My stay at the Baba Ramdev Ashram at Yog Gram revealed a lot to me about the business acumen, foresight and the vision of Baba Ramdev. In just over a decade, Baba has propelled Patanjali Yog and therapy into a household brand eating chunks from the market share of brands like Dabur, Himalaya, and even the mighty Unilever. He has taken away consumer durable business from these brands to his fold. He has raised his image in the eyes of the public and has become a champion of Ayurveda and alternative medicine. As a close friend of mine, Mirnal Mathur who worked as a director with Dabur puts it like this, “People go to him when they have lost all hope from traditional forms of medical care and treatments. Where allopathy failed, Baba steps in with his brand of Naturopathy.”
Herbal remedies coupled with natural treatments have worked wonders for Baba and have transformed people who come to him. His brand of yoga is very popular with the masses. He looks to heal the body, mind, and soul with his therapies. There is a sense of seva in everyone who works for the Baba and the staff is courteous yet strict.
Baba is not only an expert marketer but also a brilliant person with backward integration. His farms in Haridwar provide the needed diet for his patients. He breeds horses and cows in his backyard.
Products like milk and mattha come from these holy cows. The strict vegetarian diet also does wonders for the mind and body. The farms at Pokhri and the greenhouses provide the natural herbs and flowers that go into producing the various remedies.
The factories turn out these remedies and package them into products under the Patanjali Brands. The mollah then start raking in when the products are sold through branded company stores. Each of these stores houses a doctor to give advice and prescription.
He has the backward integration and supply chain all tied up under his umbrella. Baba’s swadeshi rhetoric coupled with davy media acumen helps with the promotion of the brand as he has become the face of the entire movement. An army of yoga prachaaraks promotes yoga at the local as well as the district level. Two huge ashrams, phase one and two have been built to cater to the growing demand of patients and seekers.
From mud batches to ozone therapies, blood tests to dental treatments, there is space for every sort of remedies as Baba is also taking on the traditional notion of a hospital and allopathy medicine. He is taking the market from the Apollo’s Medenta and Max type of hospitals. Even the old and young sow under the one-fold of yoga, bhakti, Desh Seva, and treatment.
Acharya Balkrishna is an allotted pillar of this revolution. He looks after the finances as Baba promotes the brand as its ambassador. Together, they have formed a great tag team that has propelled this juggernaut to great heights with cash registers also gangling.
All in all, success plays in their backyard. They also give results as they truly heal people. This is one of the major factors. Traditional advertising coupled with word of mouth and direct sales efforts have given rich results. All in all, he truly is The Business Baba.