Love him or hate him, Narendra Modi sells – from Gujarat to Hong Kong.
A BJP member using a mobile handset campaigns for BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in Guwahati. (PTI Photo)
Products named after BJP's prime ministerial candidate are fast disappearing from the shelves. And manufacturers, unable to cope with the demand, have been turning down orders from retailers.
Take the case of Goran Pharma, a Bhavnagar-based herbal products firm in Gujarat that launched Modi balm. Priced at Rs. 24, it carries the catchphrase 'Dard anek ilaj ek' seeking to be a multipurpose pain reliever.
"We supplied 10,000 of these ginger balms that primarily provide relief to muscle pain. We have orders to supply two lakh more by the end of this month. It is our fastest-selling product and we are finding it difficult to keep pace with the demand," said Hemand D Dholakia, the firm's managing director.
The case is similar with manufacturers of other FMCG, pharmaceutical and electronic products branded 'NaMo' or 'Modi'. These include NaMo Tea, Namo tablets (composition of nimesulide and paracetamol for fever and headache), Smart NaMo Saffron One and Two android phones, apparels, toys and mobile games.
But distributors are not complaining. "The 250 gm packets of tea are available in 400 general stores in Delhi. We sold 10,000 packets priced at Rs. 55 in just a week. They will soon be available in all parts of the country," said Jignesh Pandya, Ahmedabad-based distributor for NaMo Tea.
Not to be left behind, Bipin Chauhan, Modi's Ahmedabad-based tailor for 25 years, has cashed in on the brand value of the BJP leader. He launched the Modi Kurta fashion label and had it registered. "The label has gone global and sales are up by 30% in the past two months," he said.
Priced in the R900-2,300 range depending on fabric, the half-sleeve designer kurtas come in 20 colours. "We expect higher sales if Modiji becomes the prime minister," Chauhan added.
Brand Modi is making waves abroad too. Rajeev Bhasin, from Janakpuri in Delhi, has opened a 3,800 sq ft plush Thai restaurant named Namo in Hong Kong. It offers a view of the city's skyline.
"It's our tribute to the man and his vision. Besides, Namo signifies a prayer in Thai language," said Bhasin.
Market watchers say the Modi merchandise and products market is worth R600 crore, making him the 'highest-selling politician' ever. But they are not sure if the brand value can be sustained.
"The popularity of politicians is as fickle as the wind of the market they survive in. These are not long-standing products in that sense," said brand expert Harish Bijoor.
But Nainesh Joshi, spokesperson for Take India Beyond Merchandising firm that runs NaMo Store, said: "We are already selling our products both on and off line. There is a huge demand for our high-quality and affordable products. Brand Namo will endure in the marketplace."