The consumer goods empire co-founded by Baba Ramdev had tapped into a wave of Hindu nationalism after the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Customers were snapping up Patanjali Ayurved’s affordable, Indian-made products such as coconut oil and ayurvedic remedies, in a mounting threat to foreign companies that had bet big on India.
“Turnover figures will force multinational companies to go for kapalbhati,” saffron-robed Ramdev declared in 2017, in reference to a yoga breathing exercise, vowing sales would more than double to 200 billion rupees ($2.84 billion) in the year to March 2018.
But instead, Patanjali’s sales plunged 10% to 81 billion rupees, according to its annual financial report.
And in the last fiscal year, it likely deteriorated further, say company sources and analysts. Provisional data indicated sales of just 47 billion rupees in the nine months to Dec. 31, CARE Ratings said in April, based on information from Patanjali.