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SUMMARY

Indian healthcare consists of medical pluralism and Ayurveda

still remains dominant compared to modern medicine,

particularly for treatment of a variety of chronic disease

conditions. Ayurveda, one of the most ancient medical systems

has been widely practiced in the Indian subcontinent and has a

sound philosophical, and experimental basis. Ayurveda (Ayur:

Life; Veda: Science, means science of life in Sanskrit) aims at

holistic approach towards management of health care and

disease maintenance.

Over the past several decades, support for traditional

medicine has dramatically increased worldwide. Medicinal herbs

as potential source of therapeutics aids has attained a

significant role in health system the world over for both, humans

and animals, not only in the diseased condition but also as

potential material for maintaining proper overall health.

During last two decades, use of Ayurveda and other

Traditional Medicines has expanded globally and gained

popularity. It has not only continued to be used for primary

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health care of the poor people in developing countries, but has

also been used in advance developed countries also where

conventional medicine is predominant in the national health

care system. Herbal medicinal products have become popular

because of perceived safety and economy and inability of

allopathy to cure everything, but consumers now want more

authentic information on quality, safety and efficacy of HMPs

(Herbal medicinal products).

Ayurvedic medicines are being popular day by day because

these medicines are not only used, but are also effective in the

treatment of all kind of diseases. Now-a-days people give

preference to the Ayurvedic medicines as most of the Allopathic

medicines have side effects, whereas Ayurvedic medicines are for

away from such ill effects. Ayurvedic medicines are based on

plants, animals' extracts and minerals both, in single ingredient

drugs and compound formulations. Basic raw materials used in

the formulation of ayurvedic machines are mainly of plant origin,

hence consumption of ayurvedic medicine does not produce any

major adverse effect on body, beside the use of allopathic

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medicines may cause harmful effect on kidney, liver, intestines,

alongwith some allergic effect to skin.

In India, most of the people belonging to different strata of

society, primarily in rural areas, resort to the practices of Indian

systems of medicine, particularly Ayurveda, for health care. Due

to its countrywide presence, easy availability, affordability and

safety, it survived through centuries and later was formally

institutionalized in modern India as far as education and service

delivery was concerned.

Using natural homemade products has a cultural value

attached to it. Why do certain people give preference to Ayurvedic

drugs compared to Allopathic drugs? What are the factors

attached with Ayurvedic drugs which make them more desirable

to the consumers? Is the use of Ayurvedic drugs related to our

beliefs, attitudes and our life style? These questions generated

the idea to conduct a study on it.

The present study entitled "A Study of Consumers

Perception Towards Ayurvedic Drugs Vis-A-Vis Allopathic

Drugs" has made an attempt to evaluate consumers perception,

towards Ayurvedic drugs. This study focuses on the Consumers'

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attitude, views and believes associated with Ayurvedic drugs and

their availability and distribution system and to formulate the

marketing strategy for successful marketing of Ayurvedic drugs

in India. The study relies mainly on the primary data collected

through self-made validated questionnaires.

The objectives of the present study include the following:

To analyse the general consumers perception as regards to

Ayurvedic drugs.

To determine consumer attitudes as regards to Ayurvedic

drugs.

To determine believes of the consumer associated with

Ayurvedic drugs.

To assess the consumers perception of using Ayurvedic

drugs versus Allopathic drugs.

To identify gaps in current offerings of Ayurvedic drugs and

recommend distribution and availability accordingly.

To subsequently formulate the marketing strategy for

successful marketing of Ayurvedic drugs in India.

HYPOTHESIS : Based on review of related literature, following

hypotheses were made :

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Consumers' perception is that Ayurvedic drugs have no

side effect or adverse reaction.

Consumers perception is that Allopathic drugs are cheaper

compared to Ayurvedic drugs.

Consumers perception is that Ayurvedic drugs are not

easily available.

Consumers perception is that Allopathic drugs are fast in

action and cure the ailments quickly compared to

Ayurvedic drugs.

Consumers also perceive that Ayurvedic drugs cannot

compete with the latest formulations of Allopathic drugs

Apart from these hypotheses, researcher has also tried to

findout answer of the following questions :

Does the level of Consumers' perception that Ayurvedic

drugs have no side effect or adverse reaction differ in

different age group, educational groups or income groups?

Does the level of Consumers perception that Allopathic

drugs are cheaper compared to Ayurvedic drugs differ in

different age group, educational groups or income groups?

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Does the level of Consumers perception that Ayurvedic

drugs are not easily available differ in different age group,

educational groups or income groups?

Does the level of Consumers perception that Allopathic

drugs are fast in action and cure the ailments quickly

compared to Ayurvedic drugs differ in different age group,

educational groups or income groups?

