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Published by: prasadpatil717466 on Aug 16, 2010
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Man behind the hugely successful brand, Nirma.Karsanbhai Patel is the man behind the hugely successful brand, Nirma. His' is a legendary ragsto riches journey during which he shattered established business theories and rewrote newones.
Dr. Karsanbhai Khodidas Patel
(b. 1945, Ruppur, Mehsana, Gujarat) is an Indian industrialist, founder of the Rs. 2500 crore (USD 500 mn) Nirma group with major interests in detergents, soaps and cosmetics.In 2005 Forbes listed his net worth as USD $640 million. He has interests in education, and founded aleading engineering college, the Nirma Institute of Technology. He is sometimes referred to as Dr. K.K.Patel.
Born into a farmer family from north Gujarat, Karsanbhai finished his B.Sc. in Chemistry at age21 and worked as a lab technician, first in the New Cotton Mills, Ahmadabad, of the Lalbhaigroup and then at the Geology and Mining Department of the state Government. In 1969,Karsanbhai set up Nirma, (named after daughter Nirupama) selling detergent powder. This wasan after-office business - the one-man company would bicycle through the neighbourhoodsselling handmade detergent packets door to door. At a price of Rs. 3 per kg, (one third the priceof leading detergents), it was an instant success.This is called patel power of Gujarat.Indeedkarsanbhai Patel is having dynamic personality, inspiring person.After three years, Karsanbhai felt confident enough to quit his job. Later he said:The lack of any such precedent in my family made the venture fraught with fear of failure. But farmers from North Gujarat are known for their spirit of enterprise."Karsanbhai set up shop at small workshop in an Ahmedabad suburb. The Nirma brand quicklyestablished itself in Gujarat and Maharashtra.
ecialty of 
The high quality and low price of the detergent made for great value. Fueled by housewife-friendly advertisement jingles, Nirma revolutionized the detergent market, creating an entirelynew segment in for economy detergent powder. At the time, detergent and soap manufacturewas dominated by multinational corporations with products like Surf by Hindustan Lever, pricedaround Rs. 13 per kg. Within a decade, Nirma was the largest selling detergent in India. Sinceproduction was labour intensive, Nirma also became a leading employer (employing 14,000people 2004). Made without some phosphates, Nirma was also somewhat more environmentfriendly.After establishing its leadership in economy-priced detergents, Nirma entered the premiumsegment, launching toilet soaps Nirma bath and Nirma beauty soap, and premium detergentSuper Nirma detergent. Ventures into shampoo and toothpaste were not as successful, but theedible salt Shudh is doing well. Nirma beauty soap is one of the leading toilet soaps, behindLifeboy and Lux. Overall Nirma has a 20% market share in soap cakes and about 35% indetergents. Nirma also has successful operations in neighbouring countries.In 1995, Karsanbhai started the Nirma Institute of Technology in Ahmedabad, which grew into aleading engineering college in Gujarat. An Institute of Management followed, with the entirestructure being consolidated under the Nirma University of Science and Technology in 2003,overseen by the Nirma Education and Research Foundation. The Nirmalabs education project,aimed at training and incubating entrepreneurs, was launched 2004.Karsanbhai's two sons and son-in-law are now at leading positions in the Nirma organization:Rakesh K Patel (MBA) looks after procurement and logistics, Hiren K Patel, chemical engineerand MBA, heads marketing and finance, while Kalpesh Patel is in human resources.
Karsanbhai Patel and the success of nirma
 The nirma success story of how an Indian Entrepreneur took on the big MNCs and rewrote therules of business :It was in
that Dr. Karsanbhai Patel started Nirma and
went on to create
a whole
in the Indian domestic detergent market. During that time the domestic detergentmarket only had the premium segment and there were very few companies, mainly the MNCs ,which were into this business.The process of detergent production was labour intensive and this
gave em
to a
of people.Nirma focused on cost reduction strategies to make a place for itself in themarket.Nirma has always been known for offering quality products at afforbable prices andthus creating good value for the consumers money.In the 1980s nirma
moved ahead of 
, a detergent by HLL , to caputre a large market share.Later, Nirma successfully entered in the premium segment of soaps and detergents.Nirma wenton to become the largest detergent and the second largest soap company in India. Thecompany got listed on the stock exchanges in the year 1994.Nirma adopted
backward integration
strategy for the
regular su
of raw materials,90 % of which they manufacture themselves.Nirma also gave due importance to
ansion and u
of the production facilities.The company also made sure that ituses the latest technology and infrastructure.

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