This is a collection of articles archived for the excellence of their content.
The Times of India, March 16, 2016
Namrata Singh & Partha Sinha
At Patanjali Ayurved's manufacturing facility in Haridwar, there is brisk activity as cartons of freshly made products are being loaded onto trucks to be dispatched to stores across India. With the financial year nearing a close, an official pointed explained, all hands are on the deck to help the company achieve its targeted turnover of Rs 5,000 crore.
For a manufacturing company set up about 10 years ago, achieving a Rs 5,000-crore turnover is not easy . However, for Patanjali Ayurved, which is breaking conventional marketing norms, sales are inching up month on month. Sources in the know believe Patanjali could have clocked monthly sales of around Rs 600-700 crore in January and February , which means Baba Ramdev's baby could become a billiondollar entity, with its annualized turnover expected to cross the Rs 7,000-crore mark before the end of fiscal 2017.
Which means, Patanjali could become the fifth largest FMCG company in the country , after Hindustan Unilever, ITC, Nestle India and Britannia Industries.This would bring it well ahead of traditional FMCG players like Dabur, Godrej Consumer Products and Marico.
In an exclusive interview to TOI at the company's headquarters, Acharya Balkrishna, MD, Patanjali Ayurved, said in the current fiscal, as of early-March, the company's turnover has already crossed Rs 4,500-crore and is cruising at a monthly rate of about Rs 500-550 crore. “Our target is to go be yond Rs 500 crore a month.Because we are also making plans for future expansion, we are moving in line with the target,“ he said.
“We may even reach Rs 600 crore a month mark -that will give us an annual turnover of approximately Rs 7,000 crore,“ said Balkrishna.
Even at the current level of Rs 4,500-crore turnover, Patanjali has paced ahead of oral care leader Colgate-Palmolive (India), challenging it which its `Dant Kanti' toothpaste.
Given that Patanjali has been grabbing eyeballs through its advertising, industry experts believe the company could soon even reach Rs 10,000 crore turnover, which would make it as big as ITC's non-tobacco FMCG sales.But Balkrishna said that would take time. “We have to plan, right from procurement of raw materials to processing to manufacturing and marketing. We work on a single channel right from the farmer to the end consumer and that is the real reason why our quality and costs are under control. There are very few companies in the world which may be following such a system,“ he said.
The Times of India, April 27, 2016
“Around 5 crore people are searching for Patanjali on the internet,“ said Ramdev.“We see huge potential in that. Apart from online push, we will also focus on traditional retail and open many Patanjali mega-stores across the country .“
In 2015-16, the Haridwarbased company raked in revenues of Rs 5,000 crore, up from around Rs 400 crore in 2011-12 and Rs 2,000 crore in 2014-15. Products such as ghee (Rs 700 crore) and toothpaste (Rs 300 crore) emerged as bestsellers in its FMCG portfolio which has around 300 products.
In contrast, HUL and Colgate had revenues of around Rs 30,170 crore and Rs 4,211 crore in 2014-15 respectively.
Acharya Balkrishna, MD of Patanjali Ayurved, said the company is exploring the possibility of exports of Patanjali products. It has created four verticals -homecare, natural cosmetics and healthcare, natural food and beverages and health drinks -to help expand its distribution network. “We are also digitizing around 1,200 Patanjali Chikitsalayas that will now be interconnected online,“ Balkrishna, who owns around 94% stake in the company , said. Ramdev claimed Patanjali Ayurved is the highest tax payer in Uttarakhand and pays around hundreds of crore of rupees in taxes.
“Many MNCs are trying to hurt Patanjali's prospects with several strategies such as encouraging fake product testing,“ Ramdev said. “But at the same time, top-level executives from companies such as Unilever and P&G, who have patriotic feelings are joining us. All our products are about patriotism and purity ."
