KATHMANDU, July 5: More Nepalis are opting Patanjali ayurvedic products even though the country is rich in terms of medicinal herbs and aromatic plants.
Patanjali products can be found in every other store of the Kathmandu Valley and other major cities and every Nepali household these days is familiar with its products.
The entry of Patanjali products has affected the market of Nepali ayurvedic products in recent years. “Sale of some popular Nepali ayurvedic products like Panchsakar Churna, Chandraprabha Vati, Guggulu Kalpana, Triphala and Avipattikar Churna has fallen drastically in recent years,” Dr Hari Sharan Aryal, a Ksharsutra expert, told Republica. “Sales are down by almost 80 to 90 percent.”
Aryal says that Nepali ayurvedic companies are suffering from lack of innovation poor marketing and promotion. “Patanjali is aggressively promoting its products by using yoga guru Baba Ramdev as brand ambassador. We need to be innovative and; and make proper utilization of our medicinal herbs if we are to regain the lost market share of Nepali ayurvedic products. We need to increase production and promote them aggressively,” he suggested.
Patanjali is aggressively expanding its network of retailers as demand for its products grows in the market. Rajendra Karki, a Sundhara-based retailer, shares that Nepali ayurvedic companies do not know how to promote their products. “They (Patanjali) are using different media platforms to promote their products. Our products are also of the same quality. Unfortunately, many people do not know about our products,” he added.
Sumeet Thapa of Prahari Supath Mulya Pasal, Exhibition Road, says Patanjali household products are also popular among consumers.
Patanjali is making optimum use of yoga guru Baba Ramdev to promote its products and penetrate to new markets. Many consumers, especially housewives, ask for Patanjali products. Bishnu Magar, a local of Dhapakhel, told Republica that Patanjali soaps last comparatively longer than Nepali products. “It saves our monthly budget. This is why many people like me use Patanjali products,” Magar added.
Dhruba Dangol, a consumer from Bouddha who had been using Nepali ayurvedic products until recently, has switched to Patanjali products. “I have felt that Patanjali products are more efficient than Nepali ayurvedic products,” he added.
Though Patanjali products is fast eating away market share of Nepali ayurvedic products, Nepali ayurvedic companies are neither increasing product, nor making their presence strong in the market. Dr Rajendra Kumar Giri, managing director of Singhadurbar Baidyakhana Bikas Samiti, said that they have realized that rival companies are eating away market share of the state-owned company. “We are still using decades-old infrastructure. But we cannot increase production immediately,” he added. “We need to upgrade infrastructure, train manpower and revamp our distribution mechanism. Also, the government should help us by facilitating us in policy fronts.”
He, however, added that Patanjali has not yet affected business of Singhadurbar Baidyakhana Bikas Samiti. “But if we do not prepare long-term business plan and marketing strategy, we will fall behind,” he added.
Meanwhile, the government has banned 10 Patanjali products after they were found to be substandard. The products are Bilwadi Churna, Avipattikar Churna, Ajmodadi Churna, Sitopaladi Churna, Amla Churna, Divya Gashar Churna, Bakuchi Churna, Triphala Churna, Aswagandha Churna and Adiva Churna, according to the Department of Drug Administration.