THE ORIGIN STORY (1950 – 1985)
Inheritance of Values
Born on October 30, 1930, in a small village called Daudi in Maharashtra, Harakchandji was the eldest son of Kesharchandji Parakh, who made a living running a small grocery store. A man of uncompromising principles, Kesharchandji deeply mounted the thought of doing any work with values in his sons, Harakchand, Deepchandji and Jalamchandji Parakh.
Tough circumstances made Harakchandji drop out of school at an early age. His keenness to learn and passion to work made him explore different opportunities at a young age. He gained interest into the business of trading while interacting with the suppliers of goods at his father’s store. From thereon he travelled to various towns and cities around Maharashtra to trade different products like spices, pulses, vegetables and clothes investing the little money he saved over the years.
Ready Before Opportunities
Harakchandji always believed in using the most economical way to execute trade. Whether it was driving a truck all the way to trade potatoes in Shimla or riding around to visit smaller shops in the village on a bicycle or to trade with those shops riding a bollock cart, his zeal to work encouraged him to be ready for whatever was necessary to trade goods in the most efficient way possible.
A Unique Style
Harakchandji also believed that a lasting impression must be created on our customers for them to be confident of whom they are doing business with and certainly so that they don’t forget you amongst the crowd of traders. For this reason, his classic Royal Enfield, his sunglasses and his crisp clothes always made him appear well groomed. His elegant personality was well coupled with his charming style to talk with modesty and truthfulness that always won hearts. These key personality traits aided him to develop and maintain customers in style. His distinctive thoughts and exhilarating personality often made people fond of him and hence his well-wishers often referred to him as ‘Bhau’, which means ‘elder brother’ respectfully.
Failure is Important for Success
Harakchandji faced failures while initially trying his hands into various businesses. Yet his unstoppable will ultimately brought him to Pune where he established and nurtured the edible oil and gram flour business. He believed that all the failures we face are essential for learning important lessons to achieve success. However, he also believed that even little victories must be acknowledged. So he was not only seen wrapping his hand around the shoulders of those who were struggling but also received and gave away as many awards he could to appreciate the success of those who worked hard to achieve it.
Do It To Learn It!
A few days before Harakchandji was looking for partners and investors to move to Pune and set up a besan mill, Patashibai (Harakchandji’s wife) entered her kitchen in her house in Chakan only to shockingly discover that all her utensils were missing. In moments she saw her husband walking into the kitchen covered with flour all over his clothes. He said to her, “I used all our utensils to soak Dal and I need some of your sarees to keep channa on the terrace to study the results of natural sun splitting before grinding it into besan again. I must practically know how to make besan myself before setting up a mill.” She often found humor in his unusual techniques to learn but always supported him through it all.
Beliefs from the Heart
A sincere believer in Jainism, he always strived hard to bring in the holistic tenets of karma and moksha in his daily methods of taking business decisions. Just like a true philanthropist, he played the pivotal role in establishing Mahaveer Pratishthan Institute in Pune and was the president to institutes like Oswal Bandhu Samaj and Jain Samaj to encourage religious preaching and education for the needy. He often requested Jain priests to visit the group’s new facilities and strongly believed in their earnest suggestions to improve conditions for staff, product hygiene and the natural environment around those facilities.
THE EVOLUTION (1985 – 2007)
Change Of Guards
Since when Harakchandji’s children were little, even dinner table conversations at home were about trade and business development. They quickly grew fond of his passion in the field and dedicated their lives as they began working at an early age to learn all what they could from him. It wasn’t late until Prakash and Suresh Parakh proved to be prosperous successors to their father’s dream of creating a nationwide brand of quality consumer products.
Futuristic Brand Building
Just in the times when basic consumer goods branding was restricted to printed bags, the group began participating in consumer facing exhibitions. The new business guardians took this futuristic step to educate the consumers of the essential quality parameters in edible oils and flours and to promote the brands which had started growing nationally: Samrat and Gemini.
Large Units, Larger Aspirations
In its next step to becoming a national brand, after setting up a few smaller factories the group set up a modern oil refinery in Kurkumbh, Maharashtra. With a total capacity of 1600 tons per day, this was the largest oil refinery in Asia under one roof. This project attracted respectable global recognition to the group, after which various MNCs approached the group for tie-ups and other venture opportunities.
Just when less than 2% of the country consumed readily packaged atta, the group sensed a rapid change in consumer behavior soon to drive growth in that segment in the coming few years. India’s best quality of wheat grown on the lands of Madhya Pradesh encouraged the plant’s location. Whereas, the desire to continue to supersede the quality available in the market encouraged the group to bring in machineries and technical expertise from Buhler, Switzerland, an organization that is a global leader in milling technology. Samrat Atta and wheat flour products became one of the leading flour brands in India within just a few years of inception of the mills in MP.
The Fastest Growing Indian FMCG Company
In the year 2002, AC Nielsen rated Parakh Foods (a company within the group which owned Gemini Edible Oils) as the ‘Fastest Growing FMCG Company In India’. With sales worth over rupees 100 crores, the company had clocked an impressive sales growth of 32.4% hence achieving a staggering revenue growth of over 51% as compared to the previous financial year.
