Book Review: The Baba Ramdev Phenomenon by Kaushik Deka

Book Review: The Baba Ramdev Phenomenon: From Moksha To Market

Author: Kaushik Deka

Publisher: Rupa

Rating: 3/5

Book Blurb:

Patanjali Ayurved has turned out to be the most disruptive force in the Indian FMCG market..it witnessed a whopping annual growth of 146% in fiscal year 2016, grossing a turnover of $769 million.’—Assocham–TechSci research report

When in 1965, at Saidalipur, a nondescript village in Haryana, a baby boy was born to a marginal farmer, there was hardly any celebration. They were happy to receive what they believed was ‘the most precious gift from God’ but there was no time to pause, reflect or celebrate. People needed to get on with their lives. Little did they realize that the new-born would take this philosophy of detachment to a different level altogether. And if this detachment was induced in their life by poverty and hardship, three decades later their child was to show the world how to practise the same philosophy and even, while doing so, gather unimaginable wealth—an approximate net sum of 10,000 crore. He was to become Baba Ramdev, the celebrated yoga guru and one of the founders of Patanjali Ayurved Limited and Patanjali Yogpeeth.

The Baba Ramdev Phenomenon offers a detailed account of Ramdev’s journey from attaining moksha in the Himalayas to ruling the market, especially the FMCG sector, with his Patanjali products. It captures the rise and rise of Patanjali and the various factors that worked for it, most importantly, the vision of Ramdev and the able assistance of his associate Acharya Balkrishna.

Review:

Baba Ramdev has built an empire in India that is providing strong competition to the traditional MNC’s who had built a monopoly of sorts in the FMCG sector. Kaushik tries to unravel the mysteries behind the man who without any management degree went about promoting his brand Patanjali, which is growing at a surprising pace.

The book dwells in detail about the marketing strategies and comparison with other brands. Kaushik interviewed the man and provides some snippets of his life but it is not a biographical account by any means. The downside of the book is its somewhat superficial research; a reader is likely to already know what’s written between these pages. Some of it can be attributed to the fact that Baba Ramdev gets so much publicity that all information about his brand is already in public domain. Truth be told, it’s more of a dissertation study on Patanjali.

The book focuses on management aspect and grandiose plans of Patanjali also providing a brief view of the challenges that it may need to confront. Credit is due to the author for meticulously compiling so much information about Patanjali. Baba has big plans for Patanjali and the brand is likely to witness more growth in future.

“Ramdev has also announced that he is set to launch Patanjali products globally and has decided to set up its units in foreign markets including Nepal, Bangaldesh and some African nations.”

Kaushik also provides instances where Patanjali was censured by ASCI for misleading advertisements.

Read this book to learn about the remarkable journey of Patanjali and its future prospects. The language is simple and the book can be completed in a single sitting.

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