The nation's fascination for Baba Ramdev's Patanjali brand and the disruption it caused in the FMCG space is old news now. But while a 2017 Nirmal Bang report reveals that the brand already reaches nearly 53% households in personal care and 26% in food products-up nearly 100% from a year ago-online shoppers have often been left disappointed with various products being "out of stock". All that is set to change with Patanjali Ayurved's new focus on online sales.
The Haridwar-based company is expected to enter into agreements with eight leading e-tailers and aggregator-Amazon, Flipkart, Paytm Mall, 1MG, BigBasket, Grofers, Shopclues and Snapdeal-to give a big push to online sales of its swadeshi range of FMCG products. On January 5, Patanjali spokesperson SK Tijarawala had hinted at this on Twitter when he announced that "Patanjali Ayurveda has started working on a massive online push. The announcement of an agreement with world's largest e-commerce companies will happen soon. A new chapter of online shopping of Patanjali products from many portals will begin soon." The company already has its own portal, patanjaliayurved.net, but hopes to extend reach significantly with these new partnerships.
Patanjali is organising a function in the capital on January 16, which is expected to bring together representatives of all the online players and the company's founder as well as its MD Acharya Balkrishna. "Now we will have an organised and systematic agreement with the players to place all our products online," said Tijarawala, adding that that Patanjali's products will enjoy global reach through these tie-ups. The company is optimistic that "this would change the scenario of whole FMCG trade" in the online space but refused to share further details about the arrangements with the online retailers.
The last time, Patanjali Ayurved decided to tweak its sales strategy was in summer 2017, when it departed from the branded franchise it had relied on since inception to make its fledgling presence felt in the market and adopted the channel distribution route usually preferred by FMCG companies. According to a Business Standard report from July 2017, Patanjali aimed to increase its number of distributors from 5,000 to 25,000 by 2019. The move was seen to be crucial to meet Ramdev's ambitious target of annual sales of Rs 1 lakh crore by 2020.
And with this new online gambit, Ramdev comes a step closer to seeing his dream come true. At the very least, the move is sure to help Patanjali carve out a bigger market share-the company currently ranks No. 7 in the FMCG space-and meet its turnover target of Rs 20,000 crore for this fiscal year, a twofold growth year-on-year.
With PTI inputs