Does the level of Consumers' perception that Ayurvedic

drugs cannot compete with the latest formulations of

Allopathic drugs differ in different age group, educational

groups or income groups?

The research design of present study was descriptive cum

exploratory research design.

Lucknow city was selected as research area in the present

study. Two commercial regions i.e. Gomtinagar and Chowk Area

of Lucknow city were purposively selected as study areas as both

the localities are densely populated with a blend of traditional

and modern culture. The Chowk area is the old city of Lucknow

inhabited by the traditional and old residents of Lucknow. The

residents of this area are not only traditional in their culture and

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belief but are also traditional towards a considerable extent in

their modern outlook. Chowk also has a mixed age group

population providing a unique blend of traditional and modern

values, culture and traditions in their outlook. In addition it also

has a number of Ayurvedic doctors, vaidyas and renowned

ayurvedic counters dispensing ayurvedic medicines. On the

other hand, Gomtinagar is a newly developed colony of Lucknow.

It is considered to be a colony of bureaucrats, politicians, higher

service and business class people having a modern outlook

towards their way of life. They belong to affluent class and are

also of a mixed age group. Therefore researcher in order to have a

blend of both traditional and modern outlook, culture, values,

beliefs, attitude, lifestyle and a lot of other factors thought it

appropriate to select these two divergent localities of Lucknow so

that the present work does not represent a one sided picture.

Because of the reasons stated above 10 Medical

stores/Shops from each area were selected on the bases of

random sampling. A group of 45 customers from each shop (total

450 customers) were selected on the bases of the random

sampling technique in this study.

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Questionnaire consisted of 06 items in connection with

general information and 27 items in connection with the

consumer perception towards ayurvedic medicine, most of the

questions related to consumer perception were answerable in a

five point scale, viz., very important, important, somewhat

important, less important and least important. Some questions

were answerable in a three point scale too. Few questions in

descriptive form were also included in Questionnaire where

respondents were free to express their feeling and perception

towards selected subject. Each answer were assigned with

rating/score, where high score indicates high degree of

consumer perception and decision making factors on selection of

Ayurvedic medicine as expressed by the inhabitants and vice-

versa.

Pre-test survey was conducted by interviewing 10% of final

calculated sample size. Responses gathered during this round

immensely helped in finalising the questionnaire. Views of

respondents were solicited on the content and meaning of each

question in the questionnaire.

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Questionnaire was administered to a group of 450 visitors

at Ayurvedic corner of Medical store/shops in selected area of

Lucknow city by imparting proper instruction. Data were

collected and properly scrutinized. Scoring was done with the

help of scoring key. Tabulation was done for different groups

separately. Cross tabulation, Mean and S.D. were calculated in

accordance with hypotheses of study. Comparisons were made

by applying Chi-square test and t-test.

Major finding of the study were :

Distribution of respondents w.r.t. their perception as no

side effect/adverse reaction of ayurvedic medicine shows

that 38.44% of respondents highly believe that ayurvedic

medicine have no side effect/adverse reaction, whereas

38.67% of respondents are having medium and 22.89%

respondents are having low level of perception that

ayurvedic medicine have no side effect/adverse reaction.

All the age groups of respondents are positively correlated

w.r.t. level of perception as ayurvedic medicine has no side

effect/adverse reaction (X2 = 2.049). All the Educational

groups of respondents are positively correlated w.r.t. level

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of perception as ayurvedic medicine has no side

effect/adverse reaction (X2 = 2.729). All the Income groups

of respondents are positively correlated w.r.t. level of

perception as ayurvedic medicine has no side

effect/adverse reaction (X2 = 3.889).

There is significant difference in level of perception that

ayurvedic medicine has no side effect/adverse reaction

among different age group (t-value = 2.18). There no

significant difference in level of perception as ayurvedic

medicine has no side effect/adverse reaction among

different educational group (t-value = 1.05). There no

significant difference in level of perception as ayurvedic

medicine has no side effect/adverse reaction among

different income group (t-value = 0.44).

Distribution of respondents w.r.t. their perception as

Allopathic medicine are cheaper than ayurvedic medicines

reveals that appr. three-fourth (73.11%) respondents are

having high (29.33%) or medium (43.78%) level of

perception that Allopathic medicine are cheaper than

ayurvedic medicine.

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All the age groups of respondents are positively correlated

w.r.t. level of perception as Allopathic medicine are cheaper

than ayurvedic medicine (X2 = 1.968). All the Educational

groups of respondents are positively correlated w.r.t. level

of perception as Allopathic medicine are cheaper than

ayurvedic medicine (X2 = 0.866). All the Income groups of

respondents are positively correlated w.r.t. level of

perception as Allopathic medicine are cheaper than

ayurvedic medicine (X2 = 5.732).

