Patanjali. Ramdev. Ayurveda. Balkishan. Aastha Channel. Yoga.
Can give many tags to this phenomenon. Moneylife has a nice theme on the confusion surrounding the identity;
What I think is that the promoters are sparing no effort to push the brand and push the products in to every house in India. I do not think they are focused on any one – ayurveda or yoga or whateveryouwanttolable it. It is an all out trade war on the others. Apart from an aggressive thrust of using the franchisee route, Patanjali has also penetrated the corner store shelves. The independent lable super markets clearly know what their customers want and seem to be stocking their produce.
I do not think that they have any goal other than pure commerce. Yoga camps were a platform to push products. Now it is time to exploit a bigger canvas.
So let us brace ourselves for some aggressive advertising and commission battles. Ultimately, for products to be sold, they have to be seen. Getting shelf space is clearly the battle where a lot of money is going to be thrown around. Patanjali seems to have an edge since they seem to have ‘product acceptance’ with customers even before the actual product has been tasted or seen. Social media has been a big aid in creating brand awareness. And no one has anything negative to say. Goodwill exists. It is up to Patanjali to make it big or screw it up.
What we have seen over time is that super markets play God. They decide which product to store, which to give prominence to etc. And in products like biscuits even though one may be partial to a particular lable, it is availability that matters. If you are buying ten provisions and if your particular Patanjali ‘atta’ is not available, you may end up picking up some other atta. So Patanjali has to get the shelf space prominence to grow.
The other interesting thing is that Patanjali is already a brand in tier two and three cities. And they seem to be able to reach the smaller towns far easier than the high cost MNCs can.
The important thing, to me, is how well are they funded? Going by their ad spends, funding does not seem to be an issue. If that is so, there is no stopping them, unless there is some regulatory or political issue.
The consumers will keep shifting more and more towards Patanjali so long as pricing and quality are not screwed up. And as they keep growing, Patanjali has to maintain their ‘desi’ image as well as remain humble.
Interesting times ahead in the industry.