2014-16: rapid rise; 17-18: plateauing
Patanjali Ayurved, a disrupter in the FMCG space, is facing a slowdown in consumer offtake. The brainchild of yoga guru Baba Ramdev and CEO Acharya Balkrishna was growing at nearly 100% year-on-year, taking its turnover from around Rs 2,000 crore in 2014 to Rs 10,000 crore in 2017. Last year, however, in the midst of challenging MNC biggies like Colgate-Palmolive and Hindustan Unilever (HUL), Patanjali ran into unfamiliar headwinds.
Ramdev had proclaimed that Patanjali would grow at 100% each year and would eventually overtake HUL. The ground reality appears to be far from the target set by the company. Its revenues in fiscal 2018 were flat, but the bigger worry for Patanjali, according to a Credit Suisse report, is the many categories in which consumer offtake has declined. While the company continues to hold sway over toothpastes with Dant Kanti, and in ghee, incremental gains in these categories are said to have declined.
The drop, said the report, is more profound in categories where Patanjali’s products were not differentiated, such as honey and hair care. In categories like chyawanprash, Credit Suisse quoted Nielsen data to say it was showing a decline in offtake for Patanjali. Even in strong categories like toothpaste and hair care, Nielsen data quoted by Credit Suisse indicates that Patanjali’s market share growth rates are dropping sharply.
Patanjali Ayurved did not respond to a query from TOI on the report.
The reason behind the decline could be consumer fatigue and FMCG companies like Colgate and HUL investing heavily in natural products to lure back consumers who may have drifted to the rival camp. Competitors like Dabur and Colgate have been defending their turf. While Dabur responded with strategic pricing, HUL launched nationally an ayurvedic range of products. Colgate, too, was forced to come up with an ayurvedic offering.
Spoilt for choices, consumers could have temporarily veered away from Patanjali. At a recently held investors’ meet, Dabur India CEO Sunil Duggal said the company is focusing on defending market share in the face of disruptive, aggressive competition. The report said, “The key factors leading to the decline in Patanjali are brand fatigue setting in, inability to crack general trade distribution, dilution of the ayurvedic credentials on excessive extension, strong competitive response from large companies, and a sharp drop in advertising spends.”
Chinks in the armour
Misleading advertisements, 2016
May 27, 2016
Patanjali faces flak from ASCI for misleading ads
Baba Ramdev's Patanjali Ayurved has come under the scanner of Indian advertising watchdog Advertising Standard Council of India (ASCI) for several misleading ads. ASCI ruled that ads by the Haridwar-based FMCG company "unfairly denigrates" other products in the market. Patanjali took flak for ads of hair oil, mustard oil and washing powders.
Patanjali Kesh Kanti Natural Hair Cleanser & Oil's advertisement's claim, "mineral oil is carcinogenic in nature and may cause cancer" was false and misleading by ambiguity and by gross exaggeration," said ASCI. The company's Kachi Ghani Mustard Oil advertisement's claim that most of the other edible refined oils and mustard oils are made using neurotoxin Hexagon solvent extraction process, as many companies mix cheap palm oil in mustard oil, to make profits at the cost of consumers' health, was also not substantiated and was misleading, ASCI added. Similarly, for its Herbal Washing Powder, Cake and Dishwash Bar, the claim of "herbal washing powder, cake and dishwash bar" was not substantiated with data regarding which herbal ingredients in the product provide the cleaning benefit and was deemed misleading by ASCI.
Apart from Patanjali, ASCI upheld complaints against companies such as, ITC, Kalyan Jewellers, Johnson & Johnson and HUL, among others. Johnson & Johnson's advertising of Benadryl DR was pulled up. The advertisement's claim, "sookhi khansi ko dobara aane se roke" (stops dry cough from reoccurring) is an absolute claim and was not substantiated. Also, the claim does not convey a "suppressive" action and is misleading by exaggeration, said ASCI.
FMCG major ITC's advertising claim for Aashirvaad Multigrain Atta that said, "India's No. 1 Atta", is misleading by ambiguity as the claim was for the mother brand Aashirvaad whereas the advertised product was only one variant — Aashirvaad Atta with multigrains. Also, the disclaimer was not as per Nielsen criteria, the watchdog said.
