Q&A library

I am the owner of an Ayurveda treatment centre in Rishikesh and we have customers globally. We are providing health services but we want to expand our business in manufacturing health products. Please help us by providing the full information and details on how to start manufacturing, from licencing to registration on various platform. We are established in the state of Uttarakhand.
Questioned by Vikash Gangwar, Uttarakhand
The registration can be done under Ayush Department for ayurvedic preparations. This can considered as an approval subject to your products and services offered. Brand name registration comes under Intellectual property Act. You may take the support of a reputed Marketing agency for the same. Ayush department provides approval for manufacturing combinations of herbs in case of patented proprietary ayurvedic medicines. Supporting documents have to be attached with product approval file. Ayurvedic manufacturing companies can only prepare pre-approved herb combinations. If a new preparation has to be made, guidelines of Ayush department have to be followed. Generally you need to apply with the Medicine Brand Name of all formulations containing only such ingredients mentioned in the formulae described in the authoritative books of Ayurveda. You may contact the Ministry of Ayush at +91-11-23978046 or email at ncov2019@gov.in for in-depth details and procedures. For further guidelines and advice, visit https://www.ayush.gov.in/

I had started my business in garments, just before lockdown. I am currently experiencing a lot of issues in my family. Please guide me on how I can manage my full time work and responsibility of my family and home. I feel I am under a lot of stress and it is getting overwhelming.
Questioned by ARSHEE PARVEEN, Uttar Pradesh
We are currently living in difficult times that no one could have anticipated, so firstly, remember not to be hard on yourself for everything that happens around you. Second, there are things that are within your control and then there are things you cannot control, do your best at the things that are within your control and realise that you cannot control the rest. Here are some things that you can try: Create a schedule for children that matches the routine of a regular school day. This will keep them occupied while you work. Give them a detailed structure of your work timings and explain to them that you cannot always be available. Give yourself 15 minutes each night to take stock of your duties/commitments for the next day and make a to-do list of the most important things to be done. Prioritise them by order of importance and estimate timings for these duties. This will help you to reduce decision fatigue the next day. Communicating your routine to those at home can help to manage their expectations better. NOTE: Anything that remains unfinished can be moved to the next day. Just remember not to be harsh on yourself. Set time to partake in activities with family(this can be for a few minutes everyday or during the weekends) and help with household chores outside of your work hours. Be mindful of how much you can take on and designate responsibilities to your family members. Taking on too much may show that you are available and willing, and your overall productivity may suffer for it. More importantly avoid tackling domestic chores and working simultaneously as this will divide your attention. Take time for yourself: Taking time for yourself should be a priority. It's something you should do no matter how tired you are. Take things one day at a time. Even if one thing goes better than it did the day before, remember that it is still significant - it is still an improvement. And if nothing goes well, it is a reminder for you to take a step back and give yourself(and the people around you) a breather.

