MUMBAI -- Wearing only a saffron colored dhoti, and striking a yoga pose, India's most popular yoga evangelist Swami Ramdev takes his followers by surprise in a yoga session: "Do you want to be a millionaire? I will give you the mantra to become a millionaire. First open a demat account to trade in the stock markets and when I tell you, buy shares of Ruchi Soya. Then invest in Patanjali Ayurved, whose brand equity and market cap is in lakhs of crores and you can get it checked from any agency in the world. If you buy Ruchi Soya shares now, no one can stop you from becoming a millionaire and I can guarantee you that."
The advice in chaste Hindi, broadcast live on TV to millions of his followers last month, was not disinterested. Ramdev is a nonexecutive director at Ruchi Soya Industries, which makes food and cooking oils, and his family owns Patanjali Ayurved, its unlisted holding company. Patanjali is about to sell part of its 98.9% stake in Ruchi Soya by way of a follow-on public offering, raising 45 billion rupees ($608 million).