New Delhi: Branded clothes from Baba Ramdev, coming soon to an apparel store near you.
After food, medicines and cosmetics, the yoga guru-turned-tycoon who discovered the business potential of everything homegrown is ready to raid the next big consumer market: branded apparel.
Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurved Ltd is preparing to launch its ‘swadeshi" line of clothes for men, women and children by April, his spokesperson S.K. Tijarawala said. The sales target for the first year: Rs5,000 crore.
“Patanjali will have different products in each category—value-for-money clothes for the masses and apparel that would have the snob value meant for the classes. We’ll start with woven clothes, knitwear and machine-made apparel, including denims," said Tijarawala.
While Patanjali is working on a suitable brand name aligned with its ‘swadeshi’ agenda, ‘Paridhan’ (apparel) is one option, Tijarawala said, adding “we may have more than one brand".
The apparel line will initially be made available across 250 exclusive retail outlets in April 2018, said Tijarawala. Besides the wide network of Patanjali stores, they will also be sold at other apparel retailing outlets across the country, including Kishore Biyani-led Future Group’s Big Bazaar. Patanjali, he said, may also look at selling them through retail outlets managed by state-run Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC). There are 15,000 KVIC outlets across the country.
Patanjali already has a tie-up with Big Bazaar. In October 2015, Future Retail tied up with Patanjali to promote, distribute and market the latter’s products across its outlets in 243 cities.
Patanjali has already teamed up with a few hundred handloom weavers in northern India. In an interview to Mint in May 2015, Ramdev had said his company would work with handloom weavers to save them from distress and revive the khadi industry.
“Besides, we will have arrangements with apparel makers, and we will set up our own manufacturing units for making clothes," said Tijarawala, declining to share investment details.
Patanjali is entering a market projected to grow over 9% every year till 2022 from about Rs2 trillion in 2012, according to a 2013 report by retail consulting firm Technopak.
“Extending brands beyond core is always challenging," said Rajat Wahi, partner, management consulting at Deloitte India. “But the company has shown strong marketing acumen before and has its own fan following, which may be helpful," he said.
Patanjali, which started off with ayurvedic medicines in 2006, makes a wide variety of packaged goods now, ranging from toothpastes and skin creams to biscuits and noodles. Every year, Ramdev has announced Patanjali’s entry into new business areas as part of his agenda to challenge what he calls the dominance of multinational companies in India.
Last month, it entered the private security business through a subsidiary, Parakram Suraksha Pvt. Ltd. The firm also said it may buy into infrastructure companies with stressed assets, Mint reported on 17 July.
Patanjali Ayurved reported sales of Rs10,561 crore in the year to 31 March, almost five times its 2014-15 sales of Rs2,006 crore. It aims to cross Rs20,000-25,000 crore in sales by 31 March 2018, Ramdev said on 4 May.