Yoga maestro Baba Ramdev's trusted aide and chief executive officer of his fast moving consumer goods company (FMCG), Acharya Balkrishna is now one of the richest Indians alive with Forbes magazine pegging his net-worth at $2.5 billion (nearly Rs. 16,000 crore) ranking him on the 48th position on the list. He has acquired most of this wealth due to his 97% holding in Patanjali Ayurved.

 

The good Acharya  will now be counted in the same league as India's usual billionaires Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries and  Dilip Shangvi of Sun Pharmaceuticals.  

 

This comes after earlier this month, the good Baba Ramdev announced that the Patanjali group is all set to diversify into the branded garment arena and a 'swadeshi' jeans will be launched by the end of the year or early next year.

 

 

"There is a great demand from youths, and therefore Patanjali has decided to launch the Indianised jeans to compete with foreign brands,"  Ramdev said.

 

 

The group will also explore international markets for its FMCG products and may also enter Pakistan and Afghanistan in future."We have already set up our units in Nepal and Bangladesh and our products have reached the Middle East and became popular in some of the countries, including Saudi Arabia," Baba Ramdev had told reporters in Nagpur.

 

The company's refined edible oil will also be launched this year, he added. On expansion, Ramdev said Patanjali will be setting up its biggest unit on a 40-lakh sqft at Mihan in Nagpur, which will be bigger than its first unit at Haridwar and biggest in the country.

 

"Our target is Rs 50 lakh crore in the FMCG segment," Ramdev said. He added Patanjali is committed to produce quality products and has set up research and development units where about 200 scientists work, which has forced multinational companies to come out with their R&D plans.

 

Patanjali includes a wide array of products under its umbrella like  spices, pulses, chyvanprash, toothpaste, shampoo, toothbrush, instant noodles, tea, jam, corn flakes and also beauty products.

 

According to a report in The Hindu, leading brokerage IIFL had said earlier this year that Patanjali’s main promoter is Acharya Balkrishnan; the remaining stake is owned by Sarwan and Sunita Poddar, an NRI couple. Baba Ramdev does not own any stake in the company.

 

In a 57-page report released in January, IIFL also said, “There is no doubt that Patanjali is a disruptive force in the FMCG space and is a credible threat for the incumbents, Patanjali could achieve sales of Rs 20,000 crore by FY20."