How Hipolin’s Bhupendrabhai Shah went from making detergent in small room to building a Brand

Bhupendra Shah - Founder of Hipoin
Bhupendra Shah - Founder of Hipoin

This is Bhupendrabhai Shah success story of how an entrepreneur took a new detergent brand “Hipolin” from his rented room and with just one man to every lower-middle-class families in India.

The “Hipolin” inspiring story of how an Indian entrepreneur took on big brands.

Who is Bhupendrabhai Shah

Bhupendrabhai Shah is a Gujarati-Indian businessperson. He is a founder of ‘Hipolin’ with main activities in detergents, salt, and soaps.

He is known as ‘Motabhai’ among his family members and close ones. He is very polite and down to earth as a person.

Low-profile founder of Hipolin, Bhupendrabhai Shah, started out mixing detergents in a small room and selling product neighbourhood-to-neighbourhood and door-to-door.

He not only experimented in this rented room but also manufactured and selling the detergent powder as well.

Bhupendra Shah was born on 12th 0f December 1939. He was born in a small village Thasra near Dakor, dist.Kheda, Gujarat.

Jayantilal was his father and his mother’s name was Virmatiben. He is an elder brother of a big loving family.

All his younger brothers and sisters are calling him ‘Motabhai’. In 1956, he completed his matric exam from The J. M. Desai high school, Thasra.  

For further studies, he shifted to Vallabh Vidyanagar. In 1962, he completed his B.sc & M.sc from Vallabh Vidyanagar College.

He also cleared A.T.A. (All India Textile Association) exam with his masters in Chemistry.

Though Bhupendrabhai Shah does not have a marketing degree, yet he proved that a real entrepreneur does not need a professional degree in marketing to be successful!

On 24th May 1964, Shah married to Rekhaben. The couple have two children, son Daxesh & daughter Naiya. His wife played a big role in his success. Before purchasing their first 2-BHK apartment, they changed minimum 6 to 7 rented houses.

Life as a Chemist

After completing studies, Shah shifted to Ahmedabad for better future. Shah was very competent in the areas of Chemicals, and that motivated him to join the Ramkrishna Mills as a chemist.

Then he shifted to Laxmi Cotton Mills and at last, he worked as chief chemist at Monogram Mills until 1966. After this, he slowly started feeding his passion.

Entrepreneur Journey:

In 1966, he started making his own detergent from home. He started his venture of manufacturing detergent powder from a 2-room rented house.

At one stage when he could not afford the rent, he shifted his manufacturing to his own house.

He and his wife Rekhaben started manufacturing detergent powder in a room of their home.

They used to manufacture and sieve detergent powder themselves & then Shah started selling it door to door.

At that time local detergent market was very limited. The handmade detergents were sold at very low-price, which was very less then popular detergents.

Products of Hipolin

Who would refuse to invest in a high-quality detergent powder and cake at an affordable price? 

The consumers started liking his detergent powder and detergent cake as it was priced really less.

For the lower-middle-class families, buying well-known brands expensive detergent powder or cake was quite impossible.

By the time all his younger brothers Bharatbhai, Subhashbhai, Jaykumarbhai & Shaileshbhai joined him one by one after completing their education.

How did they invent Hipolin Washing Powder?

They all worked very hard to make their family business successful. As a result on 13th August 1970, they started their first own manufacturing unit of brand ‘Hipolin’ at Ramol, Ahmedabad, India.

Instead of choosing any local name as a brand, he chooses ‘Hipolin’ as a brand. ‘Hipolin’ is a name of Japanese fibre.

With Hipolin being sold at very low-price, lower-middle-class families started to fall in love with the brand instantly. The detergent powder and cake became a success in Gujarat state.

So he invested a little money in a television advertisement. The catchy jingle—“Hipolin…. Hipolin…. washing powder hipolin, mel ka dusman tagda, chamkaye har kapda”, became an instant hit.

The Advertisement jingle touched the emotions of village women, and that’s what made Hipolin a huge success in the detergent market.

His detergent started to attract much attention alongside the other well-known brands like Procter & Gamble, and Hindustan Lever.

In a short span of time, he created an entirely new market in the local detergent market. Hipolin revolutionized the completely detergent powder segment. The washing powder is totally environment friendly.

He added dental hygienic products and cosmetics products in 1998. Some products were successful, some not so much.

However, the brand never lost its strong hold on the detergent market. The company became a Public Limited Company in 1994.

The process of manufacturing detergent was labour intensive. Today, It is a popular washing powder brand of Gujarat and other states of India.

As a team, they all worked hard & gave a peak to their family business. As a result, two more manufacturing units of ‘Hipolin’ at Vatva & Sanand were established.

He started working with The Kalupur Commercial Co-operative Bank (KCCB) from 1985 as a director.

During 1998-2000 & 2008-2010, he worked as vice-chairman of The Kalupur commercial co-operative bank.

He took honorary retirement from KCCB in 2015. After retirement, also he worked for bank for several years.

At the age of 80 years he was active as a Chairperson at ‘Hipolin’, he used to visit his office premises twice a day. Because of pandemic COVID-19, he took temporary retirement.

Recognition:

  • Trusty: Shreyas samaj vidyottejak mandal
  • Trusty: Thasra Dashanagar Vanik Charitable trust
  • President: Madhuvan Association
  • President: Gujarat Detergent manufacturing Association
  • Invitee member: Gujarat Chemical Association
  • President: Jayantilal Bhogilal Public Charitable Trust
  • Executive committee member: Ahmedabad City and District Co-operative Bank Association

It’s really hard to imagine that a family’s child would grow up to become such an inspiring entrepreneur who would change the way people look at domestic detergent powders.

The brand did not become an overnight success. A lot of efforts, hard work, and dedication of Bhupendrabhai Shah and his brothers have made this brand one of the most popular brands in the detergent segment market.

The company that was started in 1966 from a 2-room rented house with just one man who used to selling his detergent powder door-to-door, today Hipolin is one of the most popular brands in Indian FMCG market.

The story of Hipolin’s Bhupendrabhai shah has become a classic marketing case study. The genuine road from rags-to-riches one entrepreneur would like to follow.

Entrepreneurs like Bhupendrabhai Shah have given rise to several other young entrepreneurs with their tremendous passion for their goals.

For those entire entrepreneurs who are dreaming of taking their steps towards their dreams, the inspiring story of Hipolin’s Bhupendrabhai Shah would definitely feel it more.