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Emami Group
Industry Conglomerate
Founded 1974
Founder R S Agarwal
R S Goenka
Headquarters Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Key people
R S Agarwal
R S Goenka .
Products FMCG, print, real estate, healthcare, cement, retail
Revenue 12,000 crore (US$1.9 billion) (2016)
Number of employees
25,000 (2016)
Website www.emamigroup.com

Emami Group is an Indian conglomerate company headquartered in Kolkata, India.


The company is well known in India for its fairness cream products for men.[1]

In 2008, Emami acquired Zandu Pharmaceutical Works Ltd for Rs.730 crores. The company demerged Zandu FMCG into Emami and raised Rs.310 cr through QIP. The company became debt free within 2 years of the Zandu deal.

The company's health products unit offers tonics for colds and coughs as well as nutraceuticals.[2]

The company forayed into men's deodrant market by launching HE brand of deodorants. Hrithik Roshan was appointed as brand ambassador for HE brand. .[3]

The company has entered into an agreement with Mr Sanjeev Juneja to acquire his hair & scalp care business under the 'KESH KING' and allied brands. The acquisition marks Emami's foray in the Ayurvedic Hair & Scalp Care segment which is growing at a rapid pace. The transaction envisages transfer of the business as going concern on a slump sale basis and will include brand portfolio of ayurvedic medicinal oil, herbal shampoo & conditioner and ayurvedic capsules along with its respective formulations and all related assets, rights and liabilities including working capital for a total consideration of Rs.1651 crores. The acquisition process is expected to be completed in a month's time.

The company acquired Splash Corporation for Rs.200 crore.[4]


The following companies are part of the Emami Group of Companies.

  • Emami Paper Mills Limited
  • Emami Agrotech Limited (Formerly known as Emami Biotech Limited)
  • Emami Frank Ross Limited (pharma retail)
  • Starmark (Book & Leisure store chain)
  • Emami Chisel Art
  • CRI Limited
  • Emami Cement Ltd
  • Emami Realty Limited


The inception of Emami Group took place in the mid 1970s when two childhood friends, R S Agarwal and R S Goenka, left their management jobs with the Birla Group to set up Kemco Chemicals, an Ayurvedic medicine and cosmetic manufacturing unit in Kolkata in 1974. At that time the Indian FMCG market was still dominated by multinationals.

The company was established with modest capital of Rs. 20,000 and started manufacturing cosmetic products as well as Ayurvedic medicines under the brand name of Emami from a small factory in Kolkata, targeting sales at the Indian middle class.

In the early days the founders personally sold their cosmetics from shop to shop, using hand-pulled rickshaws. They soon established recurring consumer demand, and gradually hired additional staff. A chain of distributors was established and the sale of Emami products spread from West Bengal to rest of Eastern India and gradually to other states. Emami Talcum, Emami Vanishing Cream and Emami Cold Cream sold well. The company's marketing techniques were to sell dreams of beauty to Indian women using radio and TV advertising.

In 1978, Agarwal acquired Himani Ltd, a privately owned cosmetics company with a factory in Kolkata. The business of Himani was almost 100 years old, although it had only been incorporated in 1949 as a Private Ltd. Company; it had a good brand equity in Eastern India, but was in financial trouble. Agarwal and Goenka managed to restore it to profit, at considerable risk considering the small capital base of their own company at the time; this later proved to be the turning point for their business.

Agarwal decided to produce health care items and toiletries based on Ayurvedic preparation in the Himani factory. Ten years after commencement of the company, it launched Boroplus Antiseptic Cream under the Himani umbrella in 1984. This became a flagship brand and was extended to other products such as Boroplus Prickly Heat Powder. Emami brands started selling in all states of North, East and West India. Today Boroplus is not only the largest selling antiseptic cream in India but also in Russia, Ukraine, and Nepal.

In the 1983 Bollywood film Agar Tum Na Hote, one of the earliest brand placement campaigns was achieved with lead actor Rajesh Khanna playing the managing director of Emami.

In the 1990s, Emami launches another flagship brand under the Himani Umbrella, Navratna Cool Oil, and expanded production by opening its second factory, at Pondicherry.

The introduction of new brands continued and the company extended its distribution network to South India, with Navratna spearheading the process. In 1995, the partnership firm Kemco Chemicals was converted into a Public Limited Company under the name Emami Ltd. In 1998, Himani Ltd was merged into Emami Ltd.

In 2000, with a view to concentrate on its core FMCG business, Emami's investment undertaking was demerged by issuing shares in Pan Emami Cosmed Ltd to shareholders of Emami. In 2003 a new factory unit was set up at Amingaon, Guwahati. A public issue of 5 million equity shares at Rs. 70 followed in 2005. The issue was oversubscribed by 36 times. The share price later rose to Rs. 210.

