“Doodh Si Safedi.. Nirma Se Aaye,
Rangeen Kapde Bhi Khil Khil Jaye..
Sabki Pasand Nirma…
Washing Powder Nirma”
Bet you sang that in your head, right? Nostalgia struck big time as we practically spent all our childhood singing this jingle.
But do you know that the story behind this is as fascinating as the jingle itself!
Karsanbhai Patel lost his daughter Nirupama (nick name Nirma) to a car accident but that was not the end. The grieving father went on to immortalize his daughter by starting a business in her name, which, currently rules the Indian Soap and Detergent market!
The Story Of Nirma
Back in the 1960s, when MNCs had a sole monopoly over India’s detergent market, Karsanbhai came up with Nirma. Since for most middle-class people, detergent was ‘elite’ as they couldn’t afford it, Karsanbhai came up with a product which he sold at one-third of the market prices.
He started making detergent powder in the backyard of his house in Khokra near Ahmedabad and sold them from door to door at Rs 3 per Kg when other brands were selling detergents at the range of Rs 13 per Kg.
Naturally, this attracted the attention of the customers owing to the good quality and low price.
Realising the high potential of his product, Karsanbhai left his government job three years later and jumped head-on into the business. Since he nurtured his business like his daughter, he decided to name the product Nirma, as a way to bring his daughter back to life!
How Did Nirma Make It Big?
Despite not being much qualified, Karsanbhai stunned market specialists by his precocious strategies. According to a report by Business Standard, during the early 80s, when Nirma was struggling with sales, Karsanbhai planned to dry out the market of his products collecting all due credits. This was followed by a massive advertising campaign, where he put his daughter’s illustration (girl in the white frock) on the pack and TV commercials just to make sure that everybody remembers her. That’s how “Sabki Pasand Nirma” became a lip service!
As the demand for Nirma peaked, Karsanbhai overwhelmed the market with his products, leading to massive sales. That year, sales of Nirma peaked, making it the most sold detergent, way above their nearest rival – Surf of Hindustan Unilever!
Such was the dedication and love of a father! Nirma now holds an overall 20% market share in soap cakes and about 35% in detergents.
This shows nothing is impossible once you make your mind!
Karsanbhai jumped into the market when Surf was already making big, but he didn’t fear the size of his rival.
Maybe that’s why you’re reading his story at this moment!