The Ram Mandir inauguration in Ayodhya has captured the keen interest of Hindu devotees worldwide, presenting a ripe opportunity for businesses and investors across India. The Rs 85,000 crore makeover is expected to revolutionize the ancient holy city into a global religious hotspot, bringing with it a host of economic goodwill.
Built after a decades-long movement, the newly constructed Ram Mandir is becoming the catalyst that could propel the around 240 million people-strong Uttar Pradesh state to the world stage. Whether it’s the government-led infrastructure push shaping the holy city of Ayodhya into a modern spiritual tourism hub or the numerous major companies sensing the business potential, times are changing for the city in northern Uttar Pradesh.
Ayodhya Ram Mandir Boosts Stocks
Retail investors showed increased faith in companies linked to the Ayodhya Ram Mandir, such as Allied Digital Services, Thomas Cook, Interglobe Aviation (IndiGo), and Easy Trip Planners between September and December, impacting Dalal Street.
Pakka Ltd, based in Ayodhya, has experienced a significant rally of close to 150 per cent in January.
Analysts at Jefferies predict a surge in tourism and residents, leading to substantial demand for FMCG, consumer staples, and quick-service restaurants (QSR). They also anticipate increased demand for both domestic and international connectivity, benefiting aviation, railways, and ancillary service providers.
Consumer Brands Gear Up for Ayodhya Pilgrimage Boom
Major brands in the consumer space are seizing the opportunity presented by the estimated 1:10 ratio of residents to tourists in Ayodhya, highlighting the massive potential for pilgrim attraction. With forecasts indicating a sustained increase in demand, companies are intensifying their efforts to maximize product visibility.
In a bid to tap into this surge, companies have established partnerships with shops and ‘dhabas’ in prominent cities of Uttar Pradesh such as Lucknow, Gorakhpur, and Varanasi to showcase their brands. Coca-Cola, for instance, adapted its traditional red colour branding to darker shades in alignment with the temple theme and strategically placed at least 50 vending machines at various shops.
Dabur, on the other hand, has collaborated with ‘dhabas’ on Uttar Pradesh highways to promote its Hajmola brand and has implemented measures to highlight its hair oil and tea products. Reliance Industries’ consumer division is actively promoting Campa soft drinks, Alan’s Bugles snacks, and the Independence line of products. Additionally, the company plans to distribute ‘Independence’ water free of cost to devotees in Ayodhya.
Gautam Adani-led Adani Wilmar has entered partnerships with ‘dhabas’ and is promoting its Fortune brand through over 100 hoardings, kiosks, and approximately ten snack shops, according to recent reports.
Ram Mandir Inauguration Sparks Booming Business Across India
In the lead-up to the Ram Mandir inauguration, traders and small business owners across India, involved in crafting earthen lamps, saffron-colored Ramnami flags, pennants, and more, experienced increased traction. Quick feedback from trade associations in 30 cities across different states indicates that the consecration ceremony is anticipated to generate business worth Rs 1 lakh crore, as reported by the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT).
Further boosting the demand for artisans, apps such as Blinkit, Swiggy Instamart, BB Now, and Zepto actively promote ‘pooja essentials’ like diyas, flowers, fruits, sweets, and idols through dedicated categories on their platforms.
Modi Government Spurs Ayodhya’s Infrastructure Revolution Post Ram Mandir Construction
The erection of the Ram Mandir, a part of the Narendra Modi government’s manifesto that contributed to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) coming to power, has triggered an intensified infrastructure focus previously lacking. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Ayodhya on December 30, 2023, with a clear intent to facilitate the city’s transformation and support the expected surge in tourists for decades to come.
Addressing the situation, Modi stated, “After the construction of the Ram temple, there will be a massive surge in people coming to Ayodhya. Keeping that in mind, our government is spending billions on infrastructure projects.”
PM Modi laid the foundation stone for development projects worth over Rs 15,700 crore. He inaugurated the $175 million Ayodhya Airport, built in less than two years and capable of handling around 10 lakh passengers initially. Additionally, announcements were made for the newly redeveloped Ayodhya Dham Railway Station, other rail projects, and civic infrastructure projects.
SBI Report Forecasts Significant Revenue Surge, Hospitality Giants Eye Expansion
An SBI Research report indicates that with increased tourist spending in the state, the Uttar Pradesh government is poised to earn an additional Rs 20,000-25,000 crore in tax revenue in FY25. According to the Master Plan 2031, the redevelopment of Ayodhya will span over 10 years with an investment of over Rs 85,000 crore to accommodate the anticipated rise in tourist footfall.
After the completion of the Ram Mandir and redevelopment, the city is projected to have a 1:10 ratio of residents to tourists, highlighting its significant potential to attract pilgrims. The greenfield township will feature provisions for state guest houses, hotels catering to various visitors, and commercial complexes.
The hospitality and tourism industry, sensing greater long-term opportunities, is witnessing big players like Taj Hotels, ITC Hotels, and Oyo announcing plans to enter Ayodhya. In preparation for the expected surge in tourists, the industry has generated around 20,000 new jobs, with projections for additional positions in hospitality management, restaurant and hotel staff, logistics management, and drivers by the end of 2024 or the first half of 2025. This demand-supply dynamics will be closely monitored not only in Ayodhya but also in neighbouring cities like Lucknow, Kanpur, Gorakhpur, etc.