How Two Brothers Transformed Their Father’s Button Making Business Into a Rs 1700 Cr Company

This is a story of continuous growth and innovation and taking risks at a time when nobody else has the courage to bring something new in the market. The dry state of Gujarat has nothing to offer to farmers except failing monsoons and acres of dry land. Ultimately, their only chance of survival is to get into business. Here is the journey of two brothers and their family which kept on introducing path-breaking products in the evolving Indian market and built a Rs 1,700 crore empire.

Many decades ago, Brijlal brothers owned a small scale business in their village in Gujarat where they made metal buttons. These buttons were in high demand in the fashion industry. After one of their business partners parted ways, the brothers began searching a good business opportunity. They came to Mumbai in 1934 and bought a small machine to make plastic buttons. Although their cost of production was less, marketing a new product was a challenge.

It was a huge risk as nobody had heard of plastic buttons in those days and the brothers had put all their resources to buy the machinery. At first the customers did not want to change their habit and move to lighter buttons but their persistence paid off.

Evaluating the success of the plastic buttons, Brijlal brothers realized that there is a huge business potential in plastic goods sector. Keeping this in mind, they introduced plastic cups in the year 1950 in the Windsor Machine market.

Son of one of the brothers was Vaman Parekh who told them that people were surprised to see plastic mugs and cups. The popularity of these items shot so up that it even got media attention and the news of plastic mugs made the newspaper headlines. As a result, it became extremely popular among everyone.

This success put the Parekh family on the highest pedestal of success very quickly. With the initial success, their enthusiasm grew more and more and by 1964, they decided to buy more machines to manufacture new plastic products. With the advent of large machines, they started making products such as large water storage drums.

In 1981, the sons of Brijlal brothers Vaman and Sharad Parekh took over the command of the company and laid the foundation of Nilkamal Plastics. The name was not a result of a thoughtful discussion but there’s another story behind it. Actually, it happened that in 1970 they bought a business unit called Nilkamal and decided to continue with the same name. Nilkamal manufactured a variety of commodities made of plastics such as baskets, pipes, glasses and so on. They then decided to step in a new area of content management to build their identity (meaning the boxes which are used to carry raw materials or products made in the factories).

After entering this sector they entered the retail sector in the year 2005 and started a new series of plastic furniture. At that time when the market for finished wooden and metal furniture was almost saturated. It was a courageous step. Today Nilkamal products have reached every corner of the country and Nilkamal outlets are present in almost all the major cities in India. Today the annual turnover of the company is over Rs 1,700 crore. This famous brand is built on the hard work of father and son as well as on their ability to take the right decision at the right moment.

The future generation will definitely get inspiration to start their own business from this success story.

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