Meet the billionaire face behind Parachute and Saffola brands
Today, Marico is one of the leading FMCG companies in India.
Harsh Mariwala, founder and chairman of Indian consumer goods giant Marico Ltd is India’s 30th richest person. According to the real-time net worth tracker of Forbes, Harsh Mariwala and family have a net worth of USD 3.2 billion (approximately Rs 24,000 crore) as of 6th April 2022.
Harsh Mariwala’s grandfather- Vallabhdas Vasanji came to Mumbai for trade from Gujarat in 1862. He eventually got the name ‘Mariwala’ since he used to trade in pepper which was called ‘mari’ in Gujarati. Later, Harsha Mariwala’s father founded Bombay Oil Industries which dealt in spices, oils and chemicals. After completing his education at Mumbai’s Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics, he started his career with Bombay Oil Industries.
After nearly working for two decades there, he founded Marico in 1990. At Marico, he took the already established brands - Parachute coconut oil and Saffola refined oil to a global scale. He expanded the distribution to 25 countries in Asia and Africa. Harsha made Marico public in 1996 after which he only went aggressive with the business. He set up a manufacturing plant in Bangladesh and eventually started acquiring various consumer brands.
Mariwala diversified his business into the skincare segment in 2003. He then founded Kaya Ltd as a subsidiary of Marico Ltd. He bought a haircare brand called Nihar from HUL and Set Wet, Livon, and Zatak from Reckitt Benckiser.
In 2014, Mariwala retired from his position as MD and continued to be the chairman. He let the professionals take over the management of the company which proved to be a prudent decision. Today, Marico has become one of the largest FMCG and personal care companies in India. Especially brands like Parachute oil and Saffola refined oil are popular across the globe.
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