WRITING STYLE: 3.5/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 3.5/5
There is no denying the phenomenal growth that Brand Ramdev has witnessed. From our TVs to our kitchens to our bathrooms, Brand Ramdev is everywhere. So, it was just a matter of time that someone wrote a book about it. Kaushik Deka who had previously worked with Baba on an exclusive India Today story got this opportunity and he has done a fairly good job of it.
“The Baba Ramdev Phenomenon: From Moksha to Market” traces the rise and growth of Baba Ramdev and his ventures. I liked the fact that the book also addresses the many factors that have played a major role in Baba’s success, mainly the paradigm shift in the consumer psyche and behaviour that has led to a piqued interest in Yoga, Ayurveda and all things which speak of our ancient Indian wisdom.
For those of you, who might be confused as to what exactly it is that the book focuses on, “The Baba Ramdev Phenomenon” book is more of a business book than a biography. It does have a chapter on the origin and the history of Baba Ramdev but what it mostly focuses on is the tremendous success that his business has seen in the recent years. It talks about how Patanjali as a consumer goods brand has clocked in double digits growth in its revenue in the recent years when the other competitors are growing at a paltry 3% to 5%.
It also talks a lot about the various challenges that Patanjali faces and how it fares against its competitors when judged on various parameters. It also involves other aspects of Brand Ramdev like his political links, various scams that he has been allegedly associated with, his ambitions with respect to the education system of our country.
Now, I liked the fact that the book paints a neutral image of Ramdev. On most occasions, the author asserts his position as a neutral spectator. He also talks a little about his own encounters with Baba Ramdev. The inclusion of personal anecdotes from the author was surely an interesting element in the book. The introduction to Baba Ramdev and his early life was equally informative and interesting. But after the first few chapters, the book did not impress me much.
I wanted to gain more insights from the business and economic angle but all this book offered was a copy paste job of various magazine and newspaper articles. This is good when supplemented by analysis but just reading snippets of articles did not make me too happy. The author has relied too heavily on external text without giving it the necessary backing of a well-formed opinion or analysis.
Inputs from the author is a must when writing such a book and that is what was majorly lacking in this book. The kind of secondary research that has been done here is impressive, factual and quite informative but I wish there was something more too. The book has a couple of good quality coloured pictures that help the reader gain insights into Baba’s world.
Overall, “The Baba Ramdev Phenomenon” is a decent one time read. It is short and breezy and very apt for someone looking for a basic read on Baba Ramdev and his business but if you are someone looking for deep business insights and marketing lessons, I suggest you look elsewhere.
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