Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali might face tough competition soon as rival brands are following in its trail to establish separate retail outlets for traditional medicines, complete with doctors for consultations.
Hamdard, a Unani and Ayurvedic pharmaceutical and FMCG company, is all set to launch its own retail outlets offering free consultancy to visitors along with traditional medicines. Looking beyond Hamdard’s flagship products — Rooh Afza, and Roghan Badam Shirin — the company will now focus on its portfolio of 476 products, which includes 16 FMCG brands, and 450 traditional Unani medicines.
“We plan to open a chain of retail outlets — Hamdard’s Wellness Centres — based on Unani medicines to reach out to the masses,” said Mansoor Ali, chief marketing officer, Hamdard Laboratories. “We plan to open four outlets in the next six months around Delhi, Hyderabad and other locations. Each pharmacy outlet will employ two doctors to provide free consultancy to the visitors.”
Patanjali pharmacy, which has about 15,000 exclusive outlets across the country and 100,000 general stores that stock its products, is known for deploying Ayurveda consultants at its stores.
While Hamdard plans to launch about 10 new products across categories this year, another popular herbal brand, and maker of Chyawanprash, Dabur is reviving its old Ayurveda brand Ayush, and also plans to modernise its Ayurveda portfolio with the addition of new products.
Multinational FMCG firm Hindustan Unilever has also brought back its Ayurveda brand, Lever Ayush.
“Customers are ready to experiment herbal categories. The move to open exclusive outlets with an added facility of doctors is an innovative marketing strategy,” said Arvind Singhal, chairman of retail consultancy, Technopak Advisors.