Sarwan 'Sam' Poddar and his wife Sunita, residents of
According to filings by Patanjali Ayurved Ltd with the Registrar of Companies, the Poddars hold 12.46 lakh shares each in the company. The company has allotted total 3.47 crore shares. Thus, the Poddar couple hold 7.2% stake in the company which is behind most products of the Ramdev empire.
The Poddar couple is the second biggest stakeholders in Patanjali Ayurved, after Acharya Balkrishna, Ramdev's close aide whose Indian citizenship has been the subject of controversy. Balkrishna's stranglehold over the companies run by Ramdev group is stark. He holds 3.10 crore of the 3.47 crore shares of Patanjali Ayurved, that is over 92% shares in the company. He also has similar holdings in Vedic Broadcasting Ltd, which controls Aastha channel.
The Poddar couple has told media in the past that they bought the island on the insistence of Sunita, who lost significant weight after taking to Ramdev's yoga. Sarwan Poddar was among those who were at the Ramlila Maidan where Baba launched his fast.
The couple has donated the island to Ramdev for setting up a pilgrimage centre, where yoga and ayurveda would be managed by qualified doctors, according to media reports.
Patanjali Ayurved, in which the Poddar couple hold shares, recorded a total turnover of Rs 60.96 crore in 2008-09, the latest year for which financial filings are available on record. It made a profit of Rs 4.5 crore before taxation.
Patanjali Ayurved has significant transactions with Divya Yog Mandir Trust (DYMT), of the Ramdev empire, and Vedic Broadcasting Ltd, another group company that runs Aastha channel. In 2007-08, purchase and trading of Patanjali with DYMT and the broadcasting company was to the tune of Rs 48.48 crore.
The company had also bought fixed assets including steel structures on a land owned by the trust, worth Rs 2.7 crore. The company had hired DYMT's land too, on rent. The company has taken unsecured loans from among others Balkrishna and Vedic Broadcasting.
Patanjali Ayurved also raised money through other business transactions. By March 2008, the company had taken a deposit of Rs 95 lakh from retailers selling their products. Each of the retailers paid Rs 1 lakh.
The annual report of the company for 2008-09 financial year shows that just two products, Amla and Aloe Vera juices, mopped up sales of around Rs 25 crore in the year. Besides, Lauki (bottle gourd) juice, which has often run into controversies over Ramdev's claims about its capabilities, too adds significantly to the bottomline of Patanjali Ayurved.
"The threesome promise an era of 'Arogya Vardhan' spearheaded by our chief patron, the world renowned Yog Guru Swami Ramdev ji. To convert this world into a 'disease free' place to live in, is a goal" that the company has "set for itself in the times to come. The acceptability of our flagship products by people is a proof of the fact that we are heading in the right direction," the directors of the company said in their report of 2009. The company also makes shampoos, body massage oil, eye drops and several medicines. These products are sold through about 100 shops, which have deposited Rs 1 lakh each with Patanjali Ayurved.