For Kalyan Jewellers, the advertisement claim, "Kalyan Jewellers is the biggest jewellery showroom in the world", was not substantiated with comparative data of other similar showrooms and was misleading by exaggeration, said ASCI.
In March, ASCI's Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints against 90 out of 156 advertisements. Out of 90 advertisements against which complaints were upheld, 32 belonged to the education category, 30 in the healthcare & personal care category, followed by 10 in the food & beverages category and 18 advertisements from other categories.
SC’s warning: 2023
Stop misleading ads, SC orders Patanjali, warns of stiff penalties
New Delhi : The Supreme Court objected to Patanjali Ayurved making “false” claims to cure diseases in advertisements for its products and threatened to impose costs on the company for resorting to such practices.
Hearing a petition filed by IMA which alleged that a smear campaign was organised by the group against the Covid-19 vaccination, a bench of Justices Ahsanuddin Amanullah and Prashant Kumar Mishra asked the Centre to hold consultations and come up with some recommendations to deal with misleading advertisements.
“All false and misleading advertisements of Patanjali Ayurved have to stop immediately. This court will take such infractions very seriously, and will consider imposing costs of up to Rs 1 crore on every product regarding which a false claim is made that it can cure a particular disease,” the bench said and posted the case to February for further hearing.
Facing various criminal cases lodged by IMA for his controversial remarks against use of allopathic medicines during the Covid-19 pandemic, Ramdev had also approached the apex court which on October 9 issued notice to the Centre and the Association on his plea for quashing of the cases.
Ramdev has been booked under Sections 188, 269,504 of the Indian Penal Code. TNN
Rs 64 crore cheque bounces twice
Amid an ongoing controversy over an earlier land deal, Baba Ramdev-led Patanjali Ayurved Ltd has now landed into fresh trouble after its cheque to acquire 106 acres of land in Mihan SEZ bounced twice.
Patanjali acquired 230 acres of land in the non-SEZ area of the multi-modal international cargo hub and airport at Nagpur (Mihan) to set up a food park. During the ground breaking ceremony in August, it announced to take more land within the SEZ to set up an export unit. A cheque of Rs10 crore was handed over as token payment by Baba Ramdev and his lieutenant Acharya Balkishan, the company's managing director. However, a cheque of Rs 64 crore issued towards payment of the entire cost has bounced twice. Patanjali had issued a cheque of Punjab National Bank's branch at Haridwar which was deposited in IDBI Bank by MADC. The earlier land deal is already under controversy with a PIL filed by Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam. The drawee bank stated that the cheque was dishonoured (on both attempts) because the account has been blocked due to `situation 21-25'.
Food park in Nagpur
Officer opposing concessional land transferred
In 2017, the Maharashtra government made a decision to give a 75% discount on land for a food park in Nagpur, which eventually was awarded to Baba Ramdev's Patanjali Ayurveda Ltd. But documents accessed through RTI show that the decision was not uncontested. A senior bureaucrat, then principal secretary of financial reforms, Bijay Kumar, had raised concerns in writing about the basis of the price waiver.
Three weeks after Kumar questioned the financial cal culations behind the price reduction, he was transferred on April 29„ 2016. The transfer came less than a year-and-ahalf into his posting while the usual tenure is at least three years. Kumar, who is currently principal secretary (agriculture) was unavailable for comment.
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis who heads the Maharashtra Airport Development Corporation (MADC) board which cleared the allotment, told TOI that the entire process was transparent and the allotment followed open bids. He also said Kumar's transfer was routine and he had been given a posting of his choice.
The board relied on a sub committee, headed by urban development secretary Nitin Kareer, to suggest the land price for a park in the Mihan (Multi-Modal International Hub Airport) area in Nagpur.Kumar was a member of this sub-committee, which also included then MIDC CEO Bhushan Gagrani and then VC and MD of MADC Vishwas Patil.
Although MADC's rate in the area was Rs 1 crore per acre (4,046 sqm), the committee recommended a base price of Rs 25 lakh per acre for a food park. In August 2016, sole bidder Patanjali Ayurveda Ltd was awarded 230 acres of the land, paying Rs 58.63 crore for a 66-year lease.
