Freebirds Stories
Fevicol - the vegetarian glue

For more than 6 decades in a row, Fevicol has been the undisputed leader in the adhesive industry, and not only is it the most trusted brand among carpenters, but popular among the masses as well. In fact, such is the strong recall of the brand that it is very common to find Indians using the Fevicol name as a generic term to refer to adhesives in general.

 

It was way back in the 1940s when the young Balvant Parekh, enamoured by the causes of swadeshi movement & freedom struggle, jumped into Quit India Movement which reinforced nationalism & left a deep imprint in his mind. After independence, he followed the footsteps of his father & grandfather who were into law practice, but after obtaining a law degree, he refused to take up career in law, as he felt that the profession sometimes demanded him to become a liar, which he felt was against his conscience.

 
 

He thus quit law even before he could begin, and instead chose to work as a peon at a wood trader's office. Over time, he gained expertise and eventually became a trader himself, importing carpentry products from other countries & reselling them. During one such trade partnership with a German company in 1950s, he had noticed that a particular German brand called Movicol was admired by carpenters & engineers worldwide, but since it used animal based resins, many in the predominantly vegetarian Indian subcontinent had some qualms in using it to its full potential.

 
 

That's when Balvant started his own company called Parekh Dyechem Industries where he decided to use synthetic resin to develop a glue. Since he was inspired by Movicol, he decided to name his brand Fevicol, and started marketing it as India's "vegetarian glue" to counter Movicol, which instantly became a superhit among Indian carpenters. The company name "Parekh Dyechem Industries" was shortened to P.D. Industries, which later became P.D.Lite Industries, and finally Pidilite Industries.

 
 

By the 1980s, as the market was flooded with similar brands with synthetic resins, Fevicol sales started stagnating, as it didn't have any differentiating factor anymore. That's when Balvant embarked upon an aggressive marketing campaign with highly innovative ads with the goal of directly reaching out to the end-customer, who in turn could dictate his carpenter to use only Fevicol brand. The plan clicked, as millions of Indians started correlating strength & bonding with Fevicol, and the brand became a household name.

 
 

Over the next few decades, Pidilite Industries skilfully utilized their expertise in adhesives to expand their offerings and creared several other prominent brands including Fevikwik, Fevicryl, M-Seal, Dr Fixit, etc, thereby building a strong ecosystem of trusted brands with Fevicol as its foundation. Today, the entrepreneurial journey which was sown as a swadeshi idea during the freedom movement, has grown into a full fledged MNC with presence in 100+ countries, where foreign carpenters & engineers swear by the "Made in India" tag.

 
Story by
Guru Prasad

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

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