‘We Are Here to Prop­a­gate Ayurveda, Not Com­pete’

The Economic Times - - Business Of Brands -

Patan­jali Ayurved has sig­nif­i­cantly nar­rowed the gap with FMCG ma­jors such as Dabur, Marico and Go­drej Con­sumer as the Baba Ramdev-led firm has more than dou­bled its sales in the past year to nearly .₹ 5,000 crore. In fact, an­a­lysts have down­graded Col­gate and Dabur as they face re­lent­less pres­sure from Patan­jali. Acharya Balkrishna, manag­ing di­rec­tor of the Harid­war-based com­pany told

in an in­ter­view that com­pet­ing with these play­ers was never the in­ten­tion. Edited ex­cerpts: Since Patan­jali Ayurved has a strong re­li­gious un­der­tone, have you con­sid­ered open­ing stores out­side places of wor­ship? We will do well out­side tem­ples as we have pooja es­sen­tials such as agar­batti and ghee, but we can also do well near hos­pi­tals be­cause we sell medicines. We don’t need to fol­low any such strat­egy be­cause we are ev­ery­where — our shops will do well re­gard­less of where they are lo­cated be­cause of the sheer range of prod­ucts we sell.

How are you keep­ing up with the rise in de­mand? Is there a need to out­source some of the prod­uct man­u­fac­tur­ing? We have fin­ished work­ing on a lot of mod­els when it comes to herbal cul­ti­va­tion. We have cre­ated a very big setup in the North-East and planted close to 8 lakh saplings of the medic­i­nal herb In­dian Ti­nospora (giloya/guduchi) there. Sim­i­larly, we have planted 50,000 saplings of amla, some on our own and some with other farm­ers. We have also started cul­ti­va­tion of aloe vera in parts of Ra­jasthan. Around 40 quin­tal seeds of tulsi have been planted. We have planted nearly 15 lakh herbal plants this year alone and I doubt if any­body else has done some­thing like this

be­fore in In­dia. A few months ago, Baba Ramdev an­nounced his in­tent to open his own line of cloth­ing. Any up­date? We have done a lot of R&D on this, but right now our pri­or­ity is to im­prove in the cat­e­gories that we are cur­rently in and to take them for­ward. Our tar­get is to dou­ble the num­ber of stores.

Other ‘babas’ are com­pet­ing with your brands now, and main­stream com­pa­nies are launch­ing ayurvedic prod­ucts.What's your take? Our aim was to es­tab­lish ayurveda and dis­cover how it can be made part of our daily lives. Ev­ery­one knew about herbal medicines but we tried to in­cor­po­rate herbs in ne­ces­si­ties like tooth­pastes, soaps and sham­poos. A lot of re­search and ex­per­i­men­ta­tion have gone into each of our prod­ucts, and we are not here to com­pete with any­one but to prop­a­gate ayurveda and healthy liv­ing.

But the space is get­ting clut­tered and it’s now Baba’s prod­ucts ver­sus oth­ers. Don't you think the en­tire theme of ayurveda will be lost? Ev­ery­body has the right to serve the coun­try – it isn’t Baba Ramdev’s alone. Our main ob­jec­tive is to tell peo­ple about ayurveda, and it is up to them to de­cide where they want to buy from.

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