Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali goes online, ties with Amazon, Flipkart and 6 others

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New Delhi: After criticizing multinational companies for “looting” India for years, yoga guru-turned-businessman Baba Ramdev on Tuesday said his company Patanjali Ayurved Ltd has tied up with eight e-commerce companies—all of them owned by foreign entities or investors.

Patanjali Ayurved plans to leverage the online marketplaces to boost its reach, aiming to take its products “from Haridwar to Har Dwar” (Haridwar, where the company is located, to every doorstep).

Besides its own website, Patanjali will now sell its products across online marketplaces including Amazon India, Flipkart, Paytm, BigBasket, Shopclues, Grofers and online medicine sellers Netmed and 1MG to sell its products.

“We believe our partnerships with e-commerce platforms will help increase the reach of Patanjali products to more and more consumers in urban and rural regions,” Ramdev said, adding that Patanjali targets to generate more than Rs1,000 crore from the e-commerce channel in the first year.

E-commerce as a sales channel for consumer packaged goods is growing fast and is projected to grow faster.

In September, a report by consulting firm Boston Consulting Group and Google estimated that about 40% of all fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) purchases in India will go online by 2020, making it a $5-6 billion business. The current share of online of total FMCG purchases in India is in low single digits.

Ramdev, however, indicated that Patanjali may miss its self-set revenue target of crossing Rs20,000 crore in the year ended 31 March 2018.

“This year there has been a set of hiccups. Not just for Patanjali, but for everyone,” Ramdev said, responding to Mint’s question on the possibility of Ramdev’s self-announced revenue target for the current fiscal year.

On 4 May 2017, Ramdev had, at a press conference, said the company aimed to cross Rs20,000-25,000 crore in sales by 31 March 2018. It had reported sales of Rs10,561 crore for the year ended 31 March 2017.

“But, we’ll cross Hindustan Unilever (in terms of revenue) the next year,” Ramdev said. To be sure, Hindustan Unilever Ltd saw its revenue touch Rs31,987.17 crore in the year to 31 March 2017.

According to Ramdev, Patanjali products will be sold across e-commerce portals at the maximum retail price and not at discounts.

“Also, it will not have a negative impact on traditional sales channels. We are also focusing on growing offline distribution. At the same time, we will be launching Patanjali loyalty programme later this month at the exclusive brand stores,” added Ramdev.

With the associations with the e-commerce companies, Ramdev said Patanjali hopes to settle at least 1 million orders every day. The company estimates online will account for around 15% of the company’s total revenue over the next few years.

Patanjali, which currently sells products through 5,000 exclusive stores and about 2 million kirana outlets across the country besides modern trade chains of Future Group Ltd and Reliance Retail, is expanding distribution to reach about 5 million stores by next year. “We are also hiring 20,000 people within the next two months,” added Ramdev.

However, Patanjali’s plans to launch apparel under the Paridhan brand have been delayed. “We are working on the back-end. We hope to launch Paridhan this Diwali or by January next year. There will be more than 3,000 products under Paridhan brand. Besides apparels, we’ll have footwear and accessories,” Ramdev said.livemint