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30 Jul 2017

Sadhu Ramdev, Seva Patanjali

Ramdev Baba and Patanjali - business meets spirituality

If telecom then Jio, if payments then Paytm, if FMCG then Patanjali - Let me clarify. These are the names of the disruptors.

One is run by someone who has business in his veins, one is a guy who went all-in and the third is a Sadhu, who doesn't want to make profits.

Tap in to know how does he act as a boss!

In context

Ramdev Baba and Patanjali - business meets spirituality
What makes it tick?


What makes it tick?

A recent survey pegs Patanjali as one of the most influential brands in the country.

Spirituality is good business, cynics say, but for Ramdev Baba, spirituality is not the key, it's the products. Those are marketed as healthy, without harmful additives and the product prices are less than their counterparts

The saffron dhoti-and-shawl-clad spiritual guru is giving the corporates a run for their money.


David beats Goliath

Patanjali has eclipsed FMCG bigwigs such as ITC, Nestle, Godrej, Dabur, and Tata. Baba Ramdev's roots go deeper than others.

According to a study, households, using Patanjali products exclusively, are on a rise in India. It's affordable and the "swadeshi" tag attracts loyalists.

Colgate CEO Cook said, "Patanjali in India takes a very nationalist view of its business." It's very hard to beat that.

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At your feet


At your feet

The inner mechanism of this disruptor is also quaint.

When Ramdev Baba or Acharya Balkrishna, the man behind the entire operation, walk into any of Patanjali's business outposts, philanthropic endeavors or factories, employees rush to touch their feet as a sign of reverence.

Working in a Rs. 10,000 crore business venture and touching the feet of its CEO - an odd scenario, indeed.


Baba calls all the shots

Corporate brainstorming is also a tad bit different here. During meetings, Ramdev Baba occupies a high seat, while others sit below him on the floor. It doesn't matter if you're a factory worker or the CEO.

Decisions regarding every Patanjali product from inception to production is taken by Baba himself based on his instincts. There are no data crunching or focus groups at play.

Banking on volume not on margin


Banking on volume not on margin

He's not making huge profits, per say, out of its products. He uses each and every product before it's okayed - another novelty of Baba's persona.

Cover production cost, add a meager profit margin and get it going to thousands of stores across India - that's how Patanjali works.

For others, profit after tax of less than 15% won't do. Baba goes way less.


"Karma" is your "dharma"

There is a reason why he can afford that.

A job is not exactly seen as a job at Patanjali. Ramdev sees work in the factory premises as spiritual 'seva' to the nation, to the yoga and ayurveda.

A Patanjali factory floor laborer earns Rs. 6,000 per month for twelve-hour shifts, six days a week. It's very less compared to the market norms.

Well if it works, it works


Well if it works, it works

If someone wants a hike, they are reminded of their place in the entire plan of things. First, it's "seva" and second is that there is no dearth of labor, which makes them easily replaceable. One of the two always works.

Baba says, "The wealth of Patanjali is not for any one person - it is for the country. It is all for charity."

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