Acharya Balakrishna the CEO of Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurved has entered the list of India’s rich, surpassing well known businessmen such as Ravi Ruia of Essar, Rahul Bajaj, chairman of Bajaj Auto, Harsh Mariwala, chairman of Marico and Ajay Piramal of Piramal Enterprises among others.
Balakrishna, who has been a close associate of Baba Ramdev, has a wealth of Rs 25,600 crore, and has been ranked 26th in the Hurun India Rich List for 2016.
Balakrishna’s meteoric rise comes on the back of a strong push by Patanjali Ayurved in India’s fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) space. What started as a small pharmacy in 2007, Patanjali has grown 10 times since 2011-12, hitting the Rs 5,000-crore revenue mark last year. It has already overtaken FMCG majors such as Emami, Dabur and Marico.
“Yoga Acharya’s Patanjali took the market by storm and is eating away market share of other multinational FMCGs. Patanjali registered a turnover of Rs 5,000 crore and expects to hit Rs 10,000 crore in (fiscal) 2017,” the report noted.
Incidently, Balakrishna holds 94% of Patanjali’s shares, but doesn’t take home a salary.
On Sunday, Baba Ramdev had announced plans to venture into the apparel market, making both traditional and modern clothes, including jeans, for men and women, as a part of an ambitious expansion plan to turn Patanjali into a global brand.
According to the Hurun India Rich List, Mukesh Ambani was India’s richest man in India for a fifth year, with a wealth of Rs 1.63 lakh crore, followed by Sun Pharma’s Dilip Shanghvi, Pallonji Mistry of Shapporji Pallonji, SP Hinduja and family and Cyrus Poonawala, chairman of the Poonawala Group.