For disrupting India's $49 billion consumer packaged goods market
Baba Ramdev, a well-known yoga guru, has found a killer new pose as the force behind 10-year-old consumer brand Patanjali Ayurved, which makes everything from spices to soap to cosmetics. Along with cofounder, majority-owner, and managing director Acharya Balkrishna, Ramdev expanded the brand's product line and is making global firms like Procter & Gamble and Unilever squirm. (Its new whole wheat noodles, for example, are giving Nestlé’s Maggi brand—the longtime market leader in India—a run for its money.) Named after an ancient yoga saint, Patanjali touts natural ingredients and is priced at 30% to 75% below its rivals. Annual sales grew 150% in 2015 to more than $750 million, despite Ramdev’s insistence on minimal marketing. The brand is so popular that it commands unheard-of advance payment from retailers and premium store displays. Ramdev and Balkrishna plan to take Patanjali global within the next few years.