Friday, June 10, 2011

Baba Ramdev aide Balkrishan owns 99.9% of Aastha channel

Congress talks tough at core group meet on Ramdev

Baba Ramdev's world is not just a popular yoga empire but a clutch of hugely profitable businesses, ranging from successful ayurveda products to a popular TV channel. Vedic Broadcasting Limited which runs Aastha channel, made a net profit of Rs 2.30 crore on a total turnover of Rs 19.26 crore in 2009-10. The company mopped up Rs 18.50 crore revenue in advertisements, telecasting fees and others. The company's expenditure on programming, telecast and operations was Rs 9.60 crore. According to details available with the Registrar of Companies, Acharya Balkrishna, Ramdev's controversial aide, holds 99.9% stake in Vedic Broadcasting. He holds 799,250 shares out of total equity shares of 800,000. Ramdev does not figure as a shareholder in any of the companies while Balkrishna is the overwhelming majority share holder. In Patanjali Ayurved Limited, which makes and markets Ramdev's ayurveda products, Balkrishna has 3.10 crore shares out of a total of 3.47 crore shares, which is over 92% shares in the company. A significant part of the remaining shares are held by Sarwan 'Sam' Poddar and his wife Sunita, the Scotland residents who had gifted an island to Ramdev.

Patanjali Ayurved too is an impressive business. The annual report of the company for 2008-09 financial year shows that just two products, Amla and Aloe Vera juice, raked in over Rs 25 crore in the year. The other product that was a great success was Lauki (bottle gourd) juice.

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