Competing with Patanjali: Can You Bend Like the Baba?
(9 pages of text)
Case (Pub Mat)
Since being founded in 2006, Patanjali Ayurved Ltd. had emerged as a major player in India’s fast-moving consumer goods sector. The company differentiated its products with a unique mix of Indian nationalism, yoga spiritualism, social welfare motives, and natural/Ayurvedic ingredients. In combination with low prices and a low-cost position, this strategy challenged the incumbent multinational and conventional Indian competitors. As a result, competitors, including Hindustan Unilever Ltd., Colgate-Palmolive India, Dabur India Ltd., and Sri Sri Ayurveda, had to decide how to respond to this new competitor and capitalize on the growth opportunities in the Indian market.
This case is intended for use in a core undergraduate or graduate level strategy course to explore and explain competitive strategies and competitive advantage during a market disruption. The case can also be used in an international business course to emphasize the differences between local and multinational companies, all competing in an Asian domestic market. Students will take the position of various players in the Indian market to formulate a strategy in response to a successful recent entrant. The case provides an opportunity to explore how anti-globalization sentiment might affect subsidiaries of multinational corporations in emerging markets. After completion of the case, students will be able to
- determine the appropriate strategies for the competitors to counter the imminent threat to their market share posed by a disruptive force;
- explain the reasons behind the success of an Indian company based on Ayurveda and Indian nationalism;
- evaluate the competitors’ strengths and capabilities, and explain how they might be used to counter a target company’s threats and weaknesses; and
- evaluate the various opportunities and risks in a changing fast-moving consumer goods market.
India, Large, 2017
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