When ‘Baba’ word is termed with any person, we visualize a person with orange clothes, long beards and a simple lifestyle. But Baba Ramdev had broken all stereotypes, he is not a saint but a businessman with such a strong market strategy that he can turn the market trend just by one interview. He is a fully fledged businessman India had ever seen. A person who had built an empire of 55 billion single handedly. A person who comments of Colgate and its shares drops by 0.68% in one day. This is the power of the saint who turned into one of the best businessman of India. The recent event happened when Baba Ramdev challenged Colgate and which results into Ian Cook, CEO of Colgate, to acknowledge the competition in herbal segment and soon planning to launch a new product in natural space. He also said that the natural segment in India has been growing rapidly and to capitalize on this they are revitalizing the Colgate Active Salt. “The short term share impact comes from local competition with heightened promotional activity, he later added. Ian Cook is not accepting but the competition with Patanjali had frightened the Dental care giant. This is the worth of Patanjali and a businessman who is saint.
Yog Yatra, a biopic on Baba Ramdev aired on 1st May, 2016, had indirectly declared all over the nation that this saint had gathered so much of publicity and trust in the Indian hearts that a whole series is dedicated to him. This is story of Ramdev Baba. The trust Baba Ramdev had earned not by any marketing strategy or advertising but helping mankind to its very core. His journey started as Ramkrishna Yadav (Childhood name of Baba Ramdev) born on 11th Jan, 1965 at Ali Saiyadpur, in small village of Haryana with a poor family. After getting education till 8th, he joined yogic monastery in Khanpur village, where he met his mentor Acharya Baldev. There he had learned Sanskrit Grammar, Hindu Philosophy, Yoga, Vedas and Upnishads which later leads to his post graduate degree. No management courses, this businessman is giving the market monopoly a very hard time. Later he took sanyas and then Baba Ramdev was born from Ramkrishna Yadav. This was the starting of a new era in Indian history how a saint build a business empire not to earn money to help mankind. Baba Ramdev’s Yog Journey started in Jind district in Haryana after he joined Kalva Gurukul. In very offset there was no motive of earning money, all his yog classes was free for villagers. After few years of serving the people of Jind district, Baba Ramdev went to Himalayas for mediation and self-discipline. He returned from Himalaya and moved to Haridwar. There he joined Guruhul Kangri Vishwavidyalaya and spent many years in studying ancient Indian Manuscripts. Baba Ramdev always had a passion and deep respect towards our culture and our heritage. Either from learning yog to veds, he had indulged as much as knowledge of our rich and prosper heritage. He had always been a supporter of India and Indian culture. To ensure its nourishment he founded Yoga Empire Divya Yog Mandir Trust, Haridwar along with Acharya Karamveer and Acharya Balkrishna, which had resulted in his debut on TV through Aastha Channel, he was aired at 5 A.M. in morning. Along with his TV programs, he conducted weeklong Yog Camps. The TV had opened so many gates for Baba Ramdev, now he can reach to whole India. His impact was so strong on people that he made everyone to drink Karela(Bitter cucumber/Momordica charantia) and Lauki(Calabash) juice daily. As a result the price of Lauki hiked by 4 Rupees in 2010. This was the initial impact of Baba Ramdev in market. He founded ‘Patanjali Yogpeeth Trust’ in Haridwar. It was inaugurated by Bhairon Singh Shekhavat, the Vice-President of India with other 17 dignitaries including C.M’s and Governors of different states on 6th August, 2006. This trust purpose was promoting Ayurveda, which was dying because of negligence. He restored the faith of people in Ayurveda and Yog. Ramdev started following institutions:
- Patanjali Yogpeeth trust
- Patanjali Ayurved Collage
- Patanjali Chikitsalaya
- Yog Gram
- Gaw- Shala
- Patanjali Herbal Botanical Garden
- Organic Agricultural farm
- Patanjali Food and Park Ltd.
- Divya Praksah and Yog Prakash, monthly journal educating in 11 different regional languages.
