Thursday, March 31, 2016

Of Gods, India and Fast Moving Consumer Goods

Gotta grow a beard.

Years ago I introduced an Indian guy to a Chicago trader:
"Jerry, this is Siva Kumar...."
"Huh....Not a local, then."
Here's a Bhajan Siva used to sing between trades:
Guru Brahma 
Guru Vishnu 
Guru Devo 
Guru Sakshath Parambrahma Tasmai Shri Gurave Namaha
From FT Alphaville:

Indian gurus want your market share
Patanjali Ayurved ” is disrupting India’s consumer space” according to my inbox.

Patanjali Ayurved is also an ayurvedic health foods and medicine brand that’s fronted by India’s Swami “Baba” Ramdev. He’s a yogi who says that he has no economic stake in what he also says is not a profit-oriented company.
From the FT last week:
Instead, he says, it is part of a mission to boost India’s economic self-reliance, akin to Mahatma Gandhi’s appeals for Indians to renounce foreign wares during the anti-colonial struggle.
“This is not a business,” the yoga guru says, as the heavily armed government commandos serving as his bodyguards look on.
“Our ultimate goal is healthy human being and wealthy nation … No personal wealth. No personal profit.”

“We don’t mind multinational companies but they are only after profits — people are not their priority,” says Mr Balkrishna, Patanjali’s chairman, managing director and primary shareholder.
“We are giving competition, so MNCs [multinational companies] start thinking of people and are forced to bring prices down.”
If you need help controlling your scepticism then watch this while counting to 30:...

...Thing is, the Pitanjali model is being touted as massively replicable.

The idea being that where one guru-fronted aryuvedic company has trod others can easily follow. Which is nice considering HSBC expect it “to have revenues of INR50bn in FY16e, up 150% y-o-y.”
Here’s Edelweiss with a top line on the long line of bearded spiritual leaders waiting to sell you shampoo:
Post the spectacular initial success of Patanjali, we expect other spiritual gurus (Sri Sri, Guru Ram Rahim, Aurobindo Ashram, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev) also to go the ‘Patanjali way’ in the FMCG space.
And with some deeper baba-level detail, with our brief emphasis....MORE
Seriously, where else are you going to get Baba-level granularity?