History of Emami Limited| Beginnings, Products and Turnover

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Zandu Balm is often the go-to remedy for headaches among our parents and grandparents. Products like BoroPlus, Navratna, and Fair and Handsome have become our favourites. But have you ever wondered about the backstory of these cherished products? The masterminds behind these brands are two childhood friends, Mr R S Agarwal and Mr R S Goenka. They formed Emami Limited, a company synonymous with trust and quality in the Indian FMCG sector.

Join us as we journey through the history of Emami Limited.

Let us trace how an idea between two friends has blossomed into a business with a presence in over 70 countries worldwide.

Emami Limited| Company Profile

Emami Limited| Company Profile
Emami Limited| Company Profile
HeadingKey Snapshots
OwnersMr. R.S. Agarwal and Mr. R.S. Goenka
Turnover in FY ’23Rs 3406 Cr
Retail Outlet Reach4.9 million
Outlets Under Direct Distribution9.4 lac
International Presence70 countries
Household Penetration (India)6.5 Cr
Products Sold Per Second Globally140+
Manufacturing Units (India)7
Market Cap (as of 24th April 2024)Rs 19478.76 Cr

Source: emamiltd.in

Unfolding the Pages: The History of Emami Limited

Once upon a time, in the heart of Kolkata, two friends sat upon an idea. 

Little did they know that this journey would redefine the Indian FMCG industry. Their canvas was blank, their aspirations sky-high, and their conviction strong.

As we turn the pages of Emami Limited’s history, we uncover the layers of passion and perseverance that painted a legacy of success and innovation.

Inception and Bold Beginnings (1974-1978)

In 1974, childhood friends Mr. Radhyeshyam Agarwal and Mr. Radhyeshyam Goenka ventured into the world of business, leaving behind their roles as Chartered Accountants with the Birla Group. 

With a modest capital of Rs 20,000, they established Kemco Chemicals in Kolkata. This marked the inception of Emami Group.

The timing was opportune, amid a rising Indian middle class eager for personal care products.

Rickshaw Entrepreneurs – Why Not?

In their early days, they piled up products and sold them via hand-pulled rickshaw.

  • Started with a rickshaw full of beauty products, because who needs a storefront when you have wheels?
  • Their secret sauce? 

Making sure their products were everywhere.

  • Quality so good, customers kept coming back for more, and the team kept growing to keep up.
  • From Bengal to Bollywood: Their products went from local heroes to national sensations faster.

Differentiation through Innovation (1974-1978)

Understanding the need for disruption in a competitive market dominated by multinational giants, Agarwal and Goenka introduced multiple products.

This included Emami Talcum Powder, Emami Vanishing Cream, Emami Cold Cream, and Himani Glycerine soap.

They used luxurious French perfume scents and creative packaging, capturing the attention of many customers and gaining strong support from retailers.

By 1978, Emami’s vanishing cream claimed a 22% market share.

Its talcum powder became the second best-selling brand in its category across the country.

Strategic Acquisition of Himani Ltd (1978-1998)

In 1978, the strategic acquisition of Himani Ltd, a venerable company with a strong presence in Eastern India, proved pivotal for Emami.

This move led to the reinvention of products like Himani Snow, Himsar Tel, and Himani Glycerine Soap.

By 1995, Kemco Chemicals transformed into Emami Ltd.

Following this, by 1998, after merging with Himani Ltd, Emami emerged as a prominent player in the FMCG sector.

Introduction of Power Brands – BoroPlus and Navratna (1984-1990s)

In 1984, Emami launched its flagship brand, BoroPlus Antiseptic Cream, followed by successful brand extensions.

BoroPlus became a leading product not only in India but also across international markets like Russia, Ukraine, and Nepal.

The iconic Navratna Cool Oil, introduced in the 1990s, revolutionised the therapeutic cool oil segment in India.

Emami expanded its production capabilities by commissioning a second plant in Pondicherry to meet growing demand.

Celebrity Endorsements and Market Expansion (2005 onwards)

Emami Limited made marketing history in 2005 with the launch of Fair and Handsome.

This was India’s first fairness cream for men, tapping into a previously unexplored market segment.

The association with Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan pushed Fair and Handsome to top-selling product for men’s skincare.

