He successfully gave consumers the Swadeshi story, and now Baba Ramdev has set his sight on shopkeepers and traders. The Yoga guru is asking retailers to prominently display Patanjali items on their shelves in order to promote “swadeshi”.
Ramdev is appealing to the swadeshi in shopkeepers and traders, while giving his business a not-so-subtle push in the market.
Advertisements released by Ramdev’s Ayurveda empire is appealing to shopkeepers to sell Patanjali products “as it will fulfill the dream of Mahatma Gandhi to promote swadeshi in India”.
Indian manufacturers are up-in-arms with this latest ploy to promote Patanjali. Brands like Parle and Dabur are made in India, and should also be considered swadeshi, say upset company officials.
“We also make in India. Shopkeepers are looking for returns on investment from their real estate space and pushing products for prominence on shops won’t cut ice,” Parle Products Marketing Head, Mayank Shah was quoted as saying in an Economic Times report.
Brokerage firm IIFL Institutional Equities recently projected the Patanjali brand’s sales to reach Rs 20,000 crore by fiscal 2020.
Like other brands, Ramdev is not paying shopkeepers to place their products prominently on the shelves, but instead is banking on the fact that the “swadeshi” tag will hold an emotional appeal for retailers.
It should be noted that Patanjali had followed the swadeshi strategy with big retailers like Reliance Retail, HyperCITY and Future Group. While the Future Group has a tie-up Patanjali, Reliance Retail has created Patanjali Destinations at its outlets.
Patanjali Ayurveda sells products like honey, ghee, juices, instant noodles. Chyawanprash and shampoo. Lately, the brand has been gaining traction across all categories in the market for two main reasons – one, that Baba Ramdev being a spiritual guru has a massive following; and two, that he manages to manufacture and sell products at much lower prices than most established companies.
Take for example Patanjali Ayurveda’s juices. These are being sold at a price point that is almost 15 per cent lower than the market rate of other established brands like Real and Tropicana.
Patanjali Ayurveda’s toothpaste too is gaining ground, knocking rival giants like Oral-B clean off the shelves.