There is no significant difference in level of perception as

Allopathic medicine are cheaper than ayurvedic medicine

among different age group and difference shown is only by

chance (t-value = 0.70). There is no significant difference in

level of perception as Allopathic medicine are cheaper than

ayurvedic medicine among different educational group and

difference shown is only by chance (t-value =0.31). There is

no significant difference in level of perception as Allopathic

medicine are cheaper than ayurvedic medicine among

different income group (t-value =1.52).

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Distribution of respondents w.r.t. their perception as

Ayurvedic drugs are not easily available reveals that

42.44% of respondents highly believe that Ayurvedic drugs

are not easily available, whereas 35.33% respondents are

having medium and 22.22% respondents are having low

level of perception that Ayurvedic drugs are not easily

available. The average score of this perception is 16.087

which is medium-high level of score.

All the age groups of respondents are positively correlated

w.r.t. level of perception as Ayurvedic drugs are not easily

available (X2 = 2.205). All the Educational groups of

respondents are positively correlated w.r.t. level of

perception as Ayurvedic drugs are not easily available (X2 =

1.371). All the Income groups of respondents are positively

correlated w.r.t. level of perception as Ayurvedic drugs are

not easily available (X2 = 6.092).

There is significant difference in level of perception as

Ayurvedic drugs are not easily available among different

age group (t-value = 2.28). There no significant difference

in level of perception as Ayurvedic drugs are not easily

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available among different educational group (t-value =

1.84). There no significant difference in level of perception

as Ayurvedic drugs are not easily available n among

different income group (t-value = 0.36).

Distribution of respondents w.r.t. their perception as

Allopathic drugs are fast in action and cure the ailments

quickly compared to Ayurvedic drugs reveals that more

than half (60.44%) of respondents are having high (26.00%)

or medium (34.44%) level of perception that Allopathic

drugs are fast in action and cure the ailments quickly

compared to Ayurvedic drugs. The average score of this

perception is 21.360 which is medium level of score. This

Distribution proves that hypothesis H-4 : Allopathic drugs

are fast in action and cure the ailments quickly compared

to Ayurvedic drugs is true.

All the age groups of respondents are positively correlated

w.r.t. level of perception as Allopathic drugs are fast in

action and cure the ailments quickly compared to

Ayurvedic drugs (X2 = 1.581). All the Educational groups of

respondents are positively correlated w.r.t. level of

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perception as Allopathic drugs are fast in action and cure

the ailments quickly compared to Ayurvedic drugs (X2 =

2.134). All the Income groups of respondents are positively

correlated w.r.t. level of perception as Allopathic drugs are

fast in action and cure the ailments quickly compared to

Ayurvedic drugs (X2 = 0.578).

There is no significant difference in level of perception as

Allopathic drugs are fast in action and cure the ailments

quickly compared to Ayurvedic drugs among different age

group (t-value = 0.32). There no significant difference in

level of perception as Allopathic drugs are fast in action

and cure the ailments quickly compared to Ayurvedic

drugs among different educational group (t-value = 0.81).

There no significant difference in level of perception as

Allopathic drugs are fast in action and cure the ailments

quickly compared to Ayurvedic drugs among different

income group (t-value = 0.98).

Distribution of respondents w.r.t. their perception as

Ayurvedic drugs cannot compete with the latest

formulations of Allopathic drugs reveals that 11.56% of

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respondents highly believe that Ayurvedic drugs cannot

compete with the latest formulations of Allopathic drugs,

whereas 26.44% respondents are having medium and

62.00% respondents are having low level of perception that

Ayurvedic drugs cannot compete with the latest

formulations of Allopathic drugs. The average score of this

perception is 20.353 which is low-medium level of score.

All the age groups of respondents are positively correlated

w.r.t. level of perception as Ayurvedic drugs cannot compete

with the latest formulations of Allopathic drugs (X2 =

2.473). All the Educational groups of respondents are

positively correlated w.r.t. level of perception as Ayurvedic

drugs cannot compete with the latest formulations of

Allopathic drugs (X2 = 4.831). All the Income groups of

respondents are positively correlated w.r.t. level of

perception as Ayurvedic drugs cannot compete with the

latest formulations of Allopathic drugs (X2 = 3.677).

There is highly significant difference in level of perception

among different age group as Ayurvedic drugs cannot

compete with the latest formulations of Allopathic drugs (t-

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value = 2.37). There no significant difference in level of

perception among different educational group as Ayurvedic

drugs cannot compete with the latest formulations of

Allopathic drugs (t-value = 0.28). There no significant

difference in level of perception as Ayurvedic drugs cannot

compete with the latest formulations of Allopathic drugs

among different income group (t-value = 1.01).

