There is a constant stream of people going in and out of the office of Patanjali CEO and MD Acharya Balkrishna at Patanjali Yogpeeth, Maharshi Dayanand Gram, near Haridwar. This flow of people does not divert his attention from highlighting Patanjali’s prospective deals, ongoing projects and other plans of the company, to Sanjeev Ratan Singh.
Q: What is the state wise expansion plan of Patanjali in view of the Rs 1 lakh crore target in the next 10 years?
A: First we are taking up the Assam project. Work has already started on a major scale and by end of February, we will begin production at the Patanjali food and herbal park, which is much bigger than the one in Haridwar. In Assam, we would have 17 lakh sq. ft constructed area. The construction of this project will conclude in 100 days. Nothing is prefabricated and everything will be made there right from the foundation level. I would say that this is going to be the fastest project in the world and definitely, the biggest as I do not think so far there is any FMCG company that has such a massive plant anywhere in the world.
We have already started work at our Nagpur project (Nagpuri orange processing plant). We are making one unit in SEZ and another in non-SEZ area. The products from 105 acres of SEZ unit would be exported and the second unit will be based on 250 acres of land in the non-SEZ area.
Then in Pithampur industrial area of Madhya Pradesh, we have 43 acres of land. The production work would be carried out at Pithampur while our proposed agro-based production will be carried out elsewhere.
In Noida, we have around 450 acres of land for a major project. In Maharashtra, we have already started the Patanjali dairy unit in Ahmednagar. Further, we are in talks with Andhra Pradesh and Telangana government.
In Haryana, we have started a rice mill and in Rajasthan we are working on processing for agriculture produce. We have plans for cultivation in Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
Q: What and where is your focus as far as CSR activities are concerned?
A: Patanjali spends 100 per cent on CSR activities. Our main focus is on education and research. In Assam, we have started a free-of-cost school that teaches CBSE syllabus. Yet another big CSR project underway is for protection of cows which is again in Assam. We will replicate this pattern in Haridwar as well. Apart from education and research, we also focus on health. We provide relief funds to the poor and extend our support for disaster relief. At least 100 children, who were orphaned after the natural disaster in Kedarnath, are at present under our care in Haridwar.
Q: What is the latest product count?
A: Taking into account all variants of existing products, the count would be around 450 as of now. If we add ayurved medicines then the count would go up to 1,000.
Q: Tell us about Patanjali’s expansion plan in textile sector?
A: Yes, we are planning of adding more and more products. As far as jeans are concerned at present instead of a production unit we are looking at the trading aspect because there are already many textile units manufacturing variety of clothes in the country. Lot of cheap cloth is available in the market. At present, the cloth market is akin to farming where farmers work hard but do not get more than Rs 2 for a produce for which we end up paying Rs 50 in the market. So, we want to do away with the middlemen in the textile business.
Q: What are your special plans for the farmers?
A: We are already working on backward area linkages, to finish off the middlemen system. Our strength is that we negotiate directly with farmers due to which they earn more and we get produce cheaper.
Q: Currently, which project is your focus?
A: There is no plant in the country for processing Nagpuri orange and we are in the process of setting up a world class plant for it. We are in talks with several companies including one from Italy. We are in talks with an Indian company for tetrapacks as well.