Providing affordable quality products to common man the biggest challenge: Acharya Bal Krishna
Acharya Bal Krishna, the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Patanjali Ayurved Limited and general secretary of Divya Yog Mandir Trust has been reported by Forbes to have a real-time net worth of USD 5.3 billion as of May 2018. Starting from a small-sized pharmacy in 1997, he and Yoga Guru Swami Ramdev have established their global presence in Yoga and Ayurveda and raised Patanjali Ayurved Limited as the fastest growing fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) company. After excelling in Ayurvedic medicines, the company has recently forayed into textile and dairy sector.
Clad in white dhoti and white kurta, Bal Krishna is often seen issuing instructions to his managers, discussing various projects and spending time in forests exploring rare herbs along with his students of the Ayurvedic college. The Pioneer met him at his office in Patanjali Yog Peeth for an exclusive interview. Some excerpts from the interview.
What do you think is the reason for the rise of Ayurvedic brands like Patanjali?
The quality of products and the faith which people have in the Indian science of Ayurveda-both have been the major factors in the rise of Ayurvedic brand ‘Patanjali’. Earlier, we propagated only therapeutic use of Yoga, then both Ayurved and Yoga were amalgamated to establish the use of these time tested solutions given by Indian sages. ‘Yog se Ayurved’ and ‘Ayurved se Yog’ (both Yoga and Ayurveda are interlinked). We taught the world in the language which it understood- the scientific and the modern.
Do you feel Patanjali group is able to sustain the image which was built 23 years ago?
We have not only been able to sustain the image but have also developed it to make it a world-renowned brand. From a humble beginning in Kripalu Bagh Ashram in the small township of Kankhal, we have grown to widely spread centers across the country wherein one lakh yoga classes are held, 5000 Chikitsalayas and mega stores are operational, 1500 Vaidyas (Ayurvedic practitioners) are giving free medical consultation on daily basis. Five organizations of Patanjali are working in various capacities in diverse fields.
How much market share has been captured by Patanjali products?
I am myself not aware of this. You may check on the internet.
Any major research findings of Patanjali Research Institute? How many patents has the organization applied for?
Nearly 50 patents have been filed by Patanjali group. We have over 50 records in the Golden Book of World records, Guinness book of world records on the largest herbal garden, the largest number of Surya Namaskars performed together, longest Yoga marathon and so on. The first research-based medicine developed by Patanjali Yog Peeth was Divya Mukta Vati for hypertension. Other medicines like Madhunashini Vati and Medha for Diabetes and nervous disorders have been extremely successful. Research is a continual process and at present clinical trials for medicine for heart, arthritis, and liver are underway.
What is the major challenge you feel in this global era of ever-increasing consumerism?
To provide right things and quality products to the common man at an affordable price is the biggest challenge in today’s times. Advertisements are so alluring and the consumer is influenced by the false propaganda sometimes. For the end user, it becomes difficult to discriminate between right and wrong.
Swami Ramdev speaks of Swadeshi and that is the punchline of Patanjali brand as well but most of the machinery used in your industrial units is foreign made. Your take on this?
We are never against making a product using technology and if the technology is not available in India, it has to be imported from outside. Using a machine worth Rs one crore, Swadeshi products worth Rs 100 crore can be made so what is the problem in using foreign machinery? Swadeshi is and will remain at the core of Patanjali brand.
What is your target or sales projection for the next year?
We would definitely do more business than in the current year.
Patanjali has recently forayed into the dairy industry, clothes- what more have you planned? Don’t you think the idea of Yoga and Ayurveda which was the basis of the organization has been lost somewhere or diluted?
Propagation of Yoga and Ayurveda is always our first priority. What all shall be promoted has to be Swadeshi, of course. We consider India as a ‘Pariwar’ (family) while MNC’s consider India as a market. We use all profits for man-making education.
Prices of our products in the textile sector will be at least 30 percent lower than leading brands in those categories. As in Ayurvedic medicines, our aim has never been to make profits but to promote Swadeshi Ayurveda only and make the products within reach of the common man.
What future projects have you planned in India and abroad?
We shall be going for organic products, organic compost, bio fertilizers and biofuel on a large scale. Some companies from China have approached us for opening stores of Patanjali.
As a person, how do you look at Bal Krishna and his achievements as a billionaire?
To work for Indian science of Ayurveda is my passion and I will keep on doing it. Read more posts…
Thursday, 06 December 2018 | Radhika Nagrath | Haridwar—
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