Rise of Spiritual Entrepreneurs in India

By Ajmal Hussain, 3EA
Rise of Spiritual Entrepreneurs in India

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Two or three decades ago, the face of spiritualism in India was associated with the image of pious sadhus and saints who used to live simple lives and gave their blessings to travellers who came looking for answers to life's difficult questions. Western cultural icons like Steve Jobs and John Lennon have talked on to great lengths about their transformational journey which began in India. The tantrics and yogis always had a place for their products in the Indian consumer's heart. The spiritual gurus were the promoters of blessed amulets, lucky charms and herbal remedies which promised to improve the quality of life of the customers. However, the scope of those products were limited and miniscule in comparison to today's multibillion dollar market for 'organic' products in India.

The most recognized face in the new Industry is that of the yoga guru Baba Ramdev. Patanjali, the brand promoted by Baba Ramdev has become the third largest producer of FMCG goods in the country, much to the shock of titans like Nestle, Dabur, Unilever and ITC. Brand Trust Report India 2017 declared Patanjali as the most attractive brand in India out of the 10,000 brands subjected to the study. The growth of Patanjali is phenomenal, evidenced by the reported sales figure of 5000 crores in FY16, which grew to 10,216 crores in FY17. Baba Ramdev is definitely eyeing the global wellness industry which is estimated to be worth $ 3.4 trillion, three times the estimated value of the global pharmaceutical industry. Patanjali enjoys a growth rate of 140% at a time when FMCG companies struggles to push their growth rates to double digit figures.

Baba Ramdev is not the only player in this segment. "The Art of living" fame Sri Sri Ravishankarji, has announced that his wellness brand Sri Sri Tattva will be targeting a turnover of Rs 500 crore by FY20 and a cumulative total of 1000 franchised stores by 2020. He is planning to offer a product mix consisting of FMCG, Medicine and Ayurveda wellness items.

The FMCG sector is going through a disruptive phase. It remains to be seen, as to who will emerge as the winner.

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Article by: Ajmal Hussain, 3EA