Though she is the daughter of the reputed industrialist Dr. S. R. Jindal, Asha Jindal Khaitan has created her own identity beyond being a philanthropist associated with Jindal Naturecure Institute, a charitable hospital under Sitaram Jindal Foundation. She is a firm believer in the power of nature as the most powerful healing force and has been working towards bringing the benefits of that purity found in nature, to the Nutraceutical industry in India. Her passion lies not merely in making the business successful but also in promoting the Nutraceuticals industry, through providing high quality, well-formulated supplements in India – equivalent or superior to the kind found in developed countries.
With the motto of giving shape to the influx of a new plant-based drugless formulation that has no side effects, Asha Jindal Khaitan has partnered with Globally Celebrated Holistic Nutritionist Dr. Luke Coutinho, M.D. in Alternative Medicine (Integrative & Lifestyle Medicine), who has aided countless people suffering from Cancer and handles cases across the world.
We had an opportunity to interview Asha Jindal Khaitan recently and here’s the excerpt of the conversation where she talks about the dynamic Indian healthcare industry, healthcare facilities among women and children in India, gender equality and a lot more!
How has been the journey so far with Pure Nutrition?
The journey so far has been an extremely fulfilling one. It has, in many ways, helped me become the person that I am today. It has pushed me way beyond my comfort zones and has helped me build immense courage, tenacity and perseverance. As an entrepreneur, I am enjoying the space where I get to be both, a mentor and a protégé. The idea of marrying preventive health with an everyday lifestyle has always inspired me.
As a brand, Pure Nutrition resonates with enabling people to reap the benefits of preventive healthcare through the channel of high quality, bioavailable nutrition supplements and functional foods that are easily absorbed by the body. My vision and the aim of the brand is to resolve the need of nutritional deficiencies present in a typical urban person by cutting through the chaos of the current market, which is full of placebo products that do not do much for the body.
What exciting developments have you seen in the healthcare industry since you started?
Indian society is witnessing the rise of various kinds of fitness options across the country, alongside the growth of the nutraceutical market, which has now emerged as an important player in this evolving health-focused ecosystem. To a great extent, this demand can be attributed to the rise of non-communicable diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and PCOS. Coupled with a rapidly ageing population and a growing desire to enjoy post-retirement years, Indians are looking for new, but natural ways to promote and prolong their health.
How important is health education in today’s era? And why?
Health education is an essential tool for community health. There is a massive gap in terms of health education even today, especially when it comes to mental health. Today, children have mental health needs and essential professional help is not easily available. Teachers are on the frontline for children’s mental health, but they are not qualified, medical specialists. Apart from this, there should also be a strong emphasis on physical health among young adults.
Do you think a special class only for health must be introduced in the curriculum for students? Any suggestions to the government or education or health ministry on the same?
Absolutely. Through special classes for health education, students will be taught how to recognize the signs of poor physical and mental health so they can ask for help earlier. Students should also be taught the importance of nutrition and eating right - a topic that is very conveniently the mother’s burden at the moment and at times she even gets hailed as being the bad cop for it!
In terms of women and child health, do you think the existing programs introduced by the government need enhancement? Any suggestions to the government?
The healthcare proposals of Union Budget 2020 that centres around ‘A Caring Society’ is a good measure supporting the health of women and children. The allocation of 69,000 crores towards superior healthcare for Tier-2 and 3 cities, is a welcome move. It is my expectation and belief to see the government’s focus on promoting healthcare facilities among women and children through better policy and better access to resources. The reduction in personal tax will also aid in enhancing the spending power of the middle-income group, bringing a positive focus holistic, preventive healthcare for both, women and children alike.
What is the biggest struggle of a woman today in India in terms of maintaining their health and staying fit?
Women, especially mothers, are juggling so many responsibilities that our physical health gets pushed to the wayside. As women, we often tend to prioritize our families, work, children, in-laws, etc. much before our own health and wellbeing. The best way to cut through this and start would be to set some time aside and schedule your health like you would meetings. I book my yoga class and self-care appointments a few weeks in advance, and then I make sure that I lineup my work in order to protect those time slots. This way, I set myself up for success and I am reminded that my health and well-being is just as important as anything else on my work schedule or otherwise.
Being a firm believer in the power of nature as the most powerful healing force, what do you think is the reason that the allopathy industry is still standing tall and many are yet to believe in the power of naturopathy?
