India’s consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry has seen a lot of changes in the last 10 years. An increasing number of people are rejecting traditional chemical-filled brands in favor of natural ones. However, our preference for natural brands is neither new nor unknown. Today, MNCs in the CPG segment no longer shape the narrative. Home-grown companies lead by Patanjali are selling natural brands are clearly calling the shots.
One such Giant is Dabur India Limited. Dabur is one of India’s largest and oldest Ayurvedic medicine & natural consumer products manufacturer. Their story has spanned more than 100 years and grown from a one man’s family business to a company managed by Professionals.
Dabur’s Healthcare Division has over 260 products for treating a range of ailments and body conditions, from a common cold to chronic paralysis. Some of the products are life-long household products for Indians – Dabur Chyawanprash, Hair oil, Hajmola, Honey and Dabur Toothpaste are some of the honorable mentions.
History of Dabur – The Burman Family
In 1884, an Ayurvedic practitioner Dr. S. K. Burman launched his mission to make health care products in Calcutta. He devised medicines for diseases like cholera and malaria. He went on to set up Dabur India Ltd in 1884 to mass-produce his Ayurvedic formulations.
With the growing popularity of Dabur products, Dr. Burman expanded his operations in 1896 by setting up a manufacturing plant for mass production of formulations. Dabur entered the specialized area of nature-based Ayurvedic medicines, for which standardized drugs are not available in the market.
In the 1920s The need to develop scientific processes and quality checks for mass production of traditional Ayurvedic medicines led to the establishment of research laboratories.
The seventies were a time for great change in the business environment; for Dabur, it was time to reconfigure the way it reached out to consumers. After nearly a century of Dabur’s birth in the bylanes of Calcutta (now Kolkata), the Burman family decided to shift base to Delhi.
For better operation and management, 3 separate divisions were created in 1996 according to their product mix – Health Care, Products Division, Family Product Division & Dabur Ayurvedic Specialities Limited.
The Burmans were among the first business families in India to separate ownership from management when they handed over the management of the company to professionals in 1998. With changing demands of business and to inculcate a spirit of corporate governance, the Burman family inducted professional to manage the company.
Facing The Patanjali Challenge, Dabur is Reinventing itself
Dabur India Ltd is one of India’s oldest companies manufacturing Ayurvedic remedies. Today it boasts of customers in 120 countries. Yet, until recently, Ayurveda wasn’t at the core of its marketing strategy despite being its initial focus.
That’s because, since the 1990s, Dabur has embarked on diversifying its original business through the production of non-Ayurvedic products. As of 2016, sales of non-Ayurvedic products comprised 40 percent of the company’s total sales of US$1.2 billion.
However, with the rapid rise of Patanjali, the company has been forced to do a U-turn, compelling Dabur to rebuild its image as India’s first Ayurvedic company.
Dabur is also expanding its total area of land under cultivation from 2,000 acres to 4,500 acres to become India’s largest cultivator of rare medicinal herbs.
To counter Patanjali’s sales model, Dabur has eliminated outsourcing its rural sales to third-party vendors by hiring rural sales representatives directly on its payroll.
Mohit Malhotra – CEO, Dabur India Ltd
FMCG Giant to look forward to in the years to come
Dabur is today ranked among the top five FMCG companies in India and its products are sold in over 100 countries across the globe. It is one of the most trusted brands of India in FMCG space and leads by an example.
In 2000, Dabur established its market leadership status with a turnover of Rs.1,000 crores. From a small beginning and upholding the values of its founder, Dabur entered the august league of large corporate businesses.
Dabur India announced its foray into the organized retail business in 2007 through a wholly-owned subsidiary, H&B Stores Limited. Dabur went on to further invest INR 140 Crores by 2010 to establish its presence in the retail market in India with a chain of stores on the Health & Beauty format.
Dabur India Ltd. surpassed the billion-dollar turnover mark during the 2011-12 fiscal to end the year on a high note with net sales of INR 5283.17 Crores.
These are just a few of the many milestones in the history of Dabur, and many more will follow in the years to come.
IMAGE SOURCE: DABUR