File photo of Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna | Money Sharma/AFP/Getty Images
File photo of Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna | Money Sharma/AFP/Getty Images
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Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurveda used to be among the top three TV advertisers in the country, but has dropped to tenth spot this year.

New Delhi: Have you noticed that you don’t see as many Patanjali ads as you used to? The once-ubiquitous adverts of Baba Ramdev’s Ayurveda and FMCG company have seen a drastic reduction on the TV airwaves, and the firm has dropped out of the list of top-three advertisers in the country.

According to latest data from AdEx India, a division of TAM Media Research, Patanjali, which competed with FMCG behemoths Hindustan Unilever and Reckitt Benckiser (the makers of Dettol) at the top of the advertisers’ list, has dropped to 10th position in the first half of 2018. It has been replaced by ITC Ltd at the top.

Last year, the Haridwar-based Patanjali had displaced chocolate maker Cadbury near the top of the advertisers’ list, having been nowhere near the top 10 until 2015. It was seventh in 2016.


Also read: Shashi Tharoor among thousands sharing hoax that Qatar banned Patanjali for ‘chemicals’


In the print advertising list too it has dropped from seventh to tenth in the last one year.

The company says the decision is a conscious one, given the shortage of its products in the market — from baby products to juices, aloe vera gel, and even biscuits. It blames its supply chain for these problems.

But analysts and retailers suspect that the declining consumer off-take — or people not buying Patanjali’s products — is hurting its ad spends.

Drastic reduction

According to BARC India, the country’s sole TV audience measurement entity, from an average of about 25,000 ad spots a week across channels a year ago, Patanjali now has on average about 16,000 spots a week, or even less.

In the week ending 25 March 2016, Patanjali had 24,050 insertions on TV, while Ramdev himself appeared on various channels 2,34,934 times in that one week — which translates to roughly one appearance every 30 seconds on one channel or another.

Contrast that to the week of 29 September to 5 October this year. Patanjali is nowhere in the top-10 advertisers on television.

Changing strategy

Acharya Balakrishna, Patanjali’s CEO, told ThePrint that the company had consciously reduced its TV ads.

“We are unable to increase the supply of our products to match the demand, due to the weak supply chain management. It will be a sheer waste of funds if we continue our ads despite knowing that we won’t be able to match the demand,” he said.

“Some products are in short supply in the market. Stock management issues were easy to manage until we were manufacturing through one unit in Haridwar. However, with the expansion of the manufacturing base and increase in the volume of sales, we have hired professional help to sort our supply chain challenges.

“The only change in our plan is more focus on outdoor and digital media. Till last year, around 90 per cent of our spends were on television ads. However, slowly we are planning to increase spends on digital medium too in some months.”

Balkrishna also said Patanjali would soon be back on TV with a bang.

“Our advertisement budget will remain the same. Once we have sorted out the supply chain issues, we will press the accelerator and put all our rivals behind in ad race once again,” he said.


Also read: Ramdev’s Patanjali rejects slowdown report, claims demand of its products exceeds supply


Saving money for future launches

Ad agencies say Patanjali spends over Rs 500 crore, or around 5 per cent of its turnover, to promote its brand across media. As per industry estimates, Patanjali has spent Rs 570 crore on advertising in 2017-18 and it plans to spend Rs 560 crore this fiscal as well.

According to Sai Nagesh, CEO at Tempus, a media buying agency, Patanjali is one of the very few FMCG companies which spends a disproportionate amount of ad budget on news channels.

“Investing heavily on news channels, especially Hindi news, is an important move in Patanjali’s media strategy. It’s an intelligent move as general entertainment channels are expensive and reach out to families. But news channels are much cheaper and reach out to the traders and stockists, which is part of Patanjali’s business plan,” he said.

Ad agencies also say that the Patanjali team could well be conserving ad-dollars to support newer launches later in the year. ”

Patanjali has plans to enter packaged drinking water, milk and milk products, sanitary napkins, and apparels for women, men and kids.

Industry experts said these categories will have their own challenges and varied target audiences. Patanjali may need a lot of investment in ads, they added.

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19 Comments Share Your Views

19 COMMENTS

  1. Patanjali had cheated the people by making license for stores for an amount of 50000/25000/10000”/ then suddenly opening the market for everyone.Which created a mistrust Moreover the expiry product are not replaced.Margin is very low as compared to Dabur zandu and other brands . Making so many berticks . A shopkeeper is unable to collect the items in demand are not available The suppliers do not meet the orders.
    Overall standard are compromised.A wholesaler at palampur Hp was made to ruin by supplying biscuits of huge amount having expiry date of two month left during monitisation and stocks were not replaced.Moreover product in demand are made 100 present costly I e gas Har churna from Rs 45/ to Rs85/ Badam Rohan from rs95/to rs 150/for 60 ml pack
    /

  2. Almost all patanjali products are substandard and adultarated. Most products are not manufactured by patanjali in their manufacturing unit. That is why Baba Ramdeo do not keep vigil on their quality. He is busy only in fooling Indians on the name of Swadeshi.

