In the bustling streets of Mumbai, Balvant Parekh’s journey from a law graduate to the architect of a ₹12,000 crore business is nothing short of inspirational. Parekh, who had no intention of practising law, found himself grappling with the city’s harsh realities, jobless and homeless, sharing a warehouse for shelter with his wife. Yet, he harboured a dream that was about to stick for decades to come.
What to know: His initial foray into entrepreneurship, importing paper dyes, faltered due to financial constraints. Undeterred, Parekh’s stint at a German chemical firm, Fedco, laid the groundwork for what would become a household name in India. When Fedco dissolved, Parekh, alongside his brother, launched P.D. Lite Industries, marking the genesis of Fevicol in 1959.
Parekh’s astute observation of the carpentry adhesive market led to the innovation of Fevicol, India’s first “vegetarian glue,” a non-animal-based product that promised unmatched strength. His strategic move to foster a community through the “Fevicol Champions Club” paid dividends, educating and empowering carpenters across the nation.
Fevicol’s dominance grew rapidly, capturing a 70% market share within two decades. But Parekh’s vision transcended the professional sphere; he wanted Fevicol to resonate with every Indian. Iconic advertising campaigns like "Dum lagake haisha" transformed Fevicol into a symbol of unity and strength, culminating in a staggering 90% market share.
The brand’s influence extended globally, reaching 71 countries, and Parekh’s P.D. Lite Industries burgeoned into a ₹2,000 crore conglomerate, further cementing his legacy with successful ventures like M-Seal and Dr Fixit.
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Balvant Parekh may have passed, but his title as “The Fevicol Man of India” endures, a testament to his indelible impact on the industry and the nation, leaving behind a company valued at over ₹12,000 crore and a story of resilience and innovation that continues to inspire.
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