Now his contribution was getting recognized and was awarded with many accolades for his contribution in mankind. He was invited by UN to participate in poverty eradication program. He was honored with Doctorate degree from Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology, Bhubaneshwar and Amity University. He was now getting recognized for his work not only in India but also globally. Baba Ramdev was always a very big supporter of India. And then this ’Yogi’ turned into Social Activist. He started many social and political campaigns against black money and corruption in India. Some of the activities Ramdev stared are listed below:
- Agricultural and Dietary Practices
- Protest against Black Money
- Anti- Corruption Rally on 27th Feb 2011 at Ramlila Maidan
- Bhrastachaar Mitao Satayagrah on 4th june 2011 at Ramlila Maidan
Problem faced by Ramdev Baba is so immense then also he is still walking the path of righteousness . He also had started a 3 day symbolic fast at Ramlila Maidan New Delhi against issues like bringing Black Money back to country, passing a stronger Lokpal Bill, CBI being an independent body. It was so famous that people from all over the country assembled at Delhi to support him. Dressed in saffron robes, long hair tied up in a loose knot, flowing beard, wooden slippers and cloth bag slung over his shoulder, Baba Ramdev looked exactly like a traditional Guru. A guru who now turned into a businessman who is threatening big brands. According to filings with the registrar of companies (RoC), Patanjali Ayurved had clocked 1,200 crores in revenue in fiscal year 2014, and the company claims to have crossed Rs 2,000 crore last year. That puts Patanjali in the same league as home and personal care giants like Emami, which has revenue of 2,217 crore in fiscal year 2015. Patanjali Ayurved’s top line excludes the revenue of herbal medicine retailer Divya Pharmacy, which pegs about 400 crore. The holy ground of Haridwar is witnessing the seamless amalgamation of Materialism and Spiritual by playing host Baba Ramdev, who is building a huge FMGC empire on the Swadeshi plot which was few days back was nowhere seen in the picture. But the Baba who is a huge businessman in himself doesn’t come easy. In interviews Baba Ramdev had never accepted that he is doing business, he considered it as welfare of humankind. “We never had a business plan, we don’t know market and marketing, but what we know is serving the people and providing them high qualities of products.” says Acharya Balkrishna, Managing Director of Patanjali Ayurved, which started operating two decades ago. “In five years, I will take swadeshi products of Patanjali to such a heights that foreign companies will dwarf in front of them” acclaimed Yog Guru Baba Ramdev. Since is strong character and his dedication towards helping the mankind, no accomplishment seems impossible. Patanjali is focusing on major 6 product portfolios to drive their growth: a breakfast range, noodles, ghee, keshkanti (Hair Care products) and Dant Kanti (Dental Care products which is already a market of 250crore) and Chaywanprash. “We are giving a tough fight to foreign companies in each and every segment, be it medicines, herbal cosmetics or foods”, asserts Ramdev, adding that all products are 40% cheaper than MNC brands in market.
Till now Patanjali had spent minimally on marketing and advertising, preferring to largely on word-to-mouth via yoga classes every day, he organizes 1 Lakh free Yoga Classes all over the country. But the one who doesn’t know anything about marketing and business are hiring top advertising firms such as McCann and Mudra to roll out the next phase of their expansion. DDB Mudra Group confirmed the development, “We just have embarked on relationship with Patanjali”.McCann Worldgroup had also acknowledged the progress but had denied any confirmation on any deal signing. Along with signing the giants of advertising, he is also hiring the executives from the FMGC companies. But they are not revealing the name of the new task force they are creating. The Patanjali is about to capture the market, they are planning to launch a new product called as Power Vita as a competition for Bournvita which has a market of 20,000 Crore already. Currently they pegs 6,000 crore but they are assured that within 5 years the will capture market of all Bournvita, Complan or Horlicks. Marketing experts, though, are not in mood of taking it as pinch of salt(yes, Patanjali retails salt). India is today polarized in terms of competition – at one end Unilever, Nestle and P&G and on other hand ITC, Emami. Now Baba Ramdev is creating a third dimension on alone. The consumer are now getting more aware what they are putting in their bodies, “ If Patanjali can offer valid substitute on the backbone of Ayurved, it may work.” , says Bijoor a famous marketing expert. Santosh Desai, chief executive of Future Brands , agrees that Patanjali has robust business model of providing a counterpoint to MNC companies.” It’s a legitimate route. They are enough people who think there should be counter part of MNC and now they are considering Patanjali as potential option.” Added Santosh. The potential of brand is created by teaching and preaching of Baba Ramdev via TV or the yog classes. He can reach some 20 crore of audience at a time. He had gained trust of the one sixth of population of country. There is a gap on what other FMGC companies are offering, people are not sure whether they are not creating a slow side effect. And in this gap Patanjali had spread its wings and day by day increasing the gap leads to its potential market capture. If Patanjali invest in its products and launches new products they can be a big fish in the market. Piyush Pandey, executive chairman and creative director of Ogilvy south Asia, feels that marketers should learn from Baba Ramdev . He is a great proponent of direct marketing FMGC, and he is way ahead of Amways and Avons.
From being a small village boy to a Yog Guru to a social activist and then a stunner in the unpredictable market of India, Baba Ramdev had stunned whole world. One man is alone creating a whole new dimension in world of monopoly of FMGCs. From launching parades against Black Money and Corruption to launch a new breakfast series which is healthy, he is alone handling a new era of marketing. To promote ‘Made in Bharat’ to Ramlila Maidan fast, he is showing each and every Indian. He is showing the path we had along back forgotten and got blinded by the Western culture. He bringing back the tradition of Ayurved we had but was not ready to accept. He is emerging as an Icon who now had proved its potential not only in India but across the whole globe.