Homeopathy was a line of healthcare treatment that many used to be skeptical about. It had its die-hard following, but it never was a mainstream practice. Homeopaths operated out of their homes or small outlets, some even doing it for free.
One man has changed that significantly — Dr Mukesh Batra. He has made homeopathy more generally respectable, and he has shown how it can be monetized within a corporate framework. He now heads a business group with nearly 100 clinics, over 1,000 employees, and a turnover of Rs 113 crore (fiscal 2011-12). And over the last four decades, he has treated three generations of some of the most famous Bollywood families, several heads of state, top politicians, artists and industrialists.
Dr Batra received a degree in homeopathy in 1972, and then started his practice at a charitable clinic on Nepean Sea Road in south Mumbai. He attended to about 300 patients each day, got just half a day off each week and drew a salary of Rs 150 per month. After six years at the charitable outlet, Dr Batra decided to start a private practice in a nearby polyclinic. The number of patients initially was low, but it picked up over time.