Karsanbhai Patel is an Indian business tycoon, founder of the Rs. 3550 crore Nirma group active in the product domains like detergents, soaps and cosmetics. As listed on Forbes this year, He is net worth USD $1.8 billion. He is the 50th richest man in the country as of 2016.  His achievement is not an overnight success story but the outcome of patience, perseverance, rejections, hardship and sleepless nights.


He was born in 1945 in Ruppur, Mehsana District in the state of Gujarat. His family was in farming. He completed his B.Sc. in Chemistry at age 21. He worked as Lab Assistant in the Geology and Mining Department of the Government of Gujarat. He got start mixing soda ash in his backyard and selling door-to-door on his bicycle. In 1969, at the age of 25, Karsan Bhai Patel started a small-scale enterprise. He used to sell detergent at Rs 3 per Kg while other brands cost Rs. 13 per Kg. Company grew gradually and started giving tough competition to biggies like HUL during that period. Though Karsanbhai Patel does not have a professional degree in marketing, yet he proved that a professional marketing acumen does not need a formal degree in marketing to be successful! 

The Brand

After losing his daughter in a car accident, Patel immortalised her pet name ‘Nirma’ as India’s leading detergent, soda ash and education brand. Nirma detergent powder and soap are a household name in the country which is said be the most affordable product since its inception and giving tough competition to the rivals. Nirma Group is one of the world’s leading soda ash player and now indulging to bulk up in cement sector, it’s clear that baton at Nirma has been passed on to the Gen-Next.

Contribution in field of Education

He has always shown his keen interest to contribute in the field of education and science. His Nirma Education and Research Foundation founded a leading pharmacy college (Nirma Institute of Pharmacy), and engineering college, (Nirma Institute of Technology) that is considered to be one of the most reputed institute in the state. Nirma also runs Nirma Memorial Trust, Nirma Foundation and Chanasma Ruppur Gram Vikas Trust as a part of their effort as a socially responsible corporate citizen. It also owns Nirma University.

Awards & Recognition

He has won many accolades on his way to success. The Federation of Association of Small Scale Industries of India, New Delhi, awarded him with the ‘Udyog Ratna’. The Gujarat Chamber of Commerce felicitated him as an ‘Outstanding Industrialist of the Eighties’. The Govt. of India twice appointed him Chairman of the Development Council for Oils, Soaps & Detergents. He has been conferred with Padma Shri Award for the year 2010.

His journey can be compared to those of Ford, Apple, Sony, and Honda, all one-of-a-kind first generation entrepreneurs who built their empire on gut feeling rather than following the conventional patterns taught in B-schools.

This is a genuine road from rags-to-riches one would like to follow. Like Us on Facebook to remain updated on such amazing articles. Stay tuned!!