The Dabur Success Story! How Dabur Set Up Its Empire?

Dabur Success Story

Numerous ayurvedic brands come and go, but Dabur success story hits different! Really? Yeah! Just look at its 138 year old grand journey… Started by the Burman family in 1884 in the by-lanes of Calcutta, Dabur has come a long way. It transformed itself to become a transnational consumer goods company with the largest herbal and natural product portfolio.

Dabur Success Story

Who knew that a family business would leap to become one of the largest Ayurvedic medicine manufacturing companies in India.

All thanks to the ability of Dabur to marry our traditional Ayurvedic knowledge to modern-day science. This is just a tip of the iceberg.

How Dabur set up its empire? That’s the most anticipated query of the folks. Also, that’s the reason why Dabur success story has become an inspiration for many aspiring entrepreneurs. 

So, let’s decode the Dabur success story from its humble beginnings to its emergence as an FMCG leader of our nation!

(A) Synopsis of Dabur Success Story

If you reside in India, you must have definitely come across the brand Dabur. Be it chyawanprash (Ayurvedic Jam), toothpaste, or baby oil. Reason? It is a century old brand!

In the dynamic world of consumer goods, Dabur Ltd stands tall as an Indian multinational company, founded by S. K. Burman and headquartered in Ghaziabad. Renowned for its expertise in Ayurvedic medicine and natural consumer products, Dabur is a significant player in India’s fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector.

Let’s briefly look at its financials. Notably, 60% of its revenue stems from the consumer care business, complemented by 11% from the food business, with the rest attributed to the international business unit.

Financial Aspects of DaburData
Market CapitalizationRs.983.30 billion
Revenue (FY22)Rs.11,281 crore
($1.4 billion)
Operating Income (FY22)Rs.2,309 crore
(US$290 million)
Net Income (FY22)Rs.1,744 crore
(US$220 million)
Total Assets (2020)Rs.9,354 crore
(US$1.2 billion) 
OwnerBurman family
Financial Aspects of Dabur

Now, delving into the competitive landscape of the Indian ayurvedic segment, Dabur claims the second spot with an impressive revenue of Rs. 8,500 crore. Leading the charge is Patanjali at Rs.10,500 crore, followed by Baidyanath and Hamdard, each at Rs.700 crore. This competitive narrative has unfolded over the past decade, with Dabur navigating the landscape with its unique business strategy.

Who are the biggest competitors of Dabur? You may wonder. Well, they’re- Patanjali, Baidyanath, and Hamdard.

The interesting fact here is the resilience of Dabur amid competition.

Rather than confining itself to ayurvedic medicines, Dabur, along with other brands, smartly expanded into FMCG products. This strategic move sets them apart from counterparts Hamdard and Baidyanath, which chose to remain focused on the ayurvedic medicine segment. 

The result is a captivating narrative where Dabur’s growth is not just a response to competition but a strategic evolution that aligns with changing consumer demands.

(B) Dabur: A Brief Overview

Dabur, a well-known company, was founded by Dr. S.K. Burman in 1884 in Kolkata with a vision of producing healthcare products. The company has a rich history and has become the world’s largest Ayurvedic company. It set up the first Research and Development center for ayurvedic medicine in India and later became a public limited company in 1996.

Over the years, Dabur has diversified its offerings and has recently made the strategic decision to launch non-Ayurvedic products, reflecting a return to its origins and a readiness to take on new challenges in the market. The company’s success can be attributed to its commitment to quality, innovation, and a deep understanding of consumer needs.

