It is a well known fact that businesses that are now worth millions were started by lesser known people who never gave up.
Who does not know about Vicco, the ‘Sampoorna Swadeshi’ brand? But, do you know that it was a kitchen in Mumbai where the brand which is now hundreds of crores of rupees was born?.
Late Shri Keshav Vishnu Pendharkar founded Vicco in 1952.
Here is the unbelievable story of Pendharkar, who helped India rival allopathic medications and chemical-based cosmetics that can harm. Pendharkar was once the owner of a grocery store in Nagpur, Maharashtra, which was his hometown.
But shortly he closed the store and moved to Mumbai. In Bandra and surroundings, he ran a number of small companies there. He gained marketing skills at this stage, and thereafter came and lived in Parel to start selling handmade items.
He saw allopathic and cosmetic products like Ponds penetrate the market in those days.
In view of the business circumstances, he chose to develop a natural ayurveda product and named the brand after his dad.
Sanjeev Pendharkar, who now owns Vicco said, “The 1950s saw fluoride-containing toothpastes create dental problems. It became a troublesome trend among children, as mistakenly or otherwise they devoured as it was sweet. In addition, allopathy was seen as a higher medical science.”
According to Sanjeev, his grandfather researched ayurvedic literature and was helped by his brethren who knew about Ayurveda in order to question the idea.
He said, “A 3-room house was owned by the family. The kitchen was the production unit, while the remaining rooms became the office. Our initial product was the tooth powder, called VICCO Vajradanti, made of purely herbs which were used in teeth purification and enhancement of the gums.”
He adds that VICCO became the Indian market’s first and only Swadeshi product to compete with cosmetic products in the toothpaste and vanishing cream segment.
His granddad knocked doors to meet possible buyers, Sanjeev recalls. He spoke courteously and convincingly to people.
He added that Keshav’s teenage sons also joined the company. The trio would frequently have to suffer the brunt of the terrible heat and never-ending rains, as well as insults from anyone they approached.
According to Sanjeev, the product eventually became firmly established in the market. Finallythe business thrived and is now worth Rs. 700 crore.