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Ramdev’s research institute to focus on breeding cows

india Updated: Sep 06, 2016 17:01 IST
Anupam Trivedi, Hindustan Times
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Ramdev said his research institute will be first of its kind in the country that will breed cows of international standards. (Anupam Trivedi/Hindustan Times)

By next year, yoga guru Ramdev plans to open a state-of-the-art research institute in Haridwar that will focus on breeding cows.

In an interview to Hindustan Times at his ashram, Ramdev said the cow had been neglected over the years and therefore it is a high time that “mother” gets due attention.

He claimed that his research institute will be first of its kind in the country that will breed cows of international standards.

“Our desi breed of cows will give milk up to 60 litres a day. We plan to end the monopoly of foreign cattle that presently farmers prefer because of their capacity to produce 50-60 litres of milk a day. Our institute will also double up as the biggest cow shelter in India,” Ramdev said.

Ghee made of cow’s milk is one of the largest selling products of Ramdev’s flagship company Patanjali Ayurved Limited which currently sources the milk from elsewhere.

Exports and new ventures

With an aim to boost his business and meet growing demand for Patanjali products in domestic and international market, Ramdev is opening six new production units two in UP and one each in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Assam and Jammu. These units are scheduled to be operational by the last quarter of the current fiscal.

The food processing unit at Nagpur will export products to the US and other international destinations while rest of the units will cater to the domestic demand.

The yoga expert also sees potential in the beauty care segment. The Patanjali unit at Haridwar is on course to double its shampoo production to 10 lakh bottles, Ramdev said.

“We have a ready market of 500 tons of soap per day which we are not able to meet. Similarly, demand has shot up for products such as dish washing liquid and face wash. Our new units will meet such demand” he said.

Patanjali’s revenue has already touched Rs 5000 crore on the back of an exponential growth and the company has emerged as a serious threat to FMCG majors in the country.

FMCG heavyweights like Dabur, Colgate Palmolive, Nestle, Emami and others now face a risk of an earnings downgrade due to their expensive valuations and the competitive pressure from Patanjali.

The yoga guru who has dragged the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) to court, alleged that the body is favouring few multinational brands. The ASCI had reportedly served around 30 notices to Patanjali for violating advertising code of conduct.

Ramdev insists that consumers trust Patanjali products and “this is not acceptable to MNCs”.

Black money, FDI and politics

In the run up to the 2014 general elections, Ramdev led a campaign to bring back black money from foreign banks. Bringing black money was also one of the major poll promises of the BJP. Asked whether he was satisfied with the steps taken by the government, Ramdev said it needs to work on “time bound, result-oriented and strong plan” to recover back black money.

Despite his proximity to the NDA government, Ramdev has differences over Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Earlier this year, the Modi government permitted 100% FDI in sectors like pharmaceuticals, defence and civil aviation.

“FDI is fine in some technical field where the country lacks expertise. But FDI in other sectors makes no sense. We have enough ‘blocked money’ lying unused and government should make effort to extract it and use where it required,” he said.

With Patanjali’s growth now on an upward curve, the yoga guru is paying more attention to business than politics. While Ramdev campaigned for BJP in the last general elections, he has no such plans for the upcoming assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Uttarakhand.

“I don’t have any political agenda nor do I have political plans. I have others things to do” he said when asked about his political role.