Before delving deeper into the Dabur success story, let’s have a look at the company’s profile

Name of the CompanyDabur India Limited
Type of CompanyPublic
Traded asBSE: 500096
IndustryConsumer Goods
(140 years ago)
FounderS.K. Burman
(Uttar Pradesh, India)
Area ServedWorldwide
Key PeopleMohit Burman (Chairman),
Mohit Malhotra (CEO)
ProductsPersonal Care,
Skin Care,
Hair Care,
Oral Hygiene,
Health Supplements,
SubsidiariesDabur Research Foundation (DRF),
Aviva India,
H&B Stores Ltd.
Dabur: A Brief Overview

(C) Dabur Success Story: Creation of an Empire

Here comes the most anticipated part of this write-up i.e. Dabur success story. So let’s begin without any delay-

(C.1) The Ayurvedic Odyssey: Who is the founder of Dabur?

The founder of Dabur is Dr. SK Burman. Yes! Over a century ago in Kolkata, Dr. SK Burman, a dedicated Ayurvedic doctor, embarked on a mission. His concoctions of herbal medicines aimed at treating diseases like malaria and cholera soon gained popularity, especially for being affordable. Dr. Burman’s remedies not only healed the ailments of Kolkata but also reached the distant corners of villages through an innovative mail-order system.

(C.2) Founding Dabur in 1884: How did Dabur get its name?

Do you know how this brand was named “Dabur”? Well, its name emerged from the initials of Daktar (meaning Doctor in Bengali) and Burman i.e. Dabur. In a nutshell, inspired by his title “Daktar” and his surname, Dr. Burman named the company “Dabur” in 1884. Little did he know that this modest beginning in Kolkata would lay the foundation for a global Ayurvedic giant. The seeds planted by Dr. Burman would soon be nurtured by his successors.

(C.3) CL Burman’s Vision: 1919- R&D and Industrial Advancements

Fast forward to 1919, Dr. Burman’s son, CL Burman, fueled Dabur’s growth by establishing a dedicated research and development unit. Introducing machinery for medicine production, CL Burman set the stage for the company’s evolution beyond traditional practices.

(C.4) Generational Shift: Puran and Ratan Chand’s Era

As Dabur continued to flourish, CL Burman’s sons, Puran and Ratan Chand, assumed leadership roles. Puran spearheaded manufacturing, while Ratan ensured the medicines found a market. Notably, in the 1940s, Dabur pioneered the production of hair oil infused with amla, a pioneering move in the Indian consumer goods landscape.

(C.5) Family Values and Business Growth: A Unique Combination

In a rare blend of family values and business acumen, three generations of the Burman family lived together, fostering an environment where discussions about business improvements were a daily affair. However, the late 1960s and 1970s brought challenges as Kolkata faced political turmoil, prompting the family to make a monumental decision.

(C.6) Relocation to New Delhi: 1972- Navigating Turbulence

In response to Kolkata’s turbulent times, the Burman family made a strategic move in 1972, relocating Dabur’s headquarters to New Delhi. This shift marked a pivotal moment, allowing Dabur to adapt to changing socio-political landscapes and ensuring its sustained growth.

(C.7) Strategic Inflection: Seeking McKinsey’s Expertise

Dabur Products (Dabur Success Story)

By 1998, Dabur faced the challenge of growing at the desired pace. The family sought external guidance from the global firm McKinsey & Company, which proposed a revolutionary idea – ceding day-to-day control. Despite initial challenges, the Burmans embraced professional management, a move uncommon in the Indian business landscape at the time.

(C.8) Fifth-Generation Leadership: Anand and Amit Burman’s Era

Under the leadership of the fifth generation, represented by Anand Burman and later Amit Burman, Dabur seamlessly blended tradition with modernity. Professionals managed daily operations while the family retained strategic decision-making powers, ensuring a harmonious balance that propelled Dabur’s success into the future.

(C.9) Dabur Today: World’s Largest Ayurvedic Healthcare Company

Currently led by Mohit Malhotra, with Amit Burman as Chairman, Dabur stands tall as the world’s largest Ayurvedic healthcare company. With over 250 herbal products and five flagship brands – Dabur, Vatika, Hajmola, Réal, and Fem – the company operates in 12 locations in India and eight overseas.

