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.