A player in the market of ayurvedic products is gearing up to give tough competition to Baba Ramdev’s brand, Patanjali. Founder of the Art of Living Foundation, spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has revealed his foundation’s plan of opening about 1,000 retails stores across India to sell ayurvedic products to meet the rising demand for herbal and natural products in the country.
Initially, the products that are planned to be launched include detergents, ghee, cookies, toothpaste and similar items of daily use. The company has already been in the market for ayurvedic products by selling items such as health drinks, soaps, spices and fragrances since 2003 online and through retail stores. Now it plans to venture into the category of food and domestic use items by expanding its range to over 300 products.
A recipient of the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award of the country, Sri Sri also plans to open clinics and treatment centers in different parts of India. His model of business appears to be very similar to that of Baba Ramdev.
Sri Sri Ayurveda’s branded stores will be named Sri Sri Tattva. It is possible that these outlets will be opened near the existing Patanjali stores in order to take advantage of premium positioning in the market. The first one will be opened in the next month with 50 more coming up by November.
The Economic Times quotes Tej Katpitia, chief executive of Sri Sri Ayurveda (SSA) Trust, the FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) saying,
People have now accepted ayurvedic products in their daily lives, and we believe our brand offerings are different compared to those of existing players. Through clinics, we can carry the entire expertise of the brand in traditional ayurveda diagnosis. We don’t intend to compete with any player and instead grow the ayurveda market.
The executive also revealed that Sri Sri will not serve as the brand ambassador of the products, unlike Baba Ramdev. The plan of the foundation is to drive the sales by “brand quality and product benefits”.
With two leading spiritual leaders of the country playing in the market of ayurvedic products, the popularity of which is at its peak, the course that the market of these products takes will be an interesting one to watch. The net worth of Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali has already crossed the Rs. 10,000 crore mark and with the great response he has received from the public, what his reaction will be to Sri Sri’s action cannot certainly be guessed.
Since Patanjali is more or less an established brand now, it is possible that the new player may not be able to give it a tough fight. But we must not forget that today’s world is that of competition, hence, whether or not, Sri Sri Ayurveda Trust is able to leave Patanjali behind can only be speculated but not determined!