While Baba Ramdev is leading a nationwide movement against corruption in austere outfits and with earthy idioms, his key aide Acharya Balakrishna — often seen huddled with the yoga guru — controls a huge business empire of 34 companies, all incorporated between 2006 and 2011.
The CBI and the income tax department are now examining how the operations of these companies are dovetailed into two flagship trusts, Patanjali Yogpeeth and Divya Yog Mandir, founded by Ramdev.
The trusts, sprawled across 1,000 acres in Hardwar in Uttarakhand, had an estimated combined turnover of Rs. 1,100 crore in 2009-10, while sources said the combined turnover of the 34 firms would run into several thousands of crores.
Balakrishna, director of all the companies, “excels with his knowledge and experience in the managerial, administrative and engineering fields so much so that leading personalities of foreign countries in different fields look up to him with respect to learn something from him”, says the official website of Patanjali Ayurved, the biggest company in the empire.
Details of these companies, reviewed by Hindustan Times from data filed with the corporate affairs ministry, show that the empire ranges from medicine, food and cosmetics to energy, construction, real estate, transport and packaging, among others.
The firms include Patanjali Ayurved Ltd, Divya Pharmacy Yog, Aarogya Herbs, Jharkhand Mega Food Park, Divya Packmaf and Dynamic Buildcom.
SK Tijarwala, official spokesperson of Patanjali Yogpeeth, was not reachable on the phone. He did not respond to text messages sent by HT.