(C.10) Global Reach: Over 100 Countries and 6.7 Million Retail Outlets

Dabur’s influence spans beyond borders, with its Ayurvedic products reaching more than 100 countries. In over 6.7 million retail outlets worldwide, Dabur’s herbal offerings have become a global choice in healthcare, skincare, home care, and more.

In essence, the saga of Dabur is not just a corporate journey; it’s a narrative of resilience, foresight, and the delicate balance between tradition and innovation that has shaped it into the global Ayurvedic force it is today.

(D) Timeline of Dabur Success Story

In this section, we will look at the timeline of Dabur Success Story-

(D.1) 19th Century: Humble Beginnings of Dabur

1884Birth of DaburDr. S.K Burman launched his mission to make health care products in Calcutta
1896Setting up a manufacturing plantWith the growing popularity of Dabur products, Dr. Burman expanded his operations by setting up a manufacturing plant for mass production of formulations.
Dabur Success Story Since Late 19th Century

(D.2) 20th Century: Reaching the heights

Early 1900sAyurvedic MedicinesDabur entered the specialised area of nature-based Ayurvedic medicines, for which standardised drugs weren’t available in the market.
1919Establishment of Research LaboratoriesThe need to develop scientific processes and quality checks for mass production of traditional Ayurvedic medicines led to the establishment of research laboratories.
1920Expands FurtherDabur expanded further with new manufacturing units at Narendrapur and Daburgram. The distribution of Dabur products spreaded to Bihar and North-East.
1936Dabur India (Dr.S.K.Burman) Pvt. LtdDabur became a full-fledged company
1972Shift to DelhiDabur’s operations shifted to Delhi. A new manufacturing plant was set up in temporary premises in Faridabad on the outskirts of Delhi.
1979Sahibabad Factory/Dabur Research & Development Centre (DRDC)Commercial production began in the new Sahibabad factory of Dabur, one of the largest and best equipped production facilities for Ayurvedic medicines. With the launch of DRDC, full-fledged research operations began.
1986Public Limited CompanyDabur became a public limited company. Dabur India Ltd. came into being after a reverse merger with Vidogum Limited.
1992Joint Venture with Agrolimen of SpainA new chapter of strategic partnerships began with international businesses to manufacture and market confectionery items in India.
1993Cancer TreatmentDabur entered the specialised health care area of cancer treatment with its oncology formulation plant at Baddi in Himachal Pradesh
1994Public IssueDabur raised its first public issue. Due to market confidence in the Company, shares issued at a high premium are oversubscribed 21 times.
1995Joint VenturesTo extend its global partnerships, Dabur entered into a Joint Venture (JV) with Osem of Israel for food and Bongrain of France for Cheese & other dairy products.
19963 Separate DivisionsFor better operation and management, 3 separate divisions were created according to their product mix – Health Care, Products Division, Family Product Division & Dabur Ayurvedic Specialities Limited.
1997Foods Division/Project StarsDabur entered the nascent processed foods market with the creation of a Foods Division. Project STARS (Strive to Achieve Record Successes) was initiated to give a jump-start to the Company and accelerate its growth performance.
1998Professionals to Manage the CompanyWith changing demands of business and to inculcate a spirit of corporate governance, the Burman family inducted professionals to manage the company. For the first time in the history of Dabur, a non-family professional CEO was appointed.
Dabur’s Journey in the 20th Century