H.P. gives access to Fair Price Shops
In what may be a first-of-its-kind endorsement, the recently elected BJP government in the state is all set to start pushing yoga guru Baba Ramdev's Patanjali line of FMCG and other products through the state's network of fair price shops (those licensed to distribute essential commodities under the Essential Commodities Act, 1956).
Kishan Kapoor, Himachal's new food, civil supplies and consumer affairs minister, who met with representatives of Patanjali Ayurveda in Shimla on January 20, said from February the products will be made available through fair price shops. "The state government is considering making available the popular Patanjali brand products at fair price shops regulated by the food and civil supplies department and consumer affairs corporation," a pleased Kapoor told reporters after the meeting.
If it goes through, the move will be a big boost to Patanjali's ambitious expansion plans for 2018. Announcing e-marketing worthRs 1,000 crore via online platforms Amazon, Flipkart, Paytm malls, Netmeds, Grofers and Bigbasket this January, Ramdev also revealed plans to diversify into bottled drinking water with the 'Divya Pradhan' brand and apparel and shoes under the brand 'Paridhan'.
But consider this: Ramdev claims to have positioned some 5,000 exclusive stores across the country to market Patanjali's production capacity, which according to him is already up to Rs 50,000 crore per annum.
The Himachal government's decision will, in a single stroke, give the company shelf space in 4,904 fair price shops in the state. These include 3,202 cooperative stores, 16 run by panchayats and 76 operated by a state-owned corporation. Theoretically, Patanjali would also have access to the warehouses owned by the Himachal Pradesh State Civil Supplies Corporation.
Justifying his decision "in view of the demand for Patanjali products in the state, including food items, beverages, [and] spices", a report quoting food minister Kapoor said "the daily use items would be provided through fair price shops in a phased manner".
Assuring consumers that necessary guidelines have been given to the Civil Supplies Corp. officers, he said all formalities would be completed by February end to ensure availability of Patanjali products. The minister also said there "would be no compromise on quality".
Baba Ramdev evidently has a special relationship with the BJP in Himachal. During the previous BJP regime headed by chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal (2008-2012), the Patanjali Trust was allotted 21 acres in Sadhupul in Solan district to set up a herb garden and ayurvedic park. Revoked by the Virbhadra Singh-led Congress regime soon after it took power in 2012, the land was controversially handed back to Patanjali ahead of the 2017 assembly polls.
YOGA, basically means “Union”. It is the Sanskrit Ancestor of the English word “Yoke”. Hence , it comes to mean a method of Spiritual Union. A Yoga is a method by which an individual may become united with the God Head, the reality which underlines this apparent Ephemeral Universe. To achieve such Union is to reach the State of Perfect Yoga.
According to Patanjali / The author of the Sutras – Aphorisms, the mind (Chitta) is made up of three Components, “Manas”, “Buddhi”, and “Ahamkara”. Manas is the recoding faculty which receives impressions gathered by the senses from the outside world . Buddhi is the discriminative faculty which classifies these impressions and reacts to them. Ahamkara is the ego-sense which claim these impressions for its own and stores them up as individual knowledge . Thus, Manas reports, Buddhi decides and Ahamkara boasts of knowledge. God is by definition , Omnipresent being underlying Reality. If the Reality exists at all, it must be everywhere; it must be present in every Sentient being, every inanimate object. God within the Creature is known in the Sanskrit Language as the “Atman” or “Purusha”, the real self. According to the Upanishads and the Bhagavat – Gita, the One Atman is present within all creatures and according to Sankhya Philosophy followed by Patanjali, believed that each individual creature and object has its separate, but identical , “Purusha”. However, for Spiritual aspirants, this Philosophical Point has no Practical importance.
