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How Bengaluru-based AyurUniverse is working to put Ayurveda destinations on the global wellness map

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In a world where stress and lifestyle diseases rule, wellness matters. Almost everyone around the world wants to be in this “state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being”, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity (as defined by the World Health Organisation). India, which should have been on top of the wellness game with Ayurveda, yoga or Siddha medicine, does not seem to have benefited much despite these homegrown concepts resonating worldwide.

It was this thought that led Vijay Kumar Karai to leave behind his corporate life and turn entrepreneur. His aim was singular: to put Ayurveda, yoga, meditation, and other concepts on the global wellness map.

In 2016, he started Bengaluru-based AyurUniverse, an online wellness aggregator startup that leveraged technology to let customers worldwide search, choose, and book a wellness package of their choice without any intermediaries.

AyurUniverse founder & CEO Vijay Kumar Karai

“I always used to feel that people in India, well-qualified MBAs and others, did not have the courage to take an Indian brand abroad,” Vijay says. The idea for his venture came when he was running an Ayurvedic spa centre in Mysore. He soon realised that there was tremendous potential with strong demand, but all such units in India were operating in silos and lacked marketing bandwidth.

“My idea was why market just one centre? Why not market multiple centres on a global scale and reach out to customers worldwide,” says Vijay, who has an MBA from University of Southern California, and 18 years of corporate experience with companies like Coke and Pepsi in sales and marketing. The entrepreneur knew that the golden triangle of Indian tourism, Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur, drew the most........

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