The comparison was between the price of sanitiser from Dettol India and from his own company, Patanjali Paridhan.
At a time when sanitisers and hand wash liquid are flying off the shelves - Baba Ramdev chose to take a dig at Reckitt Benckiser's Dettol sanitisers. He tweeted a photograph of a bottle of Patanjali sanitiser next to a bottle of Dettol sanitiser, comparing the price and quantity of both.
His tweet pointed out that Reckitt Benckiser's Dettol sanitiser was being sold at Rs. 82 for 50 ML. He compared it to his own brand - Patanjali's sanitiser, which is being sold at Rs. 55 for twice the quantity - 120 ML. Many major FMCG companies are struggling to ensure that their brands are available at retail stores and on e-commerce platforms. The lack of availability of products from familiar brands that are 'household names', has led users to purchase products from brands that they may not previously have heard of, before. The tweet is pinned on Ramdev's profile and has garnered over 20,000 retweets and close to 92,000 likes on Twitter.
In response, Dettol put out a statement on Twitter, claiming that it is the 'gold standard of protection' for over 80 years and it also claimed to be the 'most trusted protector of health in India.'
Their next tweet, in reply to the first statement assured netizens that Dettol Hand Sanitizer was being sold at Rs. 25 for 50 ML, Rs. 30 for 60 ML & Rs. 100 for 200 ML, in line with Govt of India recommendations. A subsequent tweet was a direct response to Ramdev's allegation and suggested that his initial tweet contained misinformation. The final tweet in Dettol India's statement read - "Any communication suggesting otherwise/higher price is misleading and ill-intended. In this need of the hour, our efforts should be focused on fighting the danger of COVID19, together and refrain from acting malafide or spreading fake news #Dettol #DettolAt25Only"
Earlier in January, LiveMint reported that Haridwar-based Patanjali group was expecting a turnover to the tune of Rs. 25,000 crore turnover for that fiscal period. Of this Rs. 25,000 crore amount, around Rs. 13,000 crore was the contribution expected from Ruchi Soya - a debt ridden company that was acquired by Patanjali in 2019 and the rest of the amount was expected from the sale of Patanjali group products. Ramdev's ambitions of making Patanjali Paridhan the country's largest FMCG company in coming years is no secret either.
One of the most effective ways to curb the spread of the coronavirus is to wash your hands with soap and water. Alternatively, a person can also use sanitiser to kill the germs and hence prevent the spread of the covid-19 virus. This has led to an increase in demand for these products and most major wellness and personal care companies haven't been able to keep up with the demand.
In keeping with the demand and changing times, Patanjali also uploaded a video of Baba Ramdev advising people on how to make their own natural hand sanitisers. The efficacy of these videos is unproven and medical professionals advise against attempting to make sanitiser at home.
After the pandemic started, many users showed an increased interest in natural ways to boost immunity. Ramdev took it a step further and uploaded a video claiming that 'Giloy' is the perfect remedy to prevent the coronavirus.
'Giloy' is ayurvedic name for Tinospora cordifolia, which is also known by its common names heart-leaved moonseed. It has not been scientifically proven that this can prevent the coronavirus from spreading. Typically, covid-19 spreads via respiratory droplets and coming in contact with contaminated surfaces.