Hello, Respected Sir/Ma’am Thank you for this initiative to help budding entrepreneurs. Before I ask you my question, let me give you a brief context about our company/start-up so that you can better understand our situation and help us accordingly. We started our company as PhysioBuddy (www.physiobuddy.co.in) to provide online physiotherapy consultation but it didn’t took us much time to realise that going so narrow in a domain (healthcare in our case) also narrows down our target customers as for next 15 days we couldn’t find a single customer for our services. So later we changed our company to Buddy Healthcare Services (www.buddyhealthcareservices.com) and expanded our services and started providing online consultation in physiotherapy, Ayurveda, and General Physicians. But we still couldn’t find much customers. We feel problem could be in our marketing strategy as we don’t have any funding therefore, we so far are only doing marking through non monetary ways like share our poster in various groups, doing some free events with our Facebook groups, social media marketing etc. We also tried paid Facebook ads with whatever money we had but still no luck. So now are the questions: 1.With non-monetary marketing methods, we have realised that we can only reach to a very limited people which doesn’t seems to be much useful. Also, we see that there are other competitors also like Practo, so the only way we see by which we can rise is T.V Advertisements(as it’ll give us wider audience and make us more popular), for that we would need good funding which we don’t have so what to do with the marketing??? 2.Our business model is that we take patients and provide them with relevant doctors and take a commission, the problem with this is because of commission model we get very low profit so only way we see in this situation is that we increase our numbers and for that we would need better marketing which again lead us to question 1. So, is there any other way out??? 3.We are also interested to take our services to rural areas, so will it be helpful and what should be our strategy to do that??? 4.We are also curious if there is any government schemes or platform that we can use in our Start-up???
Questioned by Neeraj Kumar, Maharashtra
The first step would be to list the main business providers like some widely acknowledged doctors, physicians from both General Medicine and Ayurveda that will bring in business. They can be from your local community as well outside the community, your contacts and referrals. Apart from doctor online consultation, you can also try to include some additional services to your clients like health insurance, marketing of related health products and also delivery of the essential medicos, trauma care etc, making it a one stop shop for all health-related concerns. In the marketing strategy, firstly you need to create a robust website and make its impact known through social media, through Facebook and Instagram which should be a regular feature. Posters, brochures in all main business establishments, apartments, supermarkets etc in your community can definitely boost your revenue at the initial phase. Share reviews from happy clients on all your social media sites. These are one of the most important drivers of sales. People always trust customer/client reviews. Use WhatsApp for Business as a medium of communication. Keep constant communication with clients/prospective clients to maintain a steady momentum. A good brand recall and excellent customer service will differentiate you from your competitors. Referral programs with offers can also be considered. Advertisement in TV and magazines are much more expensive than digital marketing methods and may not yield as much if it does not reach the right audience. It would be a challenge to run an online health consultation service in a rural area. You may initially organize an awareness campaign in rural areas and make your presence known. The challenge will be in educating customer on digitization and other aspects related to online services. The government and many other financial institutions are providing assistances for new businesses. There are many schemes and options available under MSME as Collateral-free loan, Credit Guarantee Fund Scheme for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE), MUDRA Loans, Stand-Up India etc. The eligibility criteria of the loans differ from the nature of the loan, nature of the business, turnover etc. At the initial stage of a business, it is advisable to keep loans and other liabilities minimum. Also, in order to get a business loan from any lender, it is important to prepare a good business plan. The cap limit depends on the nature of the loan, the institution providing the loan, the nature of the business and business plan etc.

I am a hotelier with 18 years experience and due to pandemic lost my job . Right now I am staying in goa and keen to explore opportunity as budding entrepreneurs in Ayurveda , I am planning an Ayurveda Eco village of 10 rooms is goa. I am seeing an opportunity to explore more in Ayurveda and want to specifically understand opportunity in sector and best start up where government is also supporting and offering loan and subsidy . Medical plant cultivation is also an opportunity I want to explore.
Questioned by Ratheesh Nambiar, Maharashtra
That is a great idea - it is an area that is picking up pace and has definitely received a lot of visibility recently. Both the areas are new and give a lot of potential in terms of becoming businesses. They also have a long term appeal since Goa has a constant stream of tourists. Hence you can explore it and go ahead with it.

How can we manage stress and depression due to this pandemic situation, especially among old age and non-working women?
Create a daily routine to structure your every day: Maintain a specific bed-time and wake-up time, keep up with personal hygiene, eat healthy meals with a good balance of all the nutrients and keep yourself hydrated during the day. Maintain a to-do list of important things to be done the next day and prioritise them by order of importance. This will help to reduce decision fatigue and will help you to structure your day better. Take at least 3 minutes to meditate everyday by taking some slow breaths: in through your nose, then slowly breathe out. Slow breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress, because it signals to your brain to relax your body. Notice how you are feeling and what you are thinking, without judgment. Instead of responding or reacting to those thoughts or feelings, note them, and then choose to let them go. Make time to exercise regularly, even if just for 4-5 minutes a day. Science has proven that walking helps to send more oxygen into the brain which helps the brain to remain focused and even reduce sensitivity to stress and pain. Give yourself something to look forward to, whether it be a good cup of tea in the morning, a walk in the evening, watching your favourite T.V show, or a phone call with a close friend. Remember not to be hard on yourself. Accept that some days will be more productive than others. Finally, if the symptoms of anxiety and depression persist, reach out for help. We recommend talking to a mental health professional as they will provide a safe, non-judgemental environment for you to vent and reflect on things.

