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Showing posts from September 15, 2018

Parachute ki Kasam

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"The fox was running for his dinner, but the rabbit was running for his life."

In 1999, Harsh Mariwala, the Chairman of Marico received a call from Keki Dadiseth, the then Chairman of HLL (Hindustan Lever, now Hindustan Unilever or HUL). HUL, the granddaddy of the Indian FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) industry had decided to enter the hair oil segment through its brand ‘Nihar’. The segment was dominated by Marico via its brand ‘Parachute’. Flush from its success in dislodging Colgate as the market leader in the oral care segment, HUL wanted to dominate the hair care segment and intended to buy ‘Parachute’, the crown jewel from Marico.

“Mr Mariwala, I will give you enough resources to take care of you and all your future generations. But if you do not sell… ". Mr Mariwala’s reply was firm, " Mr Dadiseth, you may think I am a nut but you will find I am a tough nut to crack. Thanks, but no thanks.”

HUL has been in existence in the country since the 19th century, and i…