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Yoga asana should be accepted as a sport: Joint Secretary, Ministry of AYUSH

Jul 24, 2019

    Wellness industry including beauty care, nutritional care, fitness centers, alternate therapy and rejuvenation (spa) likely to US$24 billion by FY20: FICCI-EY Wellness Report


NEW DELHI, 24 July 2019: Mr P N Ranjit Kumar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India today said that the government is working towards getting yoga asana accepted as a sport.


Speaking at the '6th India Wellness Conclave 2019 - Nurturing the Wellness Industry for a Healthier and Happier India', organized by FICCIMr Kumar said that the National Board for Promotion and Development of Yoga and Naturopathy has recommended recognizing yoga asanas (poses) as a sporting activity.


"Yoga asanas (not yoga) should be recognized as a sport. We are hopeful that yoga asana will be accepted as a sport and maybe by the time we have the Olympics in 2036 or 2040, this will be an item there," he said, adding there were very few sports of eastern, Asian or Indian origin in the international sports arena.


With India targeting to become a $5 trillion economy by 2024, Mr Kumar said that the contribution of Wellness industry is poised to be $50 billion at current growth rate. However, we should aim for a faster growth to make it $100 billion industry and centre of new India growth story, he added.


Highlighting yoga was gaining popularity world over, Mr Kumar said that while there were 85 lakhs people who participated on the International Day of Yoga in 2016, it rose to 2.8 crore in 2017, 9.5 crore in 2018 and 13 crore in 2019 as per the provisional figures.


"These are people who follow the yoga protocol on their own without compulsion. It's not about yoga. It's about wellness, about maintaining one�s own health, taking care of self and about a happier India," he said. The government is setting up Naturopathy Certification Board on the lines of Yoga Certification Board, he added.


To support formalization of the highly unorganized wellness and beauty industry, Dr Harish Nadkarni, CEO, National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH) said, "If cost is the concern for NABH accreditation, we can come out with entry level standards for the wellness centre, which will be win-win proposition for both the industry as well as NABH."


Mr Sharad Marathe, Chairman, AYUSH Task Force, Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India said that the industry players should target the global market and that skill development will happen the moment market demands for it.


Mr Pinakiranjan Mishra, Partner, Ernst & Young said that the wellness sector is growing at a fast rate and has belied all earlier expectations. Yet, lot of work was needed to further boost the sector and make India a preferred wellness destination.


Mr Sandeep Ahuja, Chairman, FICCI Wellness Committee & Director, VLCC Healthcare Ltd said that skill-based education and training are the need of the hour for the wellness industry.


Mr Rajiv Nair, Co-Chairman, FICCI Wellness Committee & CEO, Kaya Ltd. said that FICCI would be happy to support NABH in coming-up with second set of standards for wellness industry and this sector possesses enormous potential for growth in the country.


FICCI-EY report on 'Wellness and beauty - An ecosystem in the making' was also released at the event.


FICCI-EY report on 'Wellness and beauty - An ecosystem in the making' highlights: 

-   Overall wellness industry including beauty care, nutritional care, fitness centers, alternate therapy and rejuvenation (spa) is forecasted to reach US$24 billion by FY-2020, up from US$13 billion in FY15.

-      Some segments like fitness and alternative therapies are in nascent stages and offer significant growth prospects. For e.g., the fitness segment in India is quite underpenetrated (~1%) compared to roughly 16%-20% in the US or Australia.

-       Our ancient knowledge of AYUSH therapies is a great treasure, which is yet to be fully explored and made accessible to everyone. It needs to be combined with modern concepts and advanced technologies so as to make them a part of the mainstream. The need of the hour is to create adequate awareness and educate the customers about the importance of preventive healthcare.

-    The rising preference for organic, herbal and ayurvedic products, growing demand for premium services, changes in lifestyles and increasing number of women entering the corporate workforce are expected to drive the growth. Further, with the entry of global players and exposure of domestic customers to global trends, the operating environment is expected to become more competitive and demanding.

-      Number of start-ups in health-tech space grew by 28% from 250 in 2016 to 320 in the first half of 2017.

-       The start-ups in health-tech attracted a funding of US$160m in FY18, a hike of 129% against US$70m in FY17.

-      The wellness tourism industry is estimated to be growing at an annual rate of 22%.



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