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Author: admin, 18.06.2015. Category: Positive Quote Of The Day

Born in 1945 in Mehsana, Gujarat; Karsan bhai Khodidas Patel is an Indian industrialist who founded a brand that has remained one of the most famous ones amongst the Indian middle-class – Nirma group!
Nirma is a group of companies Headquartered in Ahmedabad, Gujarat and deals in manufacturing of products that range from cosmetics, soaps, detergents, salt, soda ash, LAB (Linear Alkyl Benzene) to Injectables.
Nirma as a company is the best example that proves that if you supply at the right price, the product itself has the potential to create its own demand.
Presently, although Karsan bhai acts as the Chairman of the group, but the Bollywood-buff unofficially leads a retired Karsan bhai’s and his two sons and son-in-law manage the show. While at it, in 1969 Karsan bhai manufactured phosphate-free Synthetic Detergent Powder at the Gujarat Government’s Department of Mining and Geology, and started selling it locally.
He continued this protocol for the next three long years and gradually grew his customer base as well. By 1985, Nirma washing powder had become one of the most popular, household detergents in many parts of the country. More than 18 years later; in 1990, Nirma launched their second product ‘Nirma Super Detergent’, a spray-dried blue detergent powder which was followed by the launch of their high-TFM (total fatty matter) content Nirma Beauty Soap.
By the year 1999, Nirma had become a major consumer brand which offered a wide range of detergents, soaps and personal care products.
Now that the world was moving towards advancement and better technology; to match the pace, Nirma also brought in the latest technology for its manufacturing facilities at six of their locations across India. Their success in this highly competitive soap and detergent market so far was dependent on its brand promotion efforts, which was complemented by its distribution reach and market penetration.
As a matter of fact, Nirma’s network was a compilation of more than 400 distributors and over 2 Million retail outlets across the country. And with that, Nirma became the largest selling detergent in India, that to within just a decade. Nirma entered the premium segment and launched toilet soaps — Nirma bath and Nirma beauty soap, along with premium detergent Super Nirma detergent.
In 1995, Karsan bhai started the Nirma Institute of Technology in Ahmedabad, which grew into a leading engineering college in Gujarat. Nirma’s detergent did a business of 800,000 tonnes – which was one of the largest volumes sold in the world under a single brand.
Also, since their production was massively dependent on labour, the company also became one of the leading employers of the country who were employing 14,000 employees. Launched the Nirma labs education project, which was aimed at training and incubating entrepreneurs! In November, 2007, Nirma acquired the American raw materials company ‘Searles Valley Minerals Inc.’ – and with that Nirma Group became one of the Top-7 Soda Ash manufacturers in the world. Nirlife was able to achieve a grand market share of the domestic & global market and went on to become the poster child for entrepreneurship.

And today, although Karsan bhai continues to hold the position of the Chairman, he leads the life of Retirement and has handed over the operation control to his younger son Hiren who acts as the Managing Director, whereas the elder brother Rakesh is the Vice-Chairman.
Clearly, Nirma had completely rewritten the rules of the game, in a blink of an eye – by offering good quality products at drastically low price. When majorly all overlooked this trick; Nirma aggressively used it as their marketing strategy! To keep production costs at a bare minimum, the company very innovatively undertook captive production plants for their raw materials. Under this programme, two high-tech plants were established at Baroda and Bhavnagar, which went live in 2000.
With a staffing of as low as 500; these plants managed to stay ahead of Tata’s Chemical plant, which was about twice the capacity and employed 10 times the number of people! To add to that; Nirma Group also curtailed its costs of distribution by eliminating mediators and made sure that the product went directly from the factory to the distributor. Now a major problem arrived when Nirma started to grow and their salesmen started to directly approach the retailers, who till then used to work with multinational brands. The problem was that these retailers were habituated to taking the stock on long credits and as a special favour. India was changing at that time, and he clearly knew the power of advertising and promotions.
These ads immensely raised the consumer demands, but obviously Nirma was nowhere to be found in the market! Karsan bhai called for another meeting of his team, Delivery vans were cleaned, Material was loaded and NIRMA hit the market again. This changed the outlook of the brand – Overnight, without any damages and gave a fantastic fight back to the leading global brands. Their catchy ad campaign along with their catchy jingly has since then continued to echo in the drawing rooms of middle-class Indian homes through the decades. This jingle, which was first aired on radio in 1975, was broadcast on television in 1982 and since then is one of the longest running jingles. Purchased an INR 40 crores six-seater chopper (2013) and become the third Ahmedabad-based industrialist to do so. YoChef puts the spotlight on emerging businesses and reputed personalities to help young entrepreneurs learn from their experiences.
Dhirajlal Hirachand Ambani, better known as Dhirubhai Ambani, is not an unheard name to an Indian. Pursue your goals even in the face of difficulties, and convert adversities into opportunities. Between my past, the present and the future, there is one common factor: Relationship and Trust.

Rakesh K Patel (MBA) takes care of procurement and logistics, whereas Hiren K Patel (Chemical Engineer & MBA) takes care of marketing and finance and lastly, human resources and Healthcare Industry (Nirlife healthcare) is managed by Kalpesh Patel. In 1972, once he was 100% confident about his home-based venture, Karsan bhai decided to take the next leap and quit his job. And because these were made without some phosphates, Nirma was also more environment friendly than the rest. This was also largely fuelled by housewife-friendly advertisement jingles & its motto of high quality and low price as well. And because of such deep-rooted network, Nirma was able to reach out to the smallest of villages around. And as & when their salesmen went to ask for the payment, he was either shown the door, offered a part payment (even when the material was sold), or the material was given back. Hence, in the meeting; he at first, asked the team members to go out and collect either the money or material in full.
Such is their confidence that; even today every packet of Nirma that Karsanbhai Patel sells to his consumers comes with a money-back guarantee.
Watch out for posts published under YoChef to discover entrepreneurial journeys and life lessons. Success is an initiative to build a community of Entrepreneurs, Startups & Industry Stalwarts to celebrate success & to learn from shortfalls.
As the founder of India’s largest private firm and second largest publicly traded company in the country, Reliance Industries, Dhirubhai has undoubtedly made enormous capital in his lifetime. To add to that, the group’s two brands, Nirma and Nima with 32 variants, are distributed amongst more than 2 million retail outlets, which go on to generate INR 4000 Cr ($833.30 Million) in gross sales.
And unlike the point-of-view of the critics; these plants went on to stay ahead of their given schedule and that too at a much lower cost than estimated. This is when Karsan bhai took the control in his hands and called in a meeting of the entire team one day. Obviously, this shocked the retailers as well as their competitors and market was without Nirma. But did you know that he started his journey with only Re 1 and while he has created wealth, it not just for him but equally for his thousands of shareholders. Get to network with leaders who can help you navigate the bumpy roads of the startup journey.

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