From herbal medicine to rice and dal, ‘swadeshi’ Patanjali connects to Amazon, Flipkart

Patanjali CEO Acharya Balkrishna (left) and founder Baba Ramdev (right) | Facebook

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New Delhi: Patanjali of Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev plans to tackling large e-commerce companies such as Amazon and Flipkart, with the launch of its new online ‘swadeshi’ business: OrderMe.

The company, headquartered in Haridwar, plans to sell everything – from herbal medicines, cosmetics, home care, personal care products to fruits, vegetables, pulses, dairy products and organic confectionery – via this new online business.

The company spear the website on a pilot basis on May 15, but commercial rollout is slated for this month.

Patanjali Ayurveda CEO Acharya Balkrishna told ThePrint that the website will be the first e-commerce company in India to be available in 12 local languages, including Hindi, Sanskrit, Gujarati, Tamil, Punjabi and marathi.

“We have been working on an online model for a few months. However, with the coronavirus outbreak, we have sped up the launch process, which will help us deliver products directly to customers, ”Balkrishna said.

“By promoting the Prime Minister’s strategy on ‘voice for local’, we have built a ‘swadeshi’ portal with the objective of selling quality products made by all the big and especially small Indian companies, which still ignore the boom in the online market. In addition, we will be selling organic produce from farmers all over India, ”he added.

“We aim that by the end of this year, of the company’s total revenue, 20 percent should come from online sales,” he said.

This is the second launch of an online grocery portal in less than a month. In May, Reliance Industries of Mukesh Ambani had launched an online extension of its grocery business under the JioMart brand in 200 cities.

Read also : Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali is in free fall and this cannot be blamed on the slowdown alone

Telemedicine services, free delivery

Patanjali’s website, which is built by Bangalore-based IT company Intellicus, is expected to roll out this month for commercial sales. To fight against the competition, the differentiation plan is ready.

According to the company, it will deliver a variety of products sold under the Patanjali brand – including FMCG, dairy and personal care products, Ayurvedic and herbal medicines, cosmetics – by lassoing its retail stores.

To fight the competition, orders as low as Rs 500 may require no delivery charges. The company is also planning a same-day delivery model and is in talks with courier companies.

The company has also partnered with 1,500 Ayurvedic experts, called “vaidyas,” for a free online consultation through the website.

“Telemedicine functionality will be available on the website to provide free consultation in local languages,” Balkrishna said.

Will the move help Patanjali?

Once known as the disruptor of the FMCG market, the Haridwar-based company became the country’s second-largest FMCG player, just behind Hindustan Unilever, in 2017.

However, during the 2018-19 fiscal year, according to a report By global consumer research firm Kantar Worldpanel, Patanjali’s sales, in terms of volume, have declined in urban areas and its growth reduced to one-third in rural areas. Last year, the company started to improve its revenues again.

The company recorded revenue worth Rs 3,562 crore between April and September 2019-20, its highest ever in the first semester of any fiscal year.

The company in 2018 had plans shelved to relaunch his ‘swadeshi‘discussion platform,’ Kimbho ‘, after failing to impress security experts.

Promoted amid data leaks on Facebook, Kimbho has been touted as a safe alternative for the personal data of Indian users.

Experts said the “online game” for Patanjali will not be easy.

“People have become familiar with the apps from Amazon, Flipkart, BigBasket and Dmart, Reliance on their phones. They don’t want to download new businesses unless they are looking for something very specific or very low cost, ”said Abneesh Roy, retail expert, executive vice president, Edelweiss Financial Services.

“Patanjali’s decision to go online is more like his response to Covid-19 and declining sales. It may even get a decent response in the initial phase, but after Covid-19 people would like to buy from stores outside of the big online competitors, ”he added.

“Also, it can be very difficult for the company to provide as many PINs as companies like Amazon, unless they have a connection to a big delivery player,” Roy said.

Read also : How Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurved made a ‘secret’ tech entry with his own IT start-up

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