In 2005 Emami launched Fair and Handsome, the first fairness cream for men.

In 2006 the company decided to introduce a Health Care Division and a number of new brands of Ayurvedic OTC medicines.

Among the brands created by the company, annual sales of Navratna are at Rs. 3 billion followed by Boroplus at Rs. 2.50 billion and Fairness at Rs. 1 billion. Sona Chandi Chyawanprash, Menthoplus and Fast Relief also among the top brands in their respective categories.

In 2006, J B Marketing & Finance Ltd., the erstwhile marketing company of the Emami Group merged with Emami Ltd. and the total turnover of Emami including sales in domestic and export market stood at Rs 5.16 billion at the end of the fiscal year 2006-07.

Emami Limited acquired a major stake in Zandu Pharmaceuticals Works Ltd, a century-old household name in India, for Rs 7 billion. Emami added some of Zandu's prominent brands like Zandu Balm, Zandu Chyawanprash, Zandu Kesri Jeevan, Zandu Pancharishta, Sudarshan and Nityam Churna to its own range.

Within three decades, the company has grown to Rs. 10 billion Emami Ltd under the Rs. 30 billion Emami Group.

Emami is still led by Agarwal and Goenka, with the help of second generation directors from their two families and professional staff. The group recently moved to a new corporate office "Emami Tower" in Kolkata.


Fair and Handsome[edit]

In 2007, the company attracted controversy with an advertisement for its skin whitening cream for men, Fair and Handsome. Emami and the star of the campaign, Shahrukh Khan, were accused of perpetuating racism.[1]

In July 2013, WOW a Chennai-based NGO launched a campaign against Emami asking them to remove the Fair and Handsome advertisement starring Khan, saying that it is discriminating against people on the basis of skin color.[5][6] The campaign has been supported by celebrities like Nandita Das[7] Tannishta Chatterjee. More than 22,000 people have signed an online petition launched by them.[8]

Hospital fire[edit]

In the early morning of 9 December 2011, an AMRI Hospital in south Kolkata’s Dhakuria district erupted in fire, leading to the deaths of 92 people – mostly critically ill patients, many of them suffocating in their sleep.[9] The following day, the license for the hospital was canceled, and the Chief Minister of West Bengal ordered a judicial inquiry into the incident.[10] Allegedly, the fire was triggered by flammable chemicals that were stored at the site.[10][11] Rescue efforts were hampered by the narrowness and congestion of the road leading to the hospital,[10] and the allegations that all of the windows and doors were locked[10] and that the fire alarms and sprinklers installed at the hospital did not work during the fire.[11]

Seven members of the hospital's board were arrested the same day, and were remanded to police custody until 20 December by the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate in Alipore.[10] Among the seven arrested were Agarwal and Goenka, founders of Emami and directors of the hospital chain, who were charged with negligently causing the deaths.[10] Ultimately a total of 16 people stood accused in the courts in July 2016, including the board members and several directors of the hospital.[9] Amongst the charges were culpable homicide not amounting to murder under section 304 of the Indian Penal Code, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years' imprisonment in cases where the criminal actions are undertaken knowingly but without the intention to cause death.[9] Additional charges were laid under Section 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide) and Section 38 (effect caused partly by act and partly by omission).[9]

The fire was recorded as the largest hospital tragedy in India at the time.[11]


  1. ^ a b India's hue and cry over paler skin, Daily Telegraph, 1 July 2007
  2. ^ Golikeri, Priyanka (24 May 2008). "Nutraceuticals make it to the grocery shopping list". DNA MONEY. Retrieved 19 January 2010. 
  3. ^ http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/companies/emami-enters-deodorant-market/article6097488.ece.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ "Emami to acquire Philippines based Splash Corp". Sharekhan. 11 October 2013. Retrieved 9 November 2015. 
  5. ^ [1], DNA, 31 July 2013
  6. ^ [2] The Atlantic, 5 August 2013
  7. ^ [3], The Guardian, 14 August 2013
  8. ^ [4], Business Standard, 14 November 2013
  9. ^ a b c d "AMRI Hospital tragedy: Kolkata court frames charges". Indian Express. Indo-Asian News Service. 1 July 2016. Retrieved 29 August 2016. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f NDTV Correspondent (10 December 2011). "Kolkata hospital fire: Mamata Banerjee orders judicial inquiry". NDTV. NDTV Convergence Limited. Retrieved 29 August 2016. 
  11. ^ a b c [5], Economic Times, 10 December 2011

External links[edit]