Strategic Acquisitions and Diversification (2008 onwards)

In 2008, Emami limited made headlines with the acquisition of Zandu Pharmaceuticals Works Ltd. 

This added renowned brands like Zandu Balm and Zandu Chyawanprash to its portfolio.

Subsequent acquisitions, including Kesh King in 2015 and Dermicool in 2022, further strengthened Emami’s market presence.

Global Expansion (2012)

Emami Limited, the group’s FMCG arm, expanded its footprint by establishing its first overseas manufacturing unit in Ghazipur, Bangladesh, in 2012.

Thus enhancing production capabilities and market access.

Here’s a table summarising key milestones for Emami Limited over the years:

1974Founding of Emami Group by Mr. R. S. Agarwal and Mr. R. S. Goenka, setting up Kemco Chemicals in Kolkata.
1978Acquisition of Himani Ltd, a turning point for Emami.
1983Introduction of in-film advertising in “Agar Tum Na Hote” starring Rajesh Khanna.
1984Launch of flagship brand BoroPlus Antiseptic Cream.
1995Conversion of Kemco Chemicals into Emami Ltd, a Public Limited Company.
1998Merger of Emami Ltd with Himani Ltd, leading to the formation of Emami Ltd.
2005Launch of Fair and Handsome, India’s first fairness cream for men.
2008Acquisition of Zandu Pharmaceuticals Works Ltd.
2009Merger of Zandu Pharmaceuticals Works Ltd with Emami.
2012Establishment of Emami’s first overseas manufacturing unit in Bangladesh.
2014Acquisition of Rasoi Vanaspati and other heritage brands.
2015Acquisition of ‘Kesh King’ hair & scalp care business.
2019Acquisition of Creme 21, a German skincare brand.
2022Acquisition of ‘Dermicool’, a leading Prickly Heat and Cool Talc brand in India.

Emami Limited| Company Overview

Emami Limited started in 1974, is one of the top Indian FMCG companies. It focuses on innovative products, especially natural and Ayurvedic ones. The company ensures high-quality manufacturing and strict quality control. It has over 450 diverse products and reaches 70+ countries globally. Emami Limited employs 3,200 professionals.

From its small beginnings in the mid-70s, Emami Limited has grown rapidly. 

Emami Limited is known for its values, commitment to stakeholders, and community contributions. 

  1. Emami Brands– BoroPlus, Navratna, Zandu, Kesh King, Fair and Handsome, Mentho Plus, 7 Oils in One, Dermicool, Emami Golden Beauty, Emami Naturally Fair, Diamond Shine, etc.
Emami Limited Brands
BoroPlus, Navratna, Fair and Handsome, Zandu Balm, Mentho Plus Balm, Emami 7 Oils in One, Kesh King, Fast Relief, Sona Chandi Chyawanprash, Kesari Jivan, Vasocare, Zandu Healthcare Products, Diamond Shine, HE Deodorants, Emami Golden Beauty Talc, Emami Naturally Fair, Emami Malai Kesar Cold Cream, Emami Pure Skin, Emami Emasol, Emami BoroPlus Doodh Kesar Body Lotion, Emami BoroPlus Aloe Vera Gel
  1. Emami Products List- 450+, including Antiseptic Cream, Body Lotion, Prickly Heat Powder, Navratna oil, Fair and handsome face wash, etc.

Some of the famous products that top the Emami Product List are:

