Business Today

MNCs are conspiring against us

Acharya Balkrishna, MD of Patanjali Ayurved, asserts that his company is a flagbearer of swadeshi. He spoke to BT's Ajita Shashidhar about what makes Patanjali stand out.
twitter-logoAjita Shashidhar | Print Edition: February 11, 2018
MNCs are conspiring against us

Q: Your success story is too good to be true...

A: The reason we have reached this level is because we are working for people at large. The day I start working to fulfill financial ambitions, set profit and turnover targets, I dont think I will be able to achieve this kind of growth.

When there is business motive there is aggression, oneupmanship and competition. We achieve turnover on the back of our work. Companies work for turnover, our approach is to work hard without having a turnover goal. When the turnover happens we plough that money into our various charitable activities, hospitals and universities.

Q: There have been lot of negative reports on the quality standards of Patanjali...

A: Patanjali's strength is purity and authenticity and our goal is to protect these values. We offer value for money products without compromising on quality. Consumers are not questioning our purity. Had they done so our products would not have sold. This is a conspiracy by competition which is finding it difficult to corner Patanjali through rightful means.

Human error and clerical mistakes are possible. But our intention has never been bad. As I told you, we don't work for turnover, we work to serve the nation.

For most companies this country is a market, but for us this country is our family. I challenge the MNCs to come in the open and debate. Please question us and we will answer. We are answerable.

Q: Where does the money to fund this ambitious growth plan come from?

A: Our business makes enough money which we plough back into the business. Since we complete our projects on time, banks are more than willing to give us loan.

Let me tell you that Patanjali doesnt have too many costs. Despite being the largest shareholder, I dont take a salary back home. I have no financial aspirations. I love to travel by train, enjoy my life working on the fields in my chappal. I don't consider this as any kind of sacrifice, rather I enjoy the simplicity. Patanjali's growth is not of Patanjali per se but of the society, that of swadeshi. For our individual benefit, we haven't taken anything.

Q: Isnt Patanjali too dependent on the persona of you and Baba Ramdev?

A: I dont agree. I only spend 20 per cent of my time on my business. I participate in research, write books, get involved in the hospital and university. I have recently published a book on Ayurveda in 70 languages. I am currently working on a world herbal encyclopaedia and a world yoga encyclopaedia. A businessman will never do all this.

Our philosophy of serving people gives us courage and wisdom. We never had knowledge, experience or a godfather who taught us business. We are learning on the go. One needs confidence and have right intentions and if that is there Patanjali will outlive us. We have an empowered team which runs Patanjali.

Q: So, who are the people behind Patanjali other than you and Baba Ramdev?

A: There is no top MNC from where we haven't hired. We earlier needed experienced people than freshers. Our employees are empowered to take decisions thats how me and Swamiji are able to focus on other things.

Q: How is Patanjali different from other corporates?

A: We work like a family. Our seniors even participate in the cooking process in the canteen's kitchen. You won't find the typical corporate culture. We hire professionals, but when we hire them we tell them about our culture. People want to join us. I have 20,000 odd resumes of people seeking jobs across categories.

People come with a mindset of having 10-20 per cent growth targets.When we say our target is 100 growth they get puzzled. Swamiji has a huge role in counseling and encouraging our talent. We encourage our employees to study Upanishads, Vedas, philosophy of Maharshi Siddhanand, Swami Dayanand, Vivekanand. We follow nationalism and spiritualism, which has nothing to do with religion. Its all about purifying your inner self.

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