Ruchika Jha

Patanjali Ayurved’s Anita Nayyar on the changing landscape of news consumption

The COO explored the company's product presence in diverse sectors and discussed the shifting target audience dynamics over time.

Patanjali, the Indian FMCG organisation, started as a company providing Ayurveda-based products. After acquiring Ruchi Soya Industries in 2019 through an insolvency process, the latter changed its name to Patanjali Foods effective from June 24, 2022. Following the acquisition, the company’s turnover is now over 30,000 crore INR.

Anita Nayyar, COO - media, branding, and communication, Patanjali Ayurved, spoke at the second edition of afaqs! The Future Of News 2023, where she talked about why news (TV/video) is an essential part of the media plan. The session was chaired by Sreekant Khandekar, co-founder and CEO, afaqs!

Khandekar opened the session by recalling Patanjali’s journey of becoming a successful brand over time and asked whether it is difficult to carry the trust of its loyal customers. To this, Nayyar said that there is a difference between manufacturing procedures and the way its products are positioned. “It has also got to do with the kinds of products the brands place in the market. The trust can only lead one to a certain level. But then, as they say, you can take the horse to the water but cannot make it drink, I think the message lies in this quote itself,” she stated.

With the rise in variation of content produced on news channels, it is a bit complex to decode whether viewers care about the nature of content or whether they go with shows’ ratings. According to Nayyar, the viewers do focus more on what kinds of content are showcased. “There are viewers of serious content. For example Moneycontrol, a business media organisation, has around 90% subscribers which shows that there are people who consume serious content. There are pockets in tier-2 and tier-3 markets where sensation plays a big role because it is news and entertainment,” she shared.

Talking about consumers of products across all categories, she describes that the core audience is women aged over 25 but the company plans to sell its products to all adults and plan accordingly. “Broadly speaking, our consumers are all adults (18+). For example, the Aloe vera Gel is a product that completely caters to youths and there is no competition since we have a 98% share of the market. The medicines fall into one category as they also have wellness centres and they are all connected. On the other hand, FMCGs fall into different categories. So, if I was to look at purely FMCG advertising, my core audience becomes women,” she said.

Nayyar also accepted that the functioning and consumption of news channels have evolved over the years. "I have heard people say that 37% of the audience consists of women and 40% of men consume news. Previously, we did not consider news channels for a female audience."

She stated that there is a decent combination of print and television for Patanjali to advertise when it comes to choosing a preferred medium. “If you talk about urban households and connected TVs, the Indian OTT platforms run channels like Republic News, Aaj Tak and ABP News. Therefore, even through this medium, the consumption and concentration becomes much better as there are no other formats involved. The consumption habits are also defining the content.”

Patanjali Ayurved’s Anita Nayyar on the changing landscape of news consumption

“Earlier, one had to keep the traders and retailers happy. So when they would watch the product ads, they used to feel contended that the product and the brand that they are stocking is on TV. These traders also have a family. So, when they go home and speak to their members, that word of mouth also bore fruit,” she added.

Deliberating on digital medium’s significance, Nayyar explained, “The beauty of digital is that it allows you to make course corrections as you go by. One has DCOs (dynamic creative optimisation) and if they are running creatives and you know that creative is not giving the kind of response you need, you immediately change. With television, there is a lag and with print, there is no scope of change. The foremost lead from where one gets the spark is the content and how differentiated it is.”

Watch the full session here:

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