New Delhi: Acharya Balkrishna, 43, the man behind Patanjali Ayurved’s stratospheric success was once charged with cheating and criminal conspiracy for procuring fake degrees to acquire an Indian passport.
A confidant of Baba Ramdev, Balkrishna holds a 94% stake in Patanjali Ayurved.
His high school and Sanskrit degrees from Sampurna Nand Sanskrit University, did not exist on records.
He was arrested by CBI in 2012 who claimed his passport was forged but all the charges which were against him were dropped when the NDA came into power. A response to an RTI query revealed that Patanjali Ayurveda had donated Rs 11,00,000 to the BJP, in 2009, as donation for general elections.
The two-year CBI investigation against him found “no evidence” of wrongdoing and he was given a clean chit.
Today Balkrishna stands among the richest men in India. He met Ramdev at a gurukul in Haryana and later helped him set up a number of businesses with him serving as the managing director in 34 of them.
While Ramdev is busy propagating Yoga and Ayurveda to create a market for the products, Balkrishna is creating the products.
He was born to Nepalese parents Sumitra Devi and Jay Vallabh who later migrated to India. This has rose question on his Indian citizenship.
Unlike other companies in FMCG, Patanjali Ayurved’s marketing strategies have defied traditional norms. While other companies are cautious about new product launches, Patanjali has gone the whole hog, and has over 400 stock keeping units.