Babas & Their Brands: Taking over the FMCG space

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Tasting Success
With Patanjali’s sudden rise to be a Rs 5,000 crore company in less than a decade, other spiritual leaders are hoping to reap the benefits of a market that is leaning towards natural / organic.
With this in mind, Sri Sri Ravishankar entered the FMCG space with the launch of his company Sri Sri Ayurveda (SSA) in 2003. The firm majorly focuses on Ayurvedic products. SSA has products across categories such as breakfast cereals, health drinks, oil, spices, personal care, oral care, cookies and ready-to-cook items. But unlike Patanjali, which has a strong presence and is aggressively marketing its products by forging ties with big departmental stores, SSA has still to develop a network that can sell its products.
It is currently selling products through 600 franchised stores, but plans to open 2,500 outlets in India by 2017. Besides, SSA already has an online presence and sells products through its websites. The CEO of Future Retail, Kishore Biyani, has also expressed interest in retailing SSA products from his stores.
SSA’s online portal, Sattva Store, also offers apparels, wellness and personal care products, food, handicrafts, among other things.
Seeing their success, Dera Sacha Sauda chief Baba Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s firm MSG All Trading International Pvt Ltd also decided to venture into the space and introduced 151 products including basmati rice, tea, pulses and biscuits.
The products are said to be in compliance with international standards. The company – which hopes to get into the organic fertiliser space too – is also planning to open outlets across India soon.
A source close to the firm’s workings has revealed that there is demand for the company’s products from Canada, England, Germany, Australia and USA.
Apart from the organic range, MSG products include premium and standard choices, which go through a rigorous selection process.
The products are sold online through teleshopping and mobile apps. Gurmeet Ram Singh Raheem has also launched a website ‘MSG my God and your choice’ on which details of products is available.
Other Babas Up Competition Level
Isha Business Private Ltd (IBPL) is a venture promoted by Isha Foundation of Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev. While it has an online portal selling crafts, clothings, food and health and beauty items, IBPL has also ventured into construction and architecture. The proceeds, according to the company, goes to benefit the rural poor.
Amrita Life, associated with Kerala’s Mata Amritanandamayi Math, offers Ayurvedic, eco-friendly cosmetic products, and organic food. It currently employs around 60 people. The brand has plans to expand to Europe apart from India.
Santhigiri by NavajyothisreeKarunakara Guru in Kerala, has an industry division, with subdivisions for construction, vehicle body-building, manufacturing of textiles, Ayurvedic medicines and coir products for exports, among others.
And the List Goes On
Others waiting to take plunge in the FMCG sector include Pujya Bapuji Sant Shri Asaramji Ashram, Aurobindo Ashram and Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha.

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