Boroplus 100% Organic Aloe Vera GelOrganic aloe vera gel
Haldi Chandan KesarTurmeric, sandalwood, and saffron
Boroplus Aloe Neem Body LotionAloe vera and neem extracts
Boroplus Antiseptic + Moisturising Soap (125gm Each) NeemAntiseptic properties with neem
Boroplus Antiseptic Cream with Emami Kesh King Onion ShampooAntiseptic cream with free shampoo
Creme 21 Hydrating Delight for Normal Skin Body WashHydrating body wash for normal skin
Dermi Cool Prickly Heat Powder Fresh AloePrickly heat powder with aloe vera
Emami 7 Oils in One Non-Sticky Hair OilHair oil blend with 7 oils
Emami Fair and Handsome Instant Radiance Face WashInstant radiance face wash
Navratna Cool OilCooling hair oil with herbal extracts
Zandu Aloe Vera +5 Herbs Health JuiceAloe vera and herbal health juice
Zandu Apple Cider Vinegar with SaffronApple cider vinegar with saffron
Zandu Balm (50ml Each)Herbal balm for relief from headaches and body pain
Zandu Chandraprash All Season ProtectionAyurvedic health supplement for all seasons
Zandu Dant Veer ToothpasteAyurvedic toothpaste for dental care
Zandu Detox JuiceDetoxifying juice with herbal ingredients
Zandu Fast Relief Gel Ultra Strong GelUltra-strong gel for fast pain relief
Zandu Lean & Slim JuiceAyurvedic juice for weight management
Zandu Mahabhringraj TelAyurvedic hair oil for hair growth and scalp health
Zandu Neem Body Detox TabletNeem-based tablets for body detoxification
Zandu Pure Honey with Cinnamon, Green Tea & LemonHoney infused with cinnamon, green tea, and lemon
Zandu Raughan-E-Badam Shireen Sweet Almond OilSweet almond oil for various health benefits
  1. Emami Financial results– Q3/ FY 23-24
  • Consolidated Revenues: ₹996 crore, a growth of 1%
    • Domestic Business: Flat growth (5% growth excluding winter contextual products)
    • International Business: Grew by 8% (Constant currency growth of 11%)
  • Gross Margins: 68.8%, improved by 290 basis points (bps)
  • EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Depreciation, Taxes, and Amortization): ₹315 crore, a growth of 7%
  • Profit After Tax (PAT): ₹258 crore, a growth of 9%
    • Excluding one-off exceptionals, PAT grew by 11%
    • PAT Margins improved by 180 bps
  • Interim Dividend: 400%, ₹4/- per share
  • Emami Limied Turnover: Rs 3406 Cr FY- 2023

You may also want to know the Top FMCG Companies in India

Emami Limited: Shaping Tomorrow with Innovation

Emami’s commitment to innovation is evident in its deep-rooted Research and Development initiatives. 

  1. Enhance existing products and create new markets.
  2. Improve operational processes for efficiency.
  3. Augment Emami’s forward-thinking approach.

With a dedicated focus on accessibility, cost-effectiveness, and institutionalising knowledge, Emami’s R&D sets the benchmark for cutting-edge product development.

Star Power: Emami’s Celebrity-Backed Branding

Emami Limited has built strong brand recognition by teaming up with well-known celebrities to endorse its products. 

Emami is the only brand to have both Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan endorsing Navratna. 

Many other popular entertainers and athletes have also promoted Emami products over the years, including:

Salman Khan

Akshay Kumar

Kareena Kapoor Khan, and more. 

Emami was among the pioneers in using film advertising, notably appearing in the 1983 movie “Agar Tum Na Hote,” which starred Rajesh Khanna as the Managing Director of Emami.

Emami’s Sustainable Impact: Fostering Education, Skill Development, and Healthcare for All

Emami Limited prioritises sustainability, integrating it into its operations and corporate strategy. They actively work to reduce their environmental footprint. Thus ensuring responsible sourcing and driving product innovation for the circular economy.

Here are some of the CSR initiatives by Emami Limited:

  • Padho India Padho:
    • An initiative supporting education for children from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
  • Badhte Kadam:
    • A program focused on skill development and livelihood creation.
  • Padhenge Hum Padhane Ke Liye:
    • A project enhancing learning outcomes by training teachers and implementing innovative teaching methods.
  • Jan Kalyan:
    • An initiative dedicated to the social upliftment of vulnerable communities, fostering inclusive growth.
  • Swasthya:
    • A healthcare initiative providing preventive and promotive healthcare services to underprivileged populations.

FAQs| Emami Limited

Who is the owner of Emami Limited?

Emami Limited is owned by its founders, R.S. Agarwal and R.S. Goenka

What brands are owned by Emami Limited?

Emami owns 20+ brands, including BoroPlus, Navratna, Fair and Handsome, Zandu Balm, Menthol Plus Balm, Kesh King etc.

Is Emami a FMCG?

Yes, Emami Limited is a FMCG (Fast-Moving Consumer Goods) company.

What is the turnover of Emami Limited?

The turnover of Emami Limited was approximately Rs 34,06 crore in the financial year 2023.


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