Change To Sustain Change
Once been tagged as the fastest growing FMCG company, Prakash and Suresh Parakh immediately realized that, renewing our self constantly is important as nothing can last in the long run if we do not change continuously. This thought was soon followed by the group’s investments into modernizing existing facilities and diversification into wind energy and jointly ventured real estate projects.
A STEP INTO THE FUTURE (2008 ONWARDS)
The arrival of the next generation, Harshal, Mayank and Akash Parakh marked the beginning of a new era in and around the Parakh Group. Their task had its own set of challenges in order to guide the value aided Parakh Group in a fast-changing business environment where old rules did not apply and new realities were taking hold.
The company also pioneered into the business of flexible packaging with Parakh Flexipacks Ltd. Strategizing a backward integration by manufacturing the packaging materials for the group’s own consumer products the business grew sustainable along with the growing sales in consumer products. After gaining substantial expertise in packaging technology, the clientele extended to other companies from similar and varied fields. Parakh Flexipacks also bagged the platinum and the gold awards from DuPont for innovation into packaging in the dairy and baby hygiene segment.
Following the founder’s vision to keep expanding the group globalized with its FMCG products and network expanding into The UAE and Africa where the products received tremendous appreciation and Parakh Group started expanding globally. Furthermore, a production and branding venture with Cargil (America), technological venture with Buhler (Switzerland), information exchange venture with Itochu (Japan), future packaging prospects research venture with Billerudkorsnas (Sweden) etc. are various momentous events which followed as the group successfully evolved as a global organization.
With a view to building a better tomorrow the group commenced its first jointly ventured residential project in Pune in 1996. Since then several projects were successfully executed in the city hence gaining a reputed name even in real estate. After substantial years of experience the group solely launched Parakh House a modern tower with commercial spaces and Grand Bay, a large residential project providing more than 800 premium apartments. A fantastic response with these projects proved that the group was able to successfully transform its tradition of manufacturing quality consumer products into developing quality living and working spaces.
In the past few years there was a shift in branding methods as organizations began using more effective and smarter ways like websites, digital marketing, narrative TV commercials, demographically targeted advertising etc. to promote their brands. The group magnificently evolved its packaging, branding techniques and consumer facing communications to match and supersede the constantly evolving branding scenarios.
Back By Popular Demand
The strategy of the group’s consumer goods business to also focus on the growth and success of the entire sales network made them a popular and trusted organization for generations of distributors and retailers across the nation. Just a few years after the group ventured out of the edible oil business and strategically started expanding the flour business, there was a wave of belief amongst the market’s network that Parakh Group will re-launch oil again. It was this belief that encouraged the group to enter back into the edible oil business. In 2016, the group set up a state of the art refinery in Khopoli, Maharashtra introducing advanced Nano Technology(TM) which was the first of its kind, the most advanced refining process in the country. Vilina edible oils today represent the group’s everlasting passion in providing the best quality consumer products and its love for its network, which brought it back by popular demand.
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Fortune 500 company
The group (Company: Parakh Agro) recently earned the esteemed honor from Fortune 500 India as one of the fastest mid-sized FMCG Company in India. The company secured an impressive 5th position in the category. The management released a statement commenting, ‘We would like to thank all our employees, customers, distributors, retailers, suppliers, vendors and the various government departments for their excellent support that enabled us to achieve this milestone. We shall strive to reach greater heights by continuing to work together.’ Since the past several decades there have been many organizations and individuals (consumers, distributors, employees, retired employees, NGOs, partner agencies etc.) who have had amazing memories and growth experiences with the Parakh Group. We would love you’ll to share any of those beautiful memories and experiences in words or pictures that you’ll may have had with us, which we will proudly share with the world.
New Group logo launch
Parakh Group was established on a small scale 50 years ago and today it is one of the leading FMCG Companies in Maharashtra which reflects the continuously growing support and trust of the customers all across. The Group constantly strive to up the benchmark for ourselves by pushing boundaries and envisioning something new. Parakh Group provides a large variety of products and services reaching out to its millions of customers through consumer goods, real estate, flexible packaging, wind energy, horticulture and various other ventures. With a revenue of over 2000 Cores, Parakh Group is now growing fast and expanding to various sectors with the will and values embedded by the founder. Today, Parakh Group has achieved various milestones.
Some proudly held statistics include:
1. Number 5th mid-size Indian Company
2. Fortune 500 company
3. Over 10 state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in India.
4. A widespread network of over 1500 distributors across India serving more than 25,000 retail and modern retail outlets and chains.
At Parakh, we have always looked upon our partners as members of an extended family. It has never been merely about a trade partnership. For us it is a bond – Bandhan – that plays a significant role in driving our world. To honour this unique bond we all came together on the evening of 25th March 2017 to celebrate Bandhan – Ek Atoot Rishta. Bandhan is an initiative of Parakh Group to felicitate 6500+ Kirana Shop owners (Retailers). It is to acknowledge the contribution of the Retailers in the FMCG sector. The meet had an open forum where retailers from all regions of Pune district were present together. The event was also graced by singer Shaan and renowned comedian Sumedh Shinde.