Success story from Karsanbhai Patel
Someone once said that business is in the blood of all Gujarati, and this saying has been held true over and over again. What is commendable is their willingness to take any small job to make things happen, even if it means going door to door to sell their products.
Karsanbhai Patel is an example from Gujarat. He quit his full-time government job to pursue his dream. He reportedly went door to door selling detergent on his bike, turning the business into a great group. Today, he is one of the richest businessmen in Gujarat with a net worth of $ 4.1 billion, according to Forbes.
Almost anyone who spent their time in front of a television screen in the 90s can never forget the lyrics and catchy jingle of a young girl in a crisp white dress in a Nirma commercial. But most of us didn’t know the real reason for creating one of the most popular detergent brands in India and a man who nurtured this brand like a girl. Here’s everything you need to know about Karsanbhai Patel and why he created the Nirma brand.
Who is Karsanbhai Patel?
In 1945, Karsanbhai Patel was born into a farming family in Ruppur, Gujarat and at the age of 21 he graduated in chemistry. After graduation, Karsanbhai tried to do regular work like his peers. Karsanbhai also worked as a laboratory technician in the new cotton factories belonging to the Lalbhai group. After this brief stint, he even accepted a position in the geology and mining department of the government of Gujarat.
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How did Karsanbhai Patel invent Nirma detergent?
The year 1969 marks a turning point in Karsanbhai’s career, when a son of a small farmer and a science graduate, Karsanbhai Patel, was trying to mix soda ash and some ingredients to make detergents. One fine day he found the right formula and that’s when he started producing detergents in the 100 square foot backyard of his house as an after-office business.
The accident that changed her life
Everything was going well in Karsan Bhai’s life, but when Karsanbhai lost her daughter in a car accident, her life almost changed. Instead of crying, he found a way to bring his daughter back to life. Only a few people knew his daughter when she was alive, but it was this man’s determination and willpower that made his daughter famous across the country, even though she was no longer.
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A trip from a 100 square foot backyard to every middle class home
A sole proprietorship, Karsanbhai roamed the neighborhoods selling packages of handmade detergents door to door for Rs 3 per kg (one-third the price of major brands of detergents) and this was its instant success. Mantra. Karsanbhai labeled her detergent soap, Nirma, with her daughter’s name. The good quality and low price of the detergent made a remarkable trip from the 100 square foot Karsanbhai backyard to the middle class home in India for great value. Fueled by advertising jingles tailored for housewives, Nirma has revolutionized the detergent market, creating an entirely new segment in the powder detergent market. At the time, detergent and soap manufacturing was dominated by multinational companies with products like Surf by Hindustan Lever, which were priced at around Rs. 13 per kilo.
The love of a father for his daughter
The product was close to Karsanbhai’s heart and so he decided to name it “Nirma”, the nickname of his lost daughter Nirupama. He also put his artwork (girl in white dress) on the pack and TV commercials just to make sure everyone remembers her. Such was the love of a father for his daughter. As for Nirma, it still remains among India’s favorite detergent choices. And his jingles will remain forever etched in our memories.
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In 1995, Karsanbhai Patel gave Nirma a different identity when he founded the Nirma Institute of Technology in Ahmedabad. Subsequently, in April 2003, Nirma University was established by the first three institutions, under a special law passed by the Legislative Assembly of the State of Gujarat.
According to Forbes, in 2004, Nirma’s annual sales reached 8,000,000 tonnes. Karsanbhai Patel, who started his surf business from home, is now 775th on the list of billionaires in the world and 39th on the list of richest people in India. Currently, his net worth is $ 4.1 billion, according to Forbes.
Now, Karsanbhai Patel has handed over his successful business to his two sons Rakesh Patel and Hirenbhai Patel. In 2010, he received the Padma Shri from Pratibha Patil, former President of India. Even today, Nirma remains the largest producer of soda ash in the world and the company has gone private since 2012.