NEW DELHI — It isn’t often that homegrown brands outdo global competition in the personal care space in India. Vini cosmetics has proven the exception as its deodorant brand Fogg beat Hindustan Unilever (a subsidiary of Unilever) to become the country’s bestseller in 2014. And it has kept its lead.
Vini’s strength has attracted global attention as well — in a recent funding round the company received one of the largest private equity investment in India’s personal care space from Westbridge Capital and Sequoia, which injected 11 billion rupees, or $165 million, into the firm.
India’s deodorant category grew at a 22.7 percent compound annual growth rate from 2011 to 2016, according to market analysis company Euromonitor, during which time the category grew by an overall 177.6 percent. Deodorants accounted for sales of 31.3 billion rupees out of the 811 billion rupee, or $12.55 billion, beauty and personal care market in India.
Vini’s owner Darshan Patel has repeatedly proven his business acumen. In 2010 he sold Paras Pharma, which had a strong personal care component, to Reckitt Benckiser for $726 million.
But even as Vini attracts greater attention and funding, Patel isn’t fussed about any of it. Keeping his practical, self-effacing humor, he spoke