The man behind ‘sabki pasand Nirma’- Story of Karsanbhai Patel


This is the story of Karsanbhai Patel who had lost his daughter Nirma in a car accident. But his daughter’s name will be eternally remembered as the brand he nurtures just like his own daughter. Everybody is familiar with the jingle of Nirma, “Sabki Pasand Nirma”.

In the year, 1969 Karsanbhai launched Nirma which was in the era where there existed only a few players in the India’s domestic detergent market. Most of the people from the poor and middle class couldn’t afford detergents. Karsanbhai made detergent powder in his house’s backyard. His house was in Khokra near Ahmedabad. He sold the powder door to door at Rs 3 per Kg, whereas the brands then, were selling detergents around the range of Rs 13 per Kg.

Initially, the brand Nirma struggled with sales. He then came out with a smart idea of drying out the market of his product. Next, there was a major advertising campaign which featured his daughter in a white frock and singing the very famous Nirma jingle.

The customers rushed to the stores however returned empty handed. This is the time he brought out his product and overwhelmed the market and leading to great sales. The sales peaked and Nirma became the most sold detergent. His product which he started out to sell door to door today has an overall 20% of market share in soap bars and 35% in detergents.

In the year 2016, Karsanbhai his entrepreneurial hunger made him buy the LafargeHolcim’s cement business for $1.4 billion. He is even very keen building the nation’s development. He found the Nirma Institute of Technology in the year 1995, Nirma University of Science and Technology in 2003 which were administered by the Nirma Education and Research Foundation. He started the Nirmalabs education project in the year 2004 which was aimed at growth and training of entrepreneurs in India. Karsanbhai Patel in the year 2010 was honored with Padma Shri.