Rise of Patanjali

Tarun Kalra


I have been reading about the colossal wave of success that Brand Patanjali is riding on. However, it wasn’t until recently that I began to study it closely.

In a 57-page report released in January, IIFL cited that “Patanjali Ayurved Ltd has, in a short span of less than a decade, recorded a turnover higher than what several companies have managed to achieve over several decades.” During his yoga congregations across the country, Baba Ramdev has been immensely successful in instilling his profound beliefs about holistic wellness through Ayurveda in the minds of the general public.

Patanjali is making more than just a wave. Its success is based on the fundamental principles of providing healthy alternatives to staples and personal care products that have all the goodness of Ayurvedic ingredients sans preservatives or hidden unnatural substances. Patanjali has provided higher quality products at lower prices and has sustained itself by consistently focusing on building extensive distribution capabilities. While it is taking away market shares from FMCG giants such as Colgate, Nestle, and Unilever – it is actually increasing existing Ayurvedic categories – something established players like Dabur and new incumbents will be able to ride on. This is a classic example of a brand capitalizing on its strengths and into building / developing the category.

The question I still asked though was – Is it really just Baba Ramdev who deserves the sole credit for the dramatic growth of Patanjali? A dive into the popular culture and you will find a tactile shift in our behaviour, the way Indians now perceive home grown brands and consume its products. The marketplace is replete with emerging success stories of INDIAN brands, Ayurvedic or otherwise. A further deep dive and it’s hard to miss the sense of empowerment that our current Indian political leadership is driving. It has impacted the way we think and make purchase decisions. We have become more pro-national than we were in the prior decade. The “transformation” focus and new-found campaigns such as Make in India are driving growth and our brand preferences are changing – a result of the rising belief in India’s entrepreneurial energy.

I believe that Patanjali is just a beginning of numerous success stories of Indian brands and of brand India itself. What is going to be critical though is the agility and focus of Indian businesses must retain in understanding the culture, the objective, and the trust among its consumers. The differentiating factors that India possesses as a country will be instrumental in defining our brands – nationally and the world over.

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