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Coupleof years back, no one would have been able to predict that Baba Ramdev’sPatanjali Ayurved Limited would become the fastest growing FMCG empire in India.

It was not even close to the competitionanalysis powerpoints of the big players like HUL andDabur.You findbusinessmen, you find entrepreneurs but then you see people who leave youthinking with awe and admiration, “What just happened!”.Today,Patanjali is shunning away everything in its path and firstly and mostimportantly too, you have got to praise the distribution chain of PUL.

Fromlocal stores(even in rural interior areas) to Amazon, where wouldn’t you findPatanjali? Name me any village, any city in India where you cannot find theseproducts? The distribution chain is probably the first that is rivalling eventhe Cola majors. From the quality of the products to its pricing everythingabout PUL relates to “consumer friendly”. Ever heard of the saying “Opportunity knocks at yourdoor just once, and be sure to grab it with both hands”? This means we shouldalways be ready enough to take advantage of sudden opportunities, and whobetter to teach us but Baba himself. Add this to your marketing arsenal- PatanjaliNoodles rose to fame while Maggi wasaway from the market. The king of Noodles scandalized and on the verge oflosing it all, was overthrown from the market and prompted Baba Ramdev tolaunch his own noodles.

As I talked about pricing and quality, did you knowproducts like Dabur Honey and Colgate, PUL has managed to subdue these productsin quite a diligent way as Patanjali Ayurved is benefiting the people withthe option to buy quality honey at around 30% lesser price than Dabur. Also forColgate,Patanjali Ayurved is preaching how Colgate cheated people in early days and howayurveda is the perfect way to treat your gums and your teeth with thelaunching of “Dantkaanti” which is one of the most popular products of hischain. See, now one of Ramdev’s tricks lies here.For thelast decade, Baba Ramdev did not waste time on proclaiming that his brandwas the best. Instead, he told us about the demerits of MNCs and the alreadyestablished firms, the incessant branding for “Made in India” which slightly madepeople incline towards the virtues of products made in India, the corruption ofcorporates, the exploitation of farmers, the Slogan “Prakriti ka Ashirwad” whichautomatically instincts in people the use of natural ingredients and Ayurved, andjust about everything that surrounded his own products.

He just paved for usthe reasons and left us on our own to contemplate his products.Andbehind all of this, lies the meticulous efforts of one man in creating his ownbrand. And his expertise in what we today call content marketing. You see, whensomeone forces you to try out a product, let me go into this in detail. Forexample how in the malls when people force you to try out perfumes andcosmetics and try and lure you to their stalls, how many do you think actuallygoes and buys their products? As soon as you go out of the metro station, howauto drivers surround you and try and force you to be a passenger in theirvehicle, and how many times do you actually go and sit in the vehicles theytell you to sit or do you listen to your own and prefer the one who is silentlywaiting by their rickshaw? Did you see? Consumers might have a bias towardsrejecting your product and term it as ‘overselling’ if one keeps on yelling”Our product is the best”. For PUL,no-one pushed anything, only a decorum was created where you wanted to see ifthe alternative to above evils was usable. Indians usually are influenced bythe fear of diseases or that “Indians are patriotic” notion.

But here Patanjalihelped shun the evil foreign firms and keep the revenue generated within Indiarather than guiding the profits going out to the US. It is under no doubt thatthe FMCG industry is one of the most emerging industries which has seen dramaticgrowth and expansion in the last decade. As per the Indian Brand Equity Foundation,it is the fourth largest sector in the Indian Economy.WeIndians hardly get any alternatives to foreign brands in the FMCG sector butnow we do have local products. Don’t we see Patanjali Ad campaigns focusing on “revenue of Patanjali is for Charity and notfor Brand Owners”? Whatever the reason may be, we already had a positiveenvironment to try the Patanjali products.Buthaving willing customers ain’t enough.

You got to deliver with your productstoo. So did PUL do that? We all know the toothpaste was as good as any other inthe market, as were the oils, as were the extracts, and as was everything else.The products fit into majority of the lifestyles for the Indians. As we all prettymuch aware that, to truly and entirely know your content, you should know yourconsumers. The R team for PUL knew their consumers specific profile baseand the content needed to revolve around that.

In depth understanding ofcustomers need primarily forms the basis for creation of products that couldbring about high degree of acceptance among the consumers. The demographicfabric of India being highly complicated in nature, preferences for attributesin the consumer goods is highly contrasting depending upon the different stratato which a customer belongs to. Product innovation plays a key role indifferentiating the same product that is being offered by various firms therebygiving an edge to those firms who would continuously strive to innovate theirproduct offerings by keeping the consumers preference as a matter of utmost priority.

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