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Patanjali looks abroad

News, 14 April 2017

HARIDWAR: Even though it stresses its Indian roots and has often excoriated multinational rivals, Indian FMCG business Patanjali Ayurved is planning on becoming an international brand.

"We want to expand Patanjali Ayurved Ltd to other countries slowly," said CEO Acharya Balkrishna, as he explained to Impact the company's reasoning.

"If we establish a unit outside of India, like in Nepal [where it recently opened a manufacturing unit], then we would use 100% of the profits we get there for the betterment of that country," he said.

"And we will only expand to countries which don't have many resources so that we can contribute to the education and health of masses there," he added.

While it has suited Patanjali to set itself up in opposition to multinationals, playing the swadeshi card – this refers back to the self-sufficiency movement that was part of the drive for independence – not all are necessarily capitalist gorgons.

Some Western businesses espouse brand purpose and sustainable living, such as Unilever, for example, which has extended its long-running Dirt is Good campaign to include building playgrounds and even, in Vietnam, persuading the government to change the law to enable schoolchildren to play outside.

Patanjali has an equally straight forward approach to advertising. "Our strategy has always been to make informational ads which only focus on the product benefits," Balkrishna stated.

"We don't put out ads that would make any fake promise to the consumer or show them wrong dreams or false illusions. We shall never ever make such ads to fool our consumers."

He also reported that some Patanjali products are already being sold illegally in China. "It means there is a demand, a craze for Patanjali products in China," he said.

"China has been dumping their substandard products in India. We are in fact going to do a good turn to them by providing good quality products."

Data sourced from Impact; additional content by WARC staff