, "Our initial years in the state witnessed slow growth rates, around 5-10 per cent. But, in the last two years we have managed to grow by over 100 per cent. The interest in homeopathy has been steadily been on the rise, especially with the state chief minister Narendra Modi saying that he is a user himself."

Buoyed by the response, Dr. Batra's is now planning to start a fifth clinic at Rajkot within the next five to six months. Batra feels that this renewed interest in homeopathy is indeed a significant development in the context of Gujarat which is one of the major allopathic pharmaceutical manufacturing hubs in the country. Another city based clinic, Happy Homeo Store and Clinic said, that one of the main reasons why people are now taking interest in homeopathy is that it is a relatively safer mode of treatment for children.

Almost one in three children in India suffer from some kind of allergy, and homeopathy can offer safe and long-term solutions to allergies, said a Happy Homeo official.

The Assocham reports cites reasons for growing homeopathy market in India, saying that homeopathy, besides providing for effective means treating chronic aliments is also available and easily accessible online to over 1.5 crore patients across the country.

The online homeopathy connectivity worldwide is available in more than 95 countries and interestingly a majority of them are economies of scale in which allopathy until recently has been more prevalent and in vogue.

In 2009-10, patients diagnosing their aliments with homeopathy throughout the country were estimated at 10-12 crore, whose number is likely to exceed to about 16 crore in the next two to three years in view of its popularity and acceptability among the general masses, says the study.

There are over 5 lakh registered homeopaths in the country currently, with approximately 20,000 more being added every year.

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First Published: Wed, March 30 2011. 00:19 IST