Patanjali doesn’t fear multinational rivals

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Patanjali Ayurved, India’s fastest growing FMCG brand, is not worried by its multinational competition, a senior executive has revealed.

In less than five years, Patanjali – a homegrown brand with herbal products – has flooded the Indian FMCG market with more than 500 lines across multiple categories. The company is set to turn over INR 100bn this year.

(For more, including details about the company’s marketing strategy, read Warc’s exclusive report: Patanjali Ayurved – the rise and rise of India’s homegrown FMCG giant.)

While the company has not been without controversy – in 2016, a local court in Haridwar slapped Patanjali Ayurved with a fine of Rs 11 lakh ($1.1m) for misrepresenting some of its products – senior executives are bullish about future growth.

“We have the bandwidth to be successful across all categories. We have a team of champions. We get the job done,” said Avinash Kumar, CGM Media and Head of Marketing.

“We don’t discuss multinationals or anybody for that matter, and there is a reason behind it…We have decided that we will strengthen our own line – we have no interest in reducing the line of others. The biggest thing is, they are worried [and]we aren’t,” he said.

Presenting at ad:tech 2017 in New Delhi, Kumar cited the popularity of the company’s founder and brand ambassador, Baba Ramdev, as critical to the company’s rise.

“When you start building trust like this, and then come with a product, it will always click – because the trust is already there,” he explained, of Ramdev’s influence.”Patanjali’s strengths are: One, Baba Ramdev as the brand ambassador. Two, trust in the product. And three, understanding the Indian psyche.”

Patanjali has aggressively courted low-income Indians outside of metro areas to grow its market share, with competitive pricing and a traditional media strategy. It is estimated that, on average, Patanjali’s brands are priced 15-20% lower than rival brands.

“Our idea was that anything that is Indian was considered substandard. So our thinking was: What has to be done to do away with this [perception]? The only solution, Baba Ramdev thought, was to make a product that was world class – in fact, a world beater. And then put a price to it which is Indian, very affordable,” Kumar said. “We aim to touch Rs 300bn next year. And we will reach there.”

Data sourced from Warc

This article first appeared in www.warc.com

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