A man who built his company’s fortunes on the strength of his marketing skills, brand building might seem easy, but during his keynote address at Goafest, Ramdev, co-founder of fast-moving consumer goods major Patanjali, said many times that he had struggled with it. The annual advertising, marketing and media festival began on Thursday.
“What is brand-building?” he said to a room full of delegates and professionals from both Indian and multinational companies, advertising and media agencies, production and entertainment firms at the Grand Hyatt here.
The yoga guru-turned-entrepreneur started Patanjali, an ayurvedic firm, along with Balkrishna, a decade ago. On Thursday, he said building a brand was about honesty of purpose, quality of service, and an openness to change.
Patanjali is now recognised as an aggressive brand, with a turnover of Rs 100 billion and counting.
“I was clear that I wanted to take on multinational companies, build a business in a space dominated by them, and redirect the profit from the enterprise to social good. My advertising stems from this thought. I don’t need glamour to dress up my ads. My advertising is simple and focused on the benefits of the product,” he said.
The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), the country’s apex advertising regulator, has repeatedly pulled up Patanjali for misleading advertising claims. The yoga guru hardly appeared to be backing down.
Ramdev asserted his to-the-point marketing communication, devoid of glamour and entertainment trappings, would continue.
“I am not here to please anybody. There are many who have ridiculed me and my style (of advertising). But even if some are against me, the bulk (masses) are with me,” he said, taking a dig at rival companies who in the past had complained to the ASCI and had even dragged the Haridwar-based company to court over misleading advertising claims.
Patanjali and the ASCI were also locked in a legal battle last year over the latter’s jurisdiction to slap notices on it. The yoga guru did not comment about the issue in his keynote address.
Lodestar UM leading at Media Abbys
The first set of awards was given away at the Goafest on Thursday. Lodestar UM, part of IPG Mediabrands India, walked away with the most number of trophies — four golds, three silvers and three bronzes, with a total score of 62 points. A gold metal fetches eight points, silver six, and bronze four. “Metals” is industry parlance for awards. Dentsu Webchutney, part of Dentsu Aegis Network, took home three silvers and one bronze, while Wavemaker, part of GroupM, took home three silvers. Mindshare, also part of GroupM, took home four bronze metals. Their total scores are: Dentsu Webchutney, 26; Wavemaker, 18; and Mindshare, 16. A total of 38 awards were handed out on Thursday as part of the Media Abbys. Seventeen media agencies, out of 57 that had entered their work, took home awards. The Creative Abby Award winners will be announced over the next two days. The number of entries this year was 660, markedly lower than last year’s 1,100.