As part of its organic growth strategy, the 112-year-old Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Sala, one of the most trusted healthcare brands in the country, is planning to spread out to North India.

The AVS, which specializes in classical Ayurveda treatment of Kerala lineage, has a network of 2,000 exclusive dealers and 27 branch clinics, mainly in South India. In the next three years, it will be making its presence felt in northern States by opening more dealerships and branches. Already, it has a hospital in Delhi and a branch was opened in Indore recently.

The 350-bed hospital at Kottakkal has patients from several countries. The AVS produces 530 types of medicines at its three factories. A large chunk of herbs required comes from its own medicinal plantations. The company, with a 300-crore annual turnover and 2,200 staff, currently gets 70 per cent of its revenue from medicine sales, and has been happy with sub-10 per cent annual growth in revenues.

The firm, most of whose facilities and assets remain at Kottakkal where Vaidyaratnam PS Varier founded a small Ayurvedic clinic and pharmacy in 1902, has a unique management model mandated by the founder. It is run by a trust comprising seven members – five come from two families associated with the founder and two from among the staff.

The managing trustee is the CEO. The current managing trustee, who is also the chief physician of the AVS, is the 93-year-old PK Warrier. Remarkably healthy and agile for his age, PK Warrier has been at the helm for 60 years – probably the longest-serving CEO of a business enterprise in the country.

Charity is a major aspect of the AVS. For instance, 45 per cent of the profit goes to the 165-bed charitable hospital it runs and 10 per cent to an Ayurveda college it founded. The rest of the profit is ploughed back into the AVS for development activities. The AVS also maintains the AVS Natyasangahm, a Kathakali dance troupe.

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