The mind seems to be intelligent and conscious. Yoga Philosophy teachs that it is not. It has only a borrowed intelligence. The “Atman” is intelligence itself, is pure consciousness. The mind merely reflects that consciousness and so appears to be conscious . Knowledge or Perception is a Thought – Wave ( Vritti) in the mind . All Knowledge is therefore Objective. Even what Western Psychologists call introspection or Self Knowledge is objective Knowledge according to Patanjali, since the mind is not the Seer, but only an instrument of knowledge, an object of Perception like the outside world. The “Atman”, the real Seer , remains unknown. Every Perception arouses the ego sense, boasting of knowing things. This Ego-Sense is caused by the Identification of the “Atman” with the mind , senses etc. The real-self , the ‘Atman”, remains for ever outside the Power of thought waves; It is eternally pure, enlightened and free – the only true, unchanging happiness. It follows, therefore, that man can never know his real self as long as the thought waves and ego sense are being identified . In order to become enlightened , we must bring the thought waves under control so that this false identification may cease. The action of the Thought Waves is compared to the image of a lake. If the surface of the Lanke is lashed into waves, the Water becomes muddy and the bottom cannot be seen. The Lake represents the mind and the bottom of the lake – The “Atman”. Thus when the Lake of the mind becomes clear and still, a man knows himself as he really is, always was and always will be. He knows that he is the “Atman”. His “Personality”, his mistaken belief in himself as a separate Unique individual disappears Patanjali in a Yoga – Sutra ( Aphorism) describes it as under :-
“Tada Drustova Savrupay awasthanam.”
Means : Then man abides in his real nature.
In this context, the Lord says in Adhaya 2nd – Shaloka 64 in Bhagwat Gita (2: 64 B.G.)
“Rage – devesa Vikumlaistu- Visayam Indriyan’s Caran,
Atma – Vasyair Vidheyatma – Prasadam Adhiyacchati”.
Means : A man of self control, roaming among material objects with subjugated senses, and devoid of attraction and repulsion, attains an unshakable inner calmness. The Lord makes it clear in this verse that a man of Self Control who finds his senses under the full control of the soul’s discrimination abandons attraction and aversion – the root cause of entanglement in material objects – using his unprejudiced, untangled senses to perform duties, rightfully and joyously. Just as a rich man who succumbs to flattering and temptations loses his money and health, so any man, inherently rich in his soul, when tempted by some inclinations, loses his wealth of peace and his health of spirit. The ordinary unguarded individual who wanders into the territories of temptation falls captive to sense – attraction or aversion , and fails to reach the kingdom of happiness. Thus , the Pathway of life that every incarnate soul must travel to the ultimate goal, leads through the territory of sensations and sense traps. Only the man of self control knows how to behave in the material surroundings through which he must perforce roam and work. Such a self control man puts on an armour of wisdom and non – attachment while he performs his duties in this material world. In other words, he follows the advice of the Lord, in essence, ” Live the world but do not live in it”. By this the Lord meant in the Holy Gita that man should live and fulfill his duties in this world since God puts him here but he should not live in attachment to its wishes and ways”.
Thus, concludingly, it is established that the sense – entangled often find their reason jumping from one sense pleasure to another, seeking the permanent happiness that is promised but never granted by the deceitful senses. The wise man enjoying the pure unchanging Bliss of soul in constant meditation, finds that his reason no longer tempts him to fly from one material object to another, he is guided and guarded solely by a stable discrimination. This is called ” Renewal of the mind,” as one English Saint Paul puts it.
Govt asks Patanjali to suspend claims of Covid cure
Hours after Patanjali Ayurved launched its medicines, Coronil and Swasari, claiming they were the world’s first ayurvedic cure for Covid-19, the Ayush ministry directed Ramdev’s company to stop advertising and publicising its claims about the drugs till they were fully examined.
“The medicines have shown 100% recovery in patients, except those on life support,” Ramdev said. “In clinical trials on 100 positive patients, 69% tested negative in three days and 100% in a week,’’ said B S Tomar, chancellor, NIMS-Jaipur, and part of the research team. The Centre asked Patanjali to provide details of the drugs’ composition and particulars of their clinical trials.