India Business

Republic Summit: Patanjali's Baba Ramdev And OYO Hotel's Ritesh Agarwal Discuss Disruptions For A Surging India

Written By Digital Desk | Mumbai | Published:


  • Patanjali's Baba Ramdev and OYO Hotels' Ritesh Agarwal headlined the disruptors panel at the Republic Summit
  • Baba Ramdev spoke on a number of topics, such as his views on MNCs, and also made key announcements, namely that his company would soon be venturing abroad in a big way
  • Ritesh Agarwal expounded on the story of his company's launch in China, his vision, and his own origins

Patanjali co-founder Baba Ramdev and OYO Hotels founder Ritesh Agarwal, two people whose undertakings have disrupted their respective industries -- FMCGs and Hospitality -- appeared in a panel discussion at the Republic Summit on Wednesday, laying down the bottom line on how India can disrupt to surge ahead.

Here's an account of what they said on a range of topics:

Baba Ramdev on MNCs:

"Foreign companies are not my rivals because I don't come from a business or corporate house. I don't even have any dispute with any political party. I have only one resolution-- foreign companies in the name of royalty, raw-material and patents earn huge profits every year. All these foreign companies are run by Indians. So when everything from materials to market belongs to us then the profit should be ours as well. This is the spirit behind 'Swadeshi'. Why can't we build a brand?"

Baba Ramdev on India's potential:

Baba Ramdev said that if utilized properly 'no other country has a human resource like India'. 

"This young man right here (Ritesh Agarwal) is doing a wonderful job but there are so many youngsters who are unemployed. No other country has human resources like India, talent like India, emotions like India. Our genetic structure and our seeds are deep-rooted. I want people to stand up and take initiative -- just like this fakir who desires for nothing and like this young blood who is unstoppable at the age of 25."

"If 10,000 to 20,000 people follow this then the world will be ours. We are not scared of anyone and neither do we scare anyone. But we warn the MNCs to follow the right direction. We have nothing against these MNC. Earlier, people used to say that Baba doesn't have research. We have 300 scientists who have conducted animal trials to human trials -- something which is known as evidence research -- in a full and complete manner. We have made Patanjali the best research centre and have shown these MNCs that we have better products at half price".

Ritesh Agarwal on his origin story:

"In all my life, when I told people about Rayagada, only 6-7 people have heard the name. Wherever I go I want to bring up the name of my native place, so more people are aware about it. But the place I came from, approximately 75% of the population was from below the poverty line. But I have no regrets from where I belong and for people who come from such towns, and you have not seen much of the world, you are happy with where you are. 

"So till I saw the world, in my head this was the most modern place. As a young kid I sold FMGC products and SIM cards."

"With time I learnt a lot. I felt like doing something new each day. When I came to a city, first time I saw how people use new services. That's when I hoped to make a company of my own. After my 12th grade, I will start a company as a hobby that has eventually transformed to become not as India's largest hotel chain, China's top 5 hotel chains and world's top 10."

Ritesh Agarwal on the need for perseverance:

"I loved a few things during this process: the first thing that in our country the need for patience and perseverance is essential. I've been asked the difference between people who continue as entrepreneurs and the ones who quit. I believe every overnight success is at least a five-year-old story and if that's not the situation then be careful about the sustainability situation. The second thing that I learnt is leadership and the people around you, their mission orientation is very important. I have always said, the place I've started, if I go back to that, I won't have any regrets in life. But if I regret not putting enough effort or risk then it will bother me. The third most important thing is that hospitality is such an industry that it is always a playground for the rich but in our country over a billion of them travel in trains, buses and small cars."

Ritesh Agarwal on his vision:

"Over 75-80% of the population travels from one town to another, be it for pilgrimage, holiday or work but no one ever thought how to improve their life. I come from a middle-class family, holidays for us was always a pilgrimage, and the question of where to stay was the hardest thing in that trip. This is not a problem of India alone, but around the world, finding a better living space for middle-class is a huge challenge and I wish to be one of those people who brings better living space for those people. And while doing so, I hope to create the world's largest hotel chain by 2013."

Watch the full interaction in the video above.