“The Patanjali Story is the journey from 1 shop to 1 shop in every area of the country. With each passing day, it is making the survival of MNCs difficult, and reinforcing the idea of India as a powerfully rising economy!”
“Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali” has now become a household name in majority of the Indian families. This brand has clearly turned out to be a complete nightmare for FMCG players in the country such as Colgate, Nestle and Unilever to name a few.
These are some lesser known facts about one of the fastest home-grown FMCG companies – Patanjali:
- The foundation of an FMCG entity was laid in 1997 in the form of a small store – by Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balakrishna. Officially, Patanjali started in 2006. They both studied at the same Gurukul, and went together to the Himalayas to study with Ramdev focusing on yoga and Balakrishna on Ayurveda.
- Baba Ramdev recently stated in an interview that although he was the creative force and is the public face of Patanjali, as a swami, he does not have an official title or hold any shares of this privately held company.
- NRI couple Sunita and Sarwan Poddar, followers of Ramdev, gave Balkrishna the first loan to kick-start the business. They have a 3% shareholding in Patanjali Ayurved.
- Acharya Balkrishna, managing director, holds a 94% stake in Patanjali Ayurved, but he doesn’t take home a salary. Yet, he works for 15 hours a day, from 7am to 10pm, even on Sundays and other holidays during the year. He hasn’t taken a single day’s leave either. And – his work place has no computer!
- Ram Bharat, the low profile younger brother of Baba Ramdev, has taken up the responsibility to lead Patanjali Ayurved, acting as an informal chief executive officer.
- In 2015-16, this Haridwar based company recorded revenues to the tune of Rs. 5,000 crores, up from around Rs. 400 crore in 2011-12 and Rs. 2,000 crores in 2014-15. Products such as ghee (Rs. 700 crores) and toothpaste (Rs. 300 crores) emerged as bestsellers in its FMCG portfolio which has several hundred products. In contrast, HUL and Colgate, some of its biggest competitors, had revenues of around Rs. 30,170 crores and Rs. 4,211 crores in 2014-15 respectively.
- Currently, apart from e-commerce channels, Patanjali products are sold through 1,200 Ayurvedic Chikitsalayas, 2,500 Arogya Kendras and 8,000 Swadeshi Kendras. They are also sold via thousands of kirana stores across the country and the company has entered into partnerships with modern retail chains such as Big Bazaar.
- This company never does any market research before making or launching new products. The only thing that it keeps in mind is the consumers’ needs.
- Most of Patanjali’s products are 15%-20% cheaper than leading brands, forcing many of its peers to launch offers and promotions to counter its rising popularity. The company sources products directly from farmers and cuts on middlemen to boost profits. It makes 20% operating profit.
- Consumer companies typically spend 12-20% of revenue on advertising and promotions. When a new company gets into the business, this spending is significantly higher. Patanjali has followed a unique word of mouth publicity model which it followed in the initial years and the entire revenue was without any advertising. Only recently, it has started advertising campaigns.
- Soon, the company is foraying into yoga-wear made of khadi, thereby taking onto sportswear global giants like Nike and Puma. The company has also readied a premium brand ‘Soundarya’ to take on the likes of big cosmetics brands such as L’Oreal and Maybelline.
- Its next step is now aiming to double its revenues to Rs. 10,000 crores by March next year and invest around Rs. 1,000 crores to set up six processing units and an R&D centre.
This seemingly overnight success has taken years of perseverance, dedication and hardwork, and most importantly, a vision – a burning desire to give quality products to every household without ripping them off their savings!
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