What explains Marico’s new-found aggression?

From launching products in segments with clear market leaders to nurturing startups, the objective is to get to Marico 2.0 in three years. Will CEO Saugata Gupta’s speed pay off?

At Marico, the refrain seems to be about punching above one’s weight. In the 1990s, founder and chairman Harsh Mariwala managed to ward off competition and a near-hostile offer from packaged consumer goods biggie Hindustan Lever (now Hindustan Unilever Ltd, or HUL) to buy Parachute, Marico’s mainstay coconut hair oil brand. As Mariwala recounts in the recently released book, then Hindustan Lever chairman Keki Dadiseth even issued a not-so-veiled threat—“Marico will be history”—if the deal didn’t happen. Mariwala did not budge. Instead, later in 2006, he bought out Hindustan Lever’s Nihar hair oil brand in a stunning reversal of …


Prince M. Thomas

Prince leads the newsroom at The Morning Context as managing editor. A fascination with the written word has taken Prince to some of the leading newsrooms across the country, including The Economic Times, Dow Jones Newswires, Forbes India and Moneycontrol. In a career spanning 20 years, Prince has led teams, managed pages, projects and special editions, and has authored The Consolidators, published by Penguin Random House in 2017.

Managing Editor