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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Karsanbhai Patel – Man behind NIRMA

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The ‘Nirma’ success story of how an Indian Entrepreneur took on the big MNCs and rewrote the rules of business. It was in 1969 that Dr. Karsanbhai Patel started Nirma after the name of his daughter and went on to create a whole new segment in the Indian domestic detergent market. Karsanbhai Patel used to make detergent powder in the backyard of his house in Ahmedabad and then carry out door to door selling of his hand made product. He gave a money-back guarantee with every pack that was sold. Karsanbhai Patel managed to offer his detergent powder for Rs. 3 per kg when the cheapest detergent at that time was Rs.13 per kg and so he was able to successfully target the middle and lower-middle-income segment.

Sabki Pasand Nirma

Nirma became a huge success and all this was a result of Karsanbhai Patel’s entrepreneurial skills. The best case of – Give your consumer what he wants, when he wants, where he wants and at the price he wants, selling will be done quite automatically.  This is the marketing ‘mantra’ of Nirma. The company that was started in 1969 with just one man who used to deliver his product from one house to the other, today, it has about 18,000+ employee-base and annual turnover is more than 7,000 Crores INR.

In 1995, Karsanbhai started the Nirma Institute of Technology in Ahmedabad, which grew into a leading engineering college in Gujarat. An Institute of Management followed, with the entire structure 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 in 2004.In November, 2007, Nirma acquired the American raw materials company ‘Searles Valley Minerals Inc.’ – and with that Nirma Group became one of the Top-7 Soda Ash manufacturers in the world. In 2008, due to another acquisition of massive production facilities near Ahmedabad, Nirma stepped into the field of healthcare as well with the name – ‘Nirlife’, with an aim of manufacturing and marketing intravenous fluids, lifesaving drugs, amino acids etc.


  • Conferred with Padma Shri Award for the year 2010by the President of India Mrs Pratibha Patil
  • Karsan bhai was ranked #92 richest person in India by Forbes magazine (2009)
  • Awarded an honorary doctorate by Florida Atlantic University, recognizing his exceptional entrepreneurial and philanthropic accomplishments (2001)
  • Awarded with the ‘Udyog Ratna’ by the Federation of Association of Small Scale Industries of India (FASII), New Delhi (1990)
  • Felicitated as an ‘Outstanding Industrialist of the Eighties’ by The Gujarat Chamber of Commerce
  • Served two times as Chairman of the Development Council for Oils, Soaps and Detergents
  • Purchased an INR 40 crores six-seater chopper (2013) and become the third Ahmedabad-based industrialist to do so.


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