I have never considered allopathy a competition to naturopathy and vice versa. Both these fields of science are paramount in their own ways and as a consumer, one must understand the power of a synergistic combination of multiple disciplines of science coming together to target a disease area. A multidisciplinary approach that involves the principles of holistic healthcare and naturopathy can go a long way in preventing an impending chronic condition and can also help manage an existing condition in a much more efficient manner.
Would you like to share 3 important tips for our women readers towards their healthcare?
Firstly, as I said, make time for yourself and honour the commitment that you make to yourself. Second, take 7 to 10 minutes a day to shut out all the external noise and just connect with yourself. The relationship you have with yourself is often undervalued - it is time to change that. Throughout the day, we are constantly bombarded with messages, emails, calls, meetings, conversations and unending banter. Our minds, bodies and souls are not meant for this continued assault. It can lead to overstimulation, exhaustion and just plain irritation. It is proven that even 7 to 10 minutes of meditation or prayer can help lower cortisol levels (the stress hormone) and rejuvenate the system.
Lastly, be mindful of the thoughts you feed your brain; think and speak positively to yourself as you would to your child, friend or parents. Our thoughts dictate our energy, and this energy manifests itself into experiences - in short, our own thoughts create our reality.
Is (gender) equality an important issue for you?
Absolutely. Gender equality may be a buzz-word today, but for me, it has been a way of life ever since. We live in a patriarchal society and yet I can proudly say that my home has never been one. Gender equality begins at home and I will not thank my father for giving me a pedestal of opportunities, because his is not an act of grace but simply an example of how all men should treat the women of their home.
To me, a society in which a woman cannot realise her full potential is a society that will eventually lose out on the significant potential for innovation and economic growth. Within the industry, gender gaps have been known to start early and contribute to an imbalance of power. I would attribute this to organizations that often tend to overestimate the men’s workforce performance and therefore tend to hire or promote them with more conviction on the basis of their promised ‘potential’. In contrast, they often tend to underestimate women’s workforce performance and hence, hire or promote them on the basis of their ‘track record’. However, with the changing mindsets of modern India, I am hopeful to see a positive change in the representation of women in the years to come.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career so far, being a woman?
We must stop thinking along these lines. It is time to shatter the glass ceilings and not reinstate them or victimize ourselves using them. I have never perceived myself as a ‘woman’ entrepreneur. I am an entrepreneur, who also happens to be a woman and the challenges are the same with people of both genders.
What are your strengths as a woman? And how do they help you in achieving success in your field?
I think my ability to stay true to my core value system has enabled me to be a successful leader within my organisation. I also think I was very fortunate to learn early on what I want from life - help people by making quality preventive healthcare accessible to all. This served to be a catalyst for me in starting my own brand within the healthcare ecosystem.
Overall, my journey has been one of self-discovery and personal growth. And despite how much I have accomplished, I am certain I haven’t even scratched the surface yet. I have so much more learning, growth and discovery ahead of me, in all aspects of my life. And I will eagerly embrace all of it!
What main change would you like to see for young girls in the next generation?
I would like to be a little idealistic here while I answer this. I think young girls can expect corporations to bridge the pay and opportunity gap so that equal pay and recognition is given to a job well done, instead of discriminating between equally hard-working employees. Getting a seat on the table should be a matter of talent, determination, resilience, leadership, onus and vision; not superficial biases that are based on gender.
If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would that be?
The only person who can truly stand in your way is you. There will be deterrents, stereotypes, difficulties, but the only person who can fail you is you. Fuel your own ambition, be yourself and live knowing that you are the architect of your own life. Appreciate your uniqueness and the different perspective that you bring to the table. As women, we must remember that if we can give birth to a beautiful human, we can also give birth to a new beautiful society that is built on the fundamentals of equality and inclusion.
International Women’s Day celebrates the scientific, political, economic and social achievements of women. In your experience as a successful woman, what is its significance?
It is just like any other day of the calendar year - wake up, show up and do your best, just like you do every single day. My only message to the readers is we don’t need a day to celebrate the wonder that is womanhood, however, let us take this opportunity and realise the importance of how we need more women and girls in India to be frontrunners when it comes to shaping policies, services and infrastructure that impact all our lives. My two cents to all the women reading this - foster relationships, be kind, learn from others and above all, help others on your journey, because if you fall or stumble they will likely help to pick you up and dust you off!
Apeksha News Network congratulates Asha Jindal Khaitan for her contribution and commitment towards the society in the field of wellness, health, education and social welfare that aims at doing yeoman service to the community and world at large and wishes her all the best for her future endeavours!