These findings prove that :

o Hypothesis H-1 : Consumers perception that Ayurvedic

drugs have no side effect or adverse reaction is true.

o Hypothesis H-2 : Consumers perception that Allopathic

medicine are cheaper than ayurvedic medicines is true.

o Hypothesis H-3 : Consumers perception is that Ayurvedic

drugs are not easily available is true.

o Hypothesis H-4 : Consumers perception is that Allopathic

drugs are fast in action and cure the ailments quickly

compared to Ayurvedic drugs is true.

o Hypothesis H-5 : Consumers also perceive that Ayurvedic

drugs cannot compete with the latest formulations of

Allopathic drugs is partially true as The average score of

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this perception is 20.353 which is low-medium level of

score.

LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY

Although every effort were made to conduct a study as

rigorous as possible, but there were certain limitations however

unavoidable. The limitations of this study are as following :

This study is limited only to Lucknow city.

The city is huge; therefore, in order to collect the necessary

data using the sampling techniques are inevitable. Hence,

the following limitations are unavoidable:

Sampling will not give the accuracy available from census

survey.

The accuracy and reliability of sample data is affected by

two different types of errors i.e. sampling errors and data

collection errors. If these errors are too large, the results of

the sample survey will be of extremely limited use.

Consumers were not forthcoming about data related to

their income and education.

MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS AND FUTURE SCOPE

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Findings of the present study can be used to analyse

consumer behavior diversity and offer ayurvedic products

accordingly.

Findings can also be used as guidelines for meeting

consumer needs in respect of health and well being and

formulating medicinal products accordingly.

It will also help to understand consumer purchase decision

making process regarding auyrvedic drugs.

This study can be used as a foundation for creating more

suitable marketing strategy to target consumer market for

these drugs.

It will also help in understanding factors affecting

consumer satisfaction in respect to their need of health

and well being.

Present study can also be used to increase consumer

awareness about the ayurvedic products by selecting

suitable methods of transfer of information.

It will also help the ayurvedic companies to analyse their

present distribution methods and to check their suitability.

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It will help in increasing availability of ayurvedic products

in the market since better availability will ensure that

consumer is more aware about the ayurvedic product.

Taste of ayurvedic products needs improvement since

better taste will further motivate the customer to make

repeat purchases.

Consumers generally buy those ayurvedic products which

are of good quality and have a brand image, so companies

should come out with advertisements conveying this.

In order to make it effective and convenient, the thesis has

been divided in to sis chapters. A set of interview schedule and

List of referred books, Reports, Journals and Magazines is given

at the end as per alphabetical order.

In the Chapter I entitled "Introduction", I have briefly

discussed about the historical background of Ayurveda and

Ayurvedic medicines, consumer perceptions and consumer

behaviours. Need of the study, statement of Problem, Aim and

Objectives, hypotheses of the study, research questions, scope

and significance of study are also briefly discussed in this

chapter.

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Chapter II entitled "Review of Literature" gives the

description about the various existing theories about ayurveda,

ayurvedic medicine and consumer's perception. This chapter is

further divided in two sub-chapters namely i. Ayurvedic

approach and ii. Consumer perception. Sub-chapter-i deals with

introduction and origin of ayurveda, Various Ayurvedic textbooks

and Status of Ayurvedic medicines in India as well as results and

conclusion of some selected studied on ayurvedic medicine,

whereas sub-chapter-ii briefly explains about definition of

consumer perception, process of perception, human

communication process, theories of perception, basic factors

affecting consumer perception, features of perception affecting

consumer behaviour and results of some studies related to

consumer perception regarding ayurvedic medicine.

Chapter III entitled "Research Design and Hypothesis"

gives the description about the research design including area of

study, Framing of Questionnaire, Question Construction,

Selection of Respondents and Canvassing of Questionnaire,

operational definition of terms used, Data Processing and

statistical tools used in data analysis.

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In the Chapter IV entitled "Data analysis and

interpretation", data collected through survey are tabulated

according to objectives and hypotheses of study. The

demographic data are analysed by calculating percentage of

different categories, whereas, to test the hypotheses, percentage,

mean, standard deviation, chi-square and t-test are used

accordingly.

Chapter V of the thesis is "Results and Findings". This

chapter deals with results and discussion based on analysis of

data and their interpretation.

Chapter VI of the thesis entitled "Conclusion,

Limitations, Managerial Implications And Future Scope"

gives description about conclusion and limitations of the

research work. Managerial implication of the study and future

scope of the study is also discussed in this chapter.

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