Is self-proclaimed ascetic Baba Ramdev on the way to enter the Forbes richest list riding on the plank of swadeshi? Going by the Patanjali story – which is closely tied with its brand ambassador Baba Ramdev’s story, it does seem so that the Baba will soon join the likes of Mukesh Ambani and Adi Godrej or even surpass them in the Forbes billionaire list.
After posting a phenomenal growth in earnings in 2016 in the FMCG sector through Patanjali Ayurved Ltd, Baba Ramdev’s next target is to capture the fast growing sacred space of home worship products through another venture Patanjali Astha.
By maintaining a strong foothold in food and beverages space, Patanjali Ayurved Ltd, that was set up in 2006, posted nearly Rs 5,000 crore earnings in March 2016 – a steep rise over the Rs 2,000+ crore amount for the previous year.
Within just a few years, Patanjali has joined FMCG giants HUL, P&G and Dabur and took a considerable share of their market space. So what is the secret behind the yog guru’s success that he has been able to develop such a huge business empire without cashing in on any Bollywood brand ambassador?
Perhaps the biggest secret behind Patanjali’s success is Baba Ramdev himself. After appearing on TV channels daily for years as a yoga practitioner, Ramdev has built a trust among the masses. Compare this to SRK advertising for an online grocery store like Big Basket or Ranbir Kapoor driving Renault. The consumers are more inclined to believe that Ramdev uses his products which as he claims are natural and chemical-free.
And perhaps timing too is working in favour of Baba Ramdev. With the rise in cancer and lifestyle diseases, the world is now looking backwards and making conscious healthy choices by going back to nature through Ayurveda. Vroom… in comes Patanjali with its array of no-maida biscuits, noodles, pure ghee, etc., at cheaper prices than the variants available in market.
Another factor behind the improved visibility of Patanjali as a brand is its ability to secure good distribution networks. With giants like Future Group, DMart and Reliance offering retail space, the products are now available across India. These are also available online and in ‘Swadeshi’ franchise stores across towns and villages. Add competitive pricing to the mix, and you have a very tempting product.
Baba Ramdev had announced that Patanjali’s next target for FY 2016-17 is to hit Rs 10,000 crore. While this has set the alarm bells ringing for FMCG giants with Colgate Palmolive preparing to launch ayurvedic toothpaste Cibaca Vedshakti, that surprisingly won’t sport the ‘Colgate’ tag and will have a lower entry point than Patanjali’s Dant Kanti, it remains to be seen whether the Baba proves to be the ultimate businessman that the world has ever known.