Will restricting inter state travel help prevent the spread of covid-19 cases?
Questioned by Ayushi Tiwari, Karnataka
To bring an effective control in the present situation, it is important that interstate travel is restricted as can be seen from the central and state government measures to this effect. So far, if we were to summarise the guidelines of different state governments and the centre; since after a nationwide lockdown for 2 months, India entered it’s unlock in segmented phases for unlock. In the initial phase of unlock 2.0 we resumed interstate level, however with number of Covid cases seeing a sharp rise, the final unlock 4.0 had mobility options with new set of guidelines deciding that interstate travel shall be resumed with only airlines, private vehicles and cargo movement being allowed. However the Interstate movement of the passenger vehicles and buses was left to be decided by the respective state governments. The movement of individuals still remains strictly prohibited between 7 PM to 7 AM, except for essential activities. The above guidelines are being implemented until further notification from the government. With containment zones and hotspots increasing day by day, the source of contact unknown and with asymptomatic cases at its peak, the interstate travel restriction norms seemingly need to be strictly monitored for some more time. (Reference: Ministry of Home Affairs, Economic times, Hindustan times)

Are there any plans underway to allow Covid-19 patients to access private hospitals using a government insurance scheme?
There is no specific plan that will guarantee access to all private hospitals with a government health insurance scheme. However, the largest Government Health Insurance Scheme, Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY) offers coverage from 5 lakhs across select private hospitals. Apart from this there are many state-sponsored health schemes that offer access to private hospitals -- the list of private hospitals and the amount of coverage however will vary with each scheme.For more details, it is best to visit the website of the health insurance scheme enrolled in or call the centre/agent through which the enrolment was done.

In future for life insurance will COVID be a health rider?
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has not yet introduced any policies under life insurance for Covid. Taking cue from the increasing panic amongst the people and rapid spread of the novel coronavirus, all health insurers in India have started covering treatment for coronavirus under the regular health insurance policy. However, as per the directions of the IRDAI, insurers have introduced Coronavirus-specific health insurance products that provide dedicated coverage against the deadly virus.Such plans are an excellent way to compensate for loss of income during the treatment of the illness as the policyholder is paid the entire sum insured as a lump sum in case of testing positive for coronavirus. However, one must only buy these plans as a rider along with the regular indemnity based health plans that provide comprehensive coverage against all illnesses and ailments up to the total sum insured.

How accessible is the Covid test to me? Is it available at all medical centres or just select hospitals? Also, can anyone take the test even if asymptomatic?
Two kinds of tests are available for Covid-19: Viral tests and Antibody tests. A viral test tells you if you have a current infection. An antibody test might tell you if you had a past infection. Decisions about testing are made by state and resident health departments or healthcare providers. You can visit your state or local health centres, health department’s website or dial local helpline number to look for the latest local information on testing and testing centres. If you have symptoms of Covid-19 and want to get tested, call your state or nearest health centres, local health department first. If you have symptoms of Covid-19 and are not tested, it is important to stay home. Right now people are getting tested only if a doctor advises them to do so, i.e. with a prescription for Covid-19 test from a qualified physician. The doctors decides and prescribes the Covid-19 test if you develop the acute onset of fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, depending upon your history of travel to affected countries or contact with any suspects.

Is there any health insurance provided specifically for the treatment of Covid-19?
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has now allowed life, general and health insurers to offer Coronavirus specific short-term health insurance policies. These short-term policies will offer insurance for a period of 3-11 months. These policies are permitted to be offered both as individual and group products. A circular issued on 23 June 2020 lays down the guidelines for introduction of short-term health insurance policies providing cover for Covid-19 disease.The circular states, "With an objective of making insurance protection available to various sections of people in the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic, it is considered that short-term health insurance policies providing coverages specific to Covid-19 disease is the need of the hour. Accordingly, all insurers (Life, General and Health Insurers) are allowed to offer Covid-19 specific short-term health insurance policies subject to these guidelines."Short-term health policy means any health insurance policy contract which has been issued for a policy term of 3 to 11 months. Within this period, the policy term shall be in multiples of completed months.

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