(D.3) Milestones set in the 21st Century

2000Dabur India Ltd’s turnover crossed the mark of Rs.1,000 croreDabur established its market leadership status with a turnover of Rs.1,000 crores. From a small beginning and upholding the values of its founder, Dabur now enters the august league of large corporate businesses.
2003Dabur demerged pharma businessDabur India approved the demerger of its pharmaceuticals business from the FMCG business into a separate company as part of plans to provide greater focus to both the businesses.
2005Dabur acquires BalsaraAs part of its inorganic growth strategy, Dabur India acquired Balsara’s Hygiene and Home products businesses, a leading provider of Oral Care and Household Care products in the Indian Market, in a INR 143 Crore all cash deal.
2005Dabur announced bonus after 12 yearsDabur India announced the issue of 1:1 bonus share to its shareholders (i.e. one share for every one share held.)
2006Dabur crossed $2 billion market cap, adopted US GAAPDabur India crossed the $2 billion mark in market Capitalisation. The company also adopted US GAAP in line with the commitment to follow Global Best Practices and adopt highest standards of transparency and governance.
2006Approved FCCB/GDR/ADR up to $200 millionMoving forward on the inorganic growth path Dabur India decided to raise upto $200 million from the international market through bonds, FCCBs, GDR, ADR, QIPs or any other securities.
2007Celebrated 10 years of “Real”Dabur Foods unveiled the new packaging and design for Real on the occasion of 10 years completion of the brand. The new defined modern look depicts the natural goodness of the juice from freshly plucked fruits.
2007-08Other eventsForayed into organised retail,Dabur Foods merged with Dabur India,Acquired FEM Care Pharma,
2009Dabur Red Paste joins “Billion Rupee Brand” ClubDabur Red Paste became Dabur’s 9th billion rupee brand by crossing the billion rupee turnover mark within 5 years of its launch.
2010Dabur made its first overseas acquisitionDabur made its first overseas acquisitions by buying Hobi Kozmetik Group, a leading personal care products company in Turkey, for $69 Million. This was followed in succession by the acquisition of 100% equity in Namaste Laboratories LLC of the US for $100 Million.
2011Multiple EventsDabur entered professional skin care market with the launch of Oxylife Professional Facial Kit,Dabur India acquired 30-Plus from Ajanta Pharma
2012Dabur crossed billion-dollar turnover markDabur India Ltd. surpassed the billion-dollar turnover mark during the 2011-12 fiscal to end the year on a high note with net sales of Rs.5283.17 crores.
Milestones set by Dabur in 21st Century

(D.4) Significant events since the last decade

YearKey Events of Dabur
2013Market capitalization crossed the $5 billion mark
2015Brands of Dabur like- Real, Vatika, and Amla crossed the mark of Rs.1,000 crore turnover
2016Dabur Gulabari and Dabur Lal Dant Manjan clocked a turnover of Rs.100 crore each.
2017Dabur acquired company in South Africa
2019Mohit Malhotra took charge as new global CEO
2020Rolled out over 60 new products within 3 months
2021Market cap crossed Rs.1,00.000 crore
2022Dabur Red Paste clocked turnover of Rs.1,000 croreDabur revenue crossed Rs.10,000 crore
2023Market Cap around Rs.980
Significant events of Dabur success story in the last decade

That’s how Dabur became a leading Indian consumer goods company with a focus on Ayurvedic products such as-

  • Hair Care
  • Oral Care
  • Health Care
  • Skin Care
  • Home Care
  • Food & Beverages.

Also, with its efficient growth, R&D, and marketing strategy, it became the world’s largest ayurvedic and natural health care company. Till today, it is expanding its presence in the global consumer goods business. 

(E) Marketing Strategies of Dabur: An integral part of Dabur Success Story

Wait a minute and think carefully about the first time you heard the name Dabur apart from its products. Maybe on television or banners? Absolutely! Dabur has efficiently invested in marketing to educate the folks about its brand. What we mean here is the marketing strategies are the integral part of Dabur Success Story.

Dabur Marketing Strategies

In recent years, Dabur has embarked on a strategic journey to conquer the digital realm, reshaping its brand identity and deploying innovative tactics to thrive in online markets.

Dabur doesn’t just sell products; it embodies a youthful, modern, and socially conscious persona. This isn’t just a marketing strategy; it’s a deliberate effort to connect with a broad demographic, particularly those aged 15 to 40. The packaging, smells, tastes—everything is meticulously designed to resonate with the preferences of this modern consumer base.

