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Meet The Power Couple Who Gave Wings To Ramdev’s Dreams

| Updated: April 30, 2024 18:17

Yoga guru Ramdev and his company Patanjali may be a Rs 55,490 crore compnay today, but 17 years back, Baba’s humble beginnings got a significant fillip from a Scotland-based Poddar couple which eventually helped the homegrown brand establish itself as a market leader in Ayurveda products in India and abroad.

In 2006, when Ramdev and Balkrishna embarked on establishing their company, they didn’t even have a bank account. It is then that they managed to secure a personal loan from their followers, Sunita and Sarwan Sam Poddar and there was no looking back since then.

Sunita and Sarwan ‘Sam’ Poddar, displayed their support by purchasing Little Cumbrae Island for two million pounds and gifting it to Baba Ramdev in 2009. By 2011, they held a substantial number of shares in Patanjali Ayurved, making them the second largest stakeholders in the company after Acharya Balkrishna.

Sunita’s life was deeply influenced by Ramdev, particularly in her journey to weight loss through yoga. Inspired by him, she convinced her husband to donate the island and a considerable amount of money. Subsequently, Sunita became the trustee of Patanjali Yog Peeth Trust in the UK.

Sunita, born in Mumbai and raised in Kathmandu, is now one of Glasgow’s wealthiest women. She offers yoga classes and trains yoga teachers, having met Baba Ramdev during his visit to Glasgow. On the other hand, Sam Poddar, born in Bihar, moved to Glasgow at a young age. Sunita joined him after their marriage at the age of 18.

Sam, an engineer by profession, ventured into entrepreneurship by purchasing a home-care business in the 1980s. Sunita, initially managing a gas station, later joined her husband’s business, contributing to its success.

Baba Ramdev’s early struggles, as he mentioned not having enough funds even for the registration of Divya Pharmacy in 1995, are indicative of his journey as a relatively unknown yoga teacher.

With the surge in Ramdev’s popularity, the Poddars extended substantial loans to support the expansion of his company. Presently, Sunita holds the position of CEO and founder of Oakminster Healthcare, a renowned home care and rehabilitation service in Scotland. Their philanthropic efforts and contributions were recognized through features in various publications in 2011.

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