Baba Ramdev's Patanjali may soon have to face a new challenger - Future Group. Kishore Biyani-led Future Group is in the process of buying Gujarat-based Athena Life Science's Iraya - a company which deals in ayurvedic personal care products. Among the products that Iraya sells are ayurvedic oil, neem and basil soap, facial massage cream, nutrifying skin food, hair gel and face wash, among others. It also manufactures ayurvedic products for anti dandruff and hair re-growth treatment.
If Biyani succeeds in acquiring Iraya, the Future Group would join the league of FMCG giants Hindustan Unilever, Dabur and Colgate Palmolive to challenge Patanjali's dominance in ayurvedic products. Last year, Patanjali became the second largest FMCG group with a turnover of over Rs 10,500 crore. Baba Ramdev wants to beat HUL which is at the top with sale of over Rs 30,000 crore. Recently, the yoga guru said that he has set a target of Rs 20,000 crore to Rs 25,000 crore turnover in 3-5 years. But, he will now have to look at the potential entrant in the ayurvedic segment.
The Economic Times today reported that the Future group plans to enter almost every FMCG category and the products would be under the group's FMCG arm - Future Consumer. According to the ET report, Future Group's chief is inspired by the rapid growth of Patanjali and has ambitious plans for ayurvedic products.
Baba Ramdev along with Acharya Balkrishna started their FMCG and Ayurvedic formulations journey in 1990 when they set up the Divya Yog Pharmacy Trust. Till 2011, the company's turnover was just Rs 400 crore. However, in last few years, Patanjali's rise was phenomenal that made it the biggest disruptor in the Indian FMCG industry. Patanjali's top five - in terms of revenue - products are cow ghee, dant kanti toothpaste, ayurvedic medicines, keshkanti shampoo and soaps.
In last few years, FMCG companies have started manufacturing products in ayurvedic segment - a move to regain the ground they ceded to Patanjali over the years. Last year in February, Dabur India launched an ayurvedic specialist toothpaste in a modern gel format. Before that, the company had Dabur Red Paste, Babool and Meswak. Around same time, HUL also launched a new range of ayurvedic personal care products under the 'Lever ayush' brand name. Among the products that it launched under the new brand were anti-dandruff neem shampoo, purifying turmeric handwash, anti-pimple turmeric facewash.