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Baba Ramdev’s Diwali gift — jeans that are ripped just enough to be sanskaari

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From saffron-coloured langots to vests made from bamboo fibre to stylised ripped jeans, Patanjali Paridhan is offering all this and much more.

New Delhi: Having established Patanjali as a mega ‘swadeshi‘ brand, yoga guru-turned-businessman Baba Ramdev Monday arrived in Delhi to launch what is viewed as “sanskari” jeans.

From saffron-coloured ‘langots’ (loincloth) to vests made from bamboo fibre to stylised ripped jeans, Patanjali’s first apparel store, Patanjali Paridhan, in Delhi’s Netaji Subash Place is offering all this and much more. The opening is also timed to coincide with the auspicious occasion of Dhanteras.

The accessories and apparel store will sell its garments under three broad brands — LiveFit, Aastha and Sanskar.

Also read: Patanjali to enter khadi market dominated by Fabindia and state-owned KVIC

Accompanying Ramdev on the inaugural tour of the 4,000 sq ft showroom was Olympic wrestler Sushil Kumar and filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar — both also acting as models of the Patanjali range of clothing and looking suitably impressed, even if a tad embarrassed.

“People are wearing torn jeans these days. So some of our jeans are ripped, but we haven’t ripped them so much also so as to lose our Indian-ness and our values,” Ramdev said at the launch.

The design of these jeans, Ramdev claims, makes Indians, and especially “women more comfortable”.

In keeping with Patanjali’s entrepreneurial USP — domestically produced goods that preserve or reflect ‘Indian culture’ —  the Paridhan stores have decided to forgo women modelling their clothes altogether. Instead, the large in-store billboard displays a smiling Ramdev, flanked by Patanjali CEO Acharya Balkrishna with folded arms.

Ramdev, the businessman

From ‘desi Whatsapp’ and Swadeshi Samriddhi SIM cards to Aarogya biscuits and Patanjali Noodles, Ramdev has made a name for himself marketing a wide variety of consumer goods with an ‘Indian twist’.

Most recently, Ramdev, under the umbrella of his consumer goods conglomerate Patanjali Ayurved, has launched his own fashion line.

Over the years, Patanjali Ayurved has grown into a business with $1.6 billion of annual revenue.

This ambitious venture comes in spite of news that Patanjali Ayurved had reduced spending on TV advertising, in lieu of a slowdown in sales.

More than a yoga guru

From the live video of the launch by ABP News, one thing is evident — Baba Ramdev knows exactly how to make a sales pitch.

“I’m going to start with Patanjali Paridhan,” he said, indicating to the cameraman when he should begin shooting the segment. Ramdev then directed the crew to the angle they should shoot at and how they should pan their cameras across specific parts of his store.

ABP is calling the segment ‘Baba Ramdev’s Diwali Dhamaka’.

Wrestler Sushil Kumar — dressed in what Ramdev called “our much-awaited jeans”, and a red T-shirt — and Bhandarkar in a blue LiveFit coat and Sanskar apparel, were visibly awkward as Ramdev pointed at their clothes and explained them to the press.

At a certain point, Ramdev also displayed and described a langot as he stood next to wrestler Kumar, explaining that “it’s important to prevent injury”.

“Sushil Kumar came wearing fancy clothes worth Rs 20,000 and with the same quality we’ve given him this Rs 1,100 gift,” Ramdev said.

“India and Indian values (sanskar) with the self-respect of home-production (swadeshi) – this is Patanjali’s identity. We recognise and respect our culture and traditions,” Ramdev added.

For Ramdev, however, the primary target of his apparel brands is women — and more specifically, housewives.

“Maybe some men’s wives aren’t such spendthrifts because it’s possible they don’t earn enough to spend Rs 10,000-20,000 monthly on clothes,” he said.

“But at Pantanjali Paridhan, it’s so affordable, that a common man from any class can shop here,” he added.

“Even the accessories are in their access,” he joked.

‘Kitchen se Kapde tak – Patanjali hi Patanjali’

Patanjali also has plans to enter packaged drinking water, milk and milk products, and sanitary napkins.

Ramdev has envisioned expanding Patanjali Paridhan to more than 25 stores by as early as December, with further plans to hit 100 stores by March.

Also read: Why Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali ads have gone missing from your TV

Ramdev said his swadeshi label was made to compete with brands as big as Adidas, Nike, Puma, SuperDry, Zara, Armani and Gucci in terms of quality, however, at a lower price.

The sportswear is made from bamboo, that Ramdev calls “anti-microbial” which will “ward off bugs and odour no matter how many times you wash it”.

The idea of starting a clothing line first struck Ramdev in 2016, when he said that, “Just because I am a baba does not mean we cannot marry modernity with spirituality, we can make, let’s say desi jeans.”

The 52-year-old entrepreneur had clearer intentions in 2018, when he told advertising professionals at the ‘Goa Fest 2018‘ in April that “People are asking me, when are you launching jeans of your company in the market. So, we have decided to launch garment products, including ethnic wear, catering to kids, men and women next year.”

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