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Zandu Balm, the pidahari balm

Due to centuries of oppression by invaders, the science of Ayurveda had been suppressed to a great extent, and was looked down upon by the subsequent imperial rulers, who had made it inaccessible to the masses for a very long time. However, thanks to the vision & tireless efforts of a handful of organizations, Ayurveda managed to make a great comeback by the 19th century, and one such organization which played a significant role in the process was "Zandu".

 

The origins of Zandu goes back all the way to the 1850s, when the Maharaja of Jamnagar chose Mahatma Zandu Bhatji, an Ayurvedic practitioner, as his royal family doctor. Impressed with Zandu's in-depth understanding of Ayurveda, the King felt his people also deserved to benefit from his Ayurvedic knowledge. Thus, the Maharaja gifted him some land and provided financial assistance towards building a "Rasa Shala" to prepare Ayurvedic products which could be distributed to the masses.

 
 

For the next few decades, his Ayurvedic products helped lakhs, and his descendants continued to carry forward his legacy, but their scope remained within Jamnagar as they didn't have any ambitious expansion plans. But it all changed in the early 20th century, when Zandu Bhattji's grandson Jugatram Sankarprasad Vaidya dreamt of serving the whole world by transforming the Rasa Shala into a large pharmaceutical company

 
 

That's how Jugatram Vaidya established Zandu Pharmaceutical Works Ltd in 1910, with the mission of churning out a wide range of products prepared strictly in accordance with the specifications contained in standard books like Charaka & Sushruta. Within a decade, the Ayurvedic company had made inroads into every nook & corner of the sub-continent, and had become a roaring success due to its effectiveness & affordability.

 
 

During the 1930s, the company launched its flagship product called Zandu Balm, which went on to become synonymous with pain relief. With innovative marketing & creative radio jingles (including the legendary "Zandu Balm, Zandu Balm, pidahari balm" tune), it became an integral part of every home, and the brand thus became a household name.

 
 

Over the decades, Zandu expanded its portfolio to include everything from syrups to supplements, formulated strictly in accordance with Ayurvedic texts. As part of management rejig, Zandu brand became part of Emami group, which is investing heavily into the brand nowadays to export Zandu products in 50+ countries and thus fulfilling the vision of Zandu Bhatji & Jugatram Vaidya by taking Ayurveda to the rest of the world.

 
Story by
Guru Prasad

Guruprasad (or “GP” in short) is a Chief Engineer & Technology Mentor by profession and spends a...

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