Rise of Godmen Products: After Ramdev, Ram Rahim Rakes in Moolah
Under his MSG brand, Ram Rahim launched over 150 products last year, initially made available across 200 stores.
Baba Ramdev is the first name that comes to mind when thinking about a spiritual/religious leader who has made it big in the world of business. The 51-year-old yoga guru has set up a business empire (spearheading the Patanjali brand) worth Rs 10,000 crore. But there is one personality who has the potential to match Ramdev's business acumen, and that is Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.
The godman, who is the chief of the Dera Sacha Sect based in Haryana and Punjab is embroiled in a 15-year-old rape case, whose verdict is set to be pronounced by a CBI court in Panchuka on Friday afternoon.
Under his MSG brand, the godman had launched over 150 products last year, initially made available across 200 stores in Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Delhi-NCR.
(Catch all the updates on the Ram Rahim case verdict here.)
And there is a sizeable chunk of people who are using these products, especially in the states of Punjab and Haryana.
Kitchen Products The Focus For MSG Brand
Here's a look at the various food products sold by the MSG brand:
- 41 varieties of grocery products
- 14 types of dal (pulses)
- 7 types of rice and khichdi
- 3 types of tea
- 5 types of sugar
- 3 types of salt
Apart from these, organic products such as flour, ghee, spices, pickles, jam, honey, mineral water and noodles are available under the brand.
Regarding the business strategy of MSG, a 2016 Business Standard report quoted Chhinder Pal Arora, Chairman of the brand, as saying:
Our goal is to introduce healthy, organic products at decent prices in the market. It’s almost like a health campaign.Chhinder Pal Arora
On The Path to Making it Big in Business
The business empire of Ram Rahim is not limited to these products alone. The Dera Sacha Sauda Trust owns an entire market complex, where the shops are affixed with the term 'sach', so that one gets to see names like 'Sach Hardware' and 'Sach Medicals'
Besides this, the ashram in Haryana's Sirsa - which is the headquarters of the DSS - houses several restaurants.
The DSS has a network of ashrams across the country, including in states such as Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, apart from the traditional strongholds of Haryana and Punjab.
As per media reports:
- Ram Rahim and his organisation own around 700 acres of farm land in Haryana’s Sirsa.
- Rajasthan's Ganganagar district (where Ram Rahim was born) has a 175-bed hospital and a gas station.
- The godman has around 250 ashrams around the world,
News reports also indicate that Ram Rahim, who is the brand ambassador of the MSG brand, is now keen to venture into the electronics and furniture business.
And Lastly, Ram Rahim's Films Have Raked in The Moolah
Ram Rahim's tryst with films began in 2015, when the film 'MSG - The Messenger' hit the screens. Despite courting controversy with the film, he went on to make four more films, and the fifth one is in the pipeline.
With the massive support the spiritual leader commands, it is believed that these films made a business of more than Rs 1000 crores.
(This article has been translated from Hindi by Kabir Upmanyu. It was first published on QuintHindi.)
(With additional inputs from Business Standard)
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