17 April, 2021

The Big Baba Bazaar

The Patanjali brand has seen a meteoric rise, and in very little time. Will Baba Ramdev’s ‘pure desi’ wares hold up?

Jitender Gupta
The Big Baba Bazaar

In a quiet field less than an hour’s drive from Haridwar, Uttarakhand, Dr Rajesh Jain is at his lab overseeing the collection, filtration, cond­e­n­sation and ultimate conversion of cow’s urine into Shuddhi—a new brand of floor cleaner. This clea­ner, Dr Jain hopes, will be lapped up by all the country’s honest-to-god-I’m-sick-of-chemical-disinfectant hausfrau. “It’s 10 per cent cow’s urine, 90 per cent neem, eucalyptus and some other herbs from nature’s lap that I can’t name just yet,” he says. The unit, functioning from a cow shelter, can churn out 30,000 bottles of the stuff daily. Competition is heating up, apparently, as many others race to launch their own cow’s urine-based home cleaners.

Now if there’s one man to thank for this, umm, phenomenon, it’s Baba Ramdev and his yoga-ayurveda-swadeshi empire, Pat­a­n­­jali Ayurved. Jain is a researcher at what’s become India’s fastest-growing fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) company....

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