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BW Businessworld

‘Why Can’t Indian Brands Be Present All Over The World?’

In conversation with BW Businessworld’s Anurag Batra, the 51-year-old flagbearer of all things Indian and the co-founder of Patanjali Ayurved talks about being conscious of our environment and offers brand management lessons like the importance of creating something new

Photo Credit : Photo Credit : PTI

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Swami Ramdev is undoubtedly a household name in India. While some wait for his yoga sessions to begin in the wee hours of the morning, some throng his chain of stores to buy a host of products — from toothpastes to shampoos to groceries to personal care products. In conversation with BW Businessworld’s Anurag Batra, the 51-year-old flagbearer of all things Indian and the co-founder of Patanjali Ayurved talks about being conscious of our environment and offers brand management lessons like the importance of creating something new. 

Excerpts:

You, along with Acharya Balkrishna have  created a brand and achieved a lot. What next?
Success, achievement, power, prosperity, respect, all these materialistic things are byproducts. For me, I follow my great ideals, I have nothing left to achieve or a desire to achieve. Sun has never asked what it gets in return with what it gives to the world. So, I have learnt from this world and this existence that all existence is working for me, so my existence is for everybody. This is my life.

On one hand, you talk about peaceful coexistence of every religion. On the other, you are dominating the FMCG space and haven’t left space for coexistence for anyone...
It is true, I preach oneness, coexistence and harmony. But coexistence does not mean that we should not let one Indian brand make its mark. For instance, we went back to our roots, and we launched Dant Kanti. Or by spending a minuscule amount, we created a Rs 1,000-crore brand around plants like aloe vera. If Unilever  or Colgate can be all over the world, then why can’t Indian brands be present all over the world? When they do it, it is professional, but when we do it, coexistence is in danger?

According to you, what will disrupt the market in the next few years?
Whether you are in FMCG, food, personal healthcare or dental care, my point is, do something new. If you can’t differentiate, you cannot make a mark. We did value addition for each of our products. And that is why we stand out. Act differently, don’t follow the herd. Modiji wouldn’t be PM if he followed the herd. First, you have to differentiate, then there should be continuity in your work, to earn people’s faith and trust. With continuity you get results. Trust cannot be developed overnight.

Delhi’s toxic air requires urgent attention. How do you think we can improve the air quality?
At Patanjali, we have decided not to take any energy or electricity from outside and have vowed to use 100 per cent solar or renewable energy for our operations and sell the surplus electricity to the government. The truth is that in the 200 crore years of existence of this planet, most of the man-made destruction has occurred just in the last 200 years. Whatever we do, it should be environmentally friendly. So, we use maximum byproducts, and we even use the waste products to create new products.

You are a brand by yourself, you have earned trust in every household. So, why does someone like you need media?
I have more than 10 million organic followers on social media, and, of course, I have not bought or purchased their following. I have not attempted to create a news channel, or create a newspaper. So, we have not created video or electronic media on purpose, and we believe in coexistence. And we have saved a lot of media houses from going bankrupt.