[VoxSpace Life] Patanjali : The Multimillion-Dollar Niggard

India’s Fastest Growing FMCG Patanjali, Is Also The Least Favourable Place For Interns!

The swadeshi sentiment forms the genesis of Ramdev Baba’s 13-year-old Patanjali Ayurved Limited, a corporate edifice of 5000 crores, with 800,000 retail stores across India. Patanjali, however, holds very little promise for the unemployed graduates. The popularity of the brand image surged when it promised to bring back big bucks to India, competing with international FMCG brands. But, in spite all of this, Patanjali’s internships programmes, which offer a monthly stipend of 5000 in NCR regions, were strategically avoided at the Delhi Job Fair.

So, this brings up the questions- what went wrong with the empire? Why, irrespective of the prospects gleaming on the horizon, workers/interns are miserly paid? Is this another story of converting spirituality into material profit? How far has the country has benefitted from Ramdev’s sprawling empire?

The Mockery That Job Fairs Are

Instead of rekindling enthusiasm, job fairs have turned out to be a sad mockery. Students who have spent years earning a degree and mastering relevant skills, mostly settle with companies that neither requires their skills nor talent. One such company is our home-grown multi-million dollar, saffron-coloured Patanjali. Patanjali’s internship programmes or mass recruitments plans at 15000- 16000/ a month, might just add insult to the injury. It tactfully draws contracts to ensure that the educated entry-level youth maintain a brief tie with the industry.

The Fresh Fiasco Of Patanjali Internship

Several job portals have devoutly lined up Patanjali jobs, for part-time, full-time, contractual, and even work-from-home posts. The salary might range anything from 15000/- to a lucrative amount of 48000/- a month. Yoga trainer, area sales manager, data entry work, and back office being some of the trending job roles for the freshers.

Last year, Patanjali’s promise of appointing 50,000 people was the silver lining for many. The minimum eligibility remained 12th pass, highest being MBA with remuneration ranging from anywhere between 8,000-15,000. It is perhaps the decade’s best networking plan, tangled beautifully with some of the most absurd and shaky concepts detrimental to India’s gainful employment growth.

While on one hand, entry-level youth keen on Patanjali’s brand exposure are taking up the jobs, the other significant lot are signing up for private contractual jobs or e-learning courses. The first lot is technically helping Patanjali to maintain a steady stream of, “labourers”, “staffs” and “interns”.

What The Retail Behemoth Means To Workers  

Apparently, Ramdev aims to create an altruistic workforce, where the majority of workers would toil selflessly- the quintessence India’s of swadeshi sentiment.  As per The Economic Times, for workers and employees swarming in Baba’s charity, demanding an increment is quite an embarrassing affair. An average Patanjali worker on the floor receives up to 6,000/ per month for a twelve-hour shift, six days a week. In India, such a commercially successful franchise with an ashram’s work culture has been achieved solely with the lure of nationalism.

In Ramdev’s crusade of selling homespun products at meagre prices, workers, irrespective of their degrees and skills, are sacrificing themselves at the altar. Ramdev’s initial plan of enthroning “Mother India” on the world’s sacred pedestal increasingly seems to be rooted in generating more low-paid jobs that do not benefit the vulnerable employees in the long run. Such fastest growing manufacturing units accommodate the aspirations of thousands, only to obtain the obedience of educated workers, for a brief period, at a flexible low-wage scale.

Image result for patanjali

“Look, there is an empire worth crores, no, hundreds of crores around us today, but even today, I sleep in a hut on the floor. . .”
Ramdev in an interview to The Economic Times.

A meticulous plan to foster job growth was the foundation of our government’s agenda back in 2014. It still remains a politically sensitive issue, with zero official labour survey published since 2016.  State of Working India has asserted that around one-third of graduates dominate India’s unemployed mass, the worst in the last two decades. As far as Patanjali is concerned, it, unfortunately, remains a consciously preserved cloud cuckoo land of our saffron clad ascetic.

Capitalising On The Desi Tag 

Patanjali as a brand has always depended on its coarse desi tag to establish itself as the face of 21st century India’s Swadeshi Samridhhi philosophy. Although the hurried expansion has taken a toll on some of the leading products, it has incurred a huge amount of Central’s resources and funding, even to the extent of media ridicule.  Patanjali’s 500 odd products are stiff competitors of FMCG brands like Dabur and Colgate.

The question remains, does the multibillion-dollar company wilfully underpay its interns? Is the decision more instinctive than based on data and factual analysis of the market? It is a huge failure if we talk about what it could have delivered to those jobless graduates, who now hop for commission-based jobs from one employment fair to the other.