  3. The Patanjali products are sub standard. I wont use them even if baba ji gives me free. He has cheated the people in the name of swadeshi and yoga.

  4. Yes that s a good strategy. You heavily advertise the product if it is not available in the market for a long, naturally people will get annoyed & frustrated finally loose interest. Of late, most of the customers are not ready to wait for any product but more on availability. This trend observed in all most all products including consumer durable & Auto, Electronic Products.

    Product Launching means it should be made available immediately in the Market otherwise it will go out of the market sooner or later. Whatever may be the reason the quality is not too bad & expensive but he took on MNC head-on made them to come out with Ayurveda products & launch Ayurveda tooth paste, etc., which they never thought of. Tx.

  5. I am disappointed that no Patanjali product except few hair Oils and bath Soaps, is available in open market. Online purchase is absolutely not possible.

  6. I do not believe Balakrishna words. CEO must agree that sales had dropped. I visited many Patanjali shops in Chennai and many products are missing . Products like Beverages, Biscuits are very very old dated. Now instead of saying that no supply of basic raw material, he must openly confess that their mistakes. Unless Both Baba Ramdev and his CEO cum Chairman Balakrishna gets down to bracestalkes level things will not change for Patanjali. They must stop production of Biscuits and Beverages. Only concentrate on Ayurvedic products. First they must invest in Manpower, one of the most poorly paid company in India. If they do not change then that will be the end of their story soon.

  7. When i first used its product It was magical but after gaining popularity its quality was compromised..Product are being manufactured smewhre wth the name of Patanjali…so pureity is being totally compromised…

  8. Lot of motivated anti -swadeshi post here. May be payed post initiated by Post itself. Patanjali products are great in quality and best in price.I buy for my whole family. Problem is with supply chain. Products are in short supply at stores. Baba need to consult professionals in SCM for the solution. Lot of wastage is happening throughout the chain.

  9. I have been using Patanjali products e.g. Dantkanti, shampoo, soaps, milk, Ashwagandha rishta. Chyawanprash. I find they are very good on quality and reasonably priced. Besides all these products have helped me to stay fit. I tried other products of other companies but nothing to beat Patanjali. Patanjali is simply greate

  10. Ramdev BABA was a good person when he just teaches yoga. He takes the yoga to common man. After gaining popularity he started to behave like BJP Man. Then he started to loose. He has no experience in Ayurvedic medicine manufacturing. Badyanath, Dabur. HUL has experience in this field. He is not maintained quality of products. He may be thought that his name is enough so his downfall started. Just like FEKU story. FEKU also loosed the popularity.

  11. I used to swear and buy only Patanjali products. But I heard they are going to animal test products which is unacceptable. Please ask them to stop this.their products are really good

  12. I don’t know the reason for slowing down in advertising but one thing I know for sure is that I used to spend about Rs. 2000 per month approx on buying Patanjali Products a year back which has now come down to just Rs.300 to 400 because of its sub standard quality products especially Atta Biscuits etc

  13. Actually patanjali is really going great guns..its part of sanatan organisations and eventually satvaic sanatan economy that will displace many crooked companies looting us..these include domestic greedy ‘lala’cos amd MNCs that hardly believe in serving society..eventually purpose of business will change from exploiting to service…and Rules of game will change..exhort patanjali to enter capital goods..defense…manufacturing etc sectors..

  14. i buy all the products from Patanjali only because of my trust and faith in this brand. i cant trusts cunning MNCs and other brands. i only buy products from outside, if it is not available here..

  15. Krishna tells Arjuna in Gita that ” one should stick and follow one’s own Dharma even if other Dharma are better. Baba was carried away by his popularity and changed his Dharma from Sanyasi to shopkeeper.
    Better he continues to teach Yoga and preach yoga that shall be the greatest service he can do.

  16. Actually, products of Patanjali are not in short supply, there is a steep falldown of people buying Patanjali so Ramdev and Bal Krishan have no option but to spend less on advertisement.

  17. The product sales have dipped badly, shoddy franchise and consumer realizing that a god man cannot just get everything from Oil to a condom right fora family

  18. I dont buy patanjali products because these are substandard and low quality. Fake products. But I support and praise Baba Ramdev ji for his yoga education he advertised.

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