Apart from its conventional marketing through television and banners, some other key marketing strategies of Dabur are-

(E.1) Updating its official Website

Dabur’s website isn’t just a virtual store; it’s an immersive experience. They’ve gone beyond showcasing their diverse Ayurvedic and herbal product range. The website is a gateway into the company’s social activities, fostering collaboration with the public. It’s a one-stop destination where customers can explore, engage, and order seamlessly.

(E.2) Tapping into the Convenience through e-commerce

Understanding the shift towards online grocery shopping, Dabur strategically positioned itself on platforms like Big Basket and Grofers. Now, buying personal care or Ayurvedic products from Dabur is as convenient as ordering groceries. It’s a smart move in sync with changing consumer behaviors.

(E.3) Increasing the Reach

Dabur isn’t limiting itself to its own digital space. When you visit Dabur’s website, it’s not just about Dabur’s products; it’s about redirecting consumers to various marketplaces. This strategic redirection expands options for consumers, translating into increased sales and enhanced brand visibility.

(E.4) A Visual Delight through Alluring Packaging

In a world where aesthetics matter, Dabur doesn’t compromise. The brand consciously packages its products to appeal to the evolving tastes of the youth. It’s not just about Ayurveda; it’s about making traditional products visually and experientially appealing to the younger generation.

Note: Do you know packaging of products plays a key role in the marketing? We have thoroughly explained the concept of packaging in the article “What are the various functions of packaging? Types & Importance.” Visit it for more information.

(E.5) Balancing the Pricing

Dabur plays a pricing chess game, differentiating premium from regular products. This strategy ensures affordability for a wide consumer base, while premium offerings cater to those seeking a bit more luxury. It’s a delicate balance, ensuring that Dabur products are accessible to all income brackets.

(E.6) Winning the heart of folks with Social Initiatives

Dabur goes beyond the profit margins, investing in social initiatives that uplift rural areas. It’s not just about products; it’s about touching the hearts of Indian consumers through impactful actions. These initiatives are a testament to Dabur’s commitment to societal well-being.

(F) Dabur’s Revenue Segments

Dabur’s global earnings constitute 30% of its overall turnover. For the fiscal year ending on March 31, 2022, Dabur reported a total income of Rs 8521.05 crores. In December 2021, the company’s net sales amounted to Rs.2,941.75 crores, marking a noteworthy 7.8% year-over-year increase.

The International Business segment witnessed an impressive surge of over 34% in constant currency, reflecting robust growth. Notably, the MENA business experienced a substantial 49% uptick during the quarter, while Egypt’s business soared by 43%, Namaste by more than 40%, and SAARC’s business witnessed a commendable 41% expansion.

(F.1) Revenue Distribution of Dabur

Dabur’s Revenue SourcesRevenue Distribution
Consumer Care Business Unit60%
International Business Units29%
Food Business Unit11%
Dabur’s Revenue Distribution

(F.2) Segment Distribution of Dabur

Segments of DaburDistribution
Oral Care15%
OTC and Ethicals11%
Health Supplements11%
Home Care6%
Skin Care5%
Product Segments of Dabur

(G) Wrapping up Dabur Success Story

Mohit Malhotra- CEO of Dabur

By now you must have understood how Dabur set up its empire! Dabur’s triumph unfolds as a captivating narrative, echoing resilience and strategic brilliance. Originating from Dr. SK Burman’s Ayurvedic pursuits in Kolkata, the company metamorphosed through generations, embracing innovation. 

Relocating to New Delhi in 1972 amid political upheaval marked a pivotal moment, steering Dabur towards global prominence. The strategic shift to professional management in 1998 underscored adaptability, ensuring a harmonious blend of tradition and modernity. 

Today, under Mohit Malhotra and Chairman Amit Burman, Dabur stands as the world’s largest Ayurvedic healthcare company, spanning 100 countries and 6.7 million retail outlets. 

Dabur’s journey isn’t just a success; it’s a timeless saga of visionary leadership and global impact! Don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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Published By: Supti Nandi
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