Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Brand Planning Entry to Chinese Market
India's famous yoga guru Baba Ramdev wants to make a foray ingo China with his famous Ayurveda brand 'Patanjali' after tasting unprecedented success in the Indian market, where it has given a scare to big multinational consumer companies. The Indian Ayurvedic company produces virtually every household items as well as medicines.
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However, Patanjali's export plan to China and several East Asian countries is in its initial stages and may take more than a year to fructify. This ambitious plan is said to be part of the Indian government's 'Act East Policy,' which seeks to revive India's relationship with several East Asian countries including China.
A top source in New Delhi confirmed to a leading Indian business newspaper that Baba Ramdev's company is in talks with Indian shipping minister Nitin Gadakri to pursue its East Asian export plan. The source claims that Patanjali has sought permission from the minister to use the Sahibganj multi-modal terminal in Jharkhand state to export their Ayurvedic products.
The newspaper also spoke with a Patanjali official, who confirmed that the company was indeed holding talks with Jharkhand government, but did not provide any further details. "We are in discussion with the Jharkhand government for the industrial development of the state," the official said.
Jharkhand's Sahibganj multi-modal terminal is located in Sahibganj district, which is the only district in the state where the famous river Ganga flows. The Baba Ramdev's company and Indian government plan to tap into Ganga's inland waterways to reach lucrative East Asian markets like China, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and several others. The use of inland waterway will reportedly help the company to cut logistics costs.
But experts say that cracking China's consumer market is not easy, a bitter fact that several international companies have found out after spending years trying to settle in the massive market. The growing expectations of Chinese consumers, the cut-throat competition, and the unpredictability surrounding the economic slowdown are some of the challenges that Patanjali would have to confront in the Chinese market.
There is also the hindering factor of lack of awareness about Ayurveda among the Chinese consumers. Currently, it is believed that only niche percentages of Chinese consumer know about Ayurveda and how nature can help people to sustain their health.
In fact, awareness about Ayurveda was equally very low in India several decades ago. A glaring fact that eventually prompted India's talismanic monk Baba Ramdev to launch the Patanjali brand. Although today Baba Ramdev's Patanjali has achieved unprecedented success in the Indian market, this has not come without a fair share of controversies.
There are accusations that Patanjali enjoys state patronage from the India government, with sections in Indian media accusing that Baba Ramdev enjoys close ties with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.