MIGHT OF WHITE
Forbes India|February 26, 2021
How Raj Super White, a white perfumed laundry soap—the flagship product of parent company Raj Group—helped the Bansals whitewash Rajasthan and Punjab
RAJIV SINGH

In 2010, Sahil Bansal and his younger brother Salil had only one item on their bucket list: Raj Super White. After two years of extensive research and hard work, the duo from Ludhiana developed a white perfumed laundry soap that they took to the market as Raj Super White. The excitement of the second-generation entrepreneurs who came back to Punjab after an MBA from the UK—Sahil in 2002, and Salil two years later—was palpable. Started by their father Sanjeev Bansal in 1956, the family business of laundry soap and detergents under the name National Soap Mills had stagnated.

After five decades, turnover was at ₹40 crore in 2002, and consumer reach of their local brands Saheli and Raj was nothing much to talk about. Nothing changed even after four years. The revenue hovered around the same mark. For the brothers, the crisis was an opportunity to take fresh guard, and start from zero. “Raj Super White was one silver bullet we were looking for,” recalls Sahil. The product was rolled out, and the sales team fanned across the state to whitewash the market.

There was a glitch, though. There were no takers. The first problem was colour. ‘Who makes white soap?’ retailers and distributors asked the brothers. They had a point. Punjab, and India, was used to coloured laundry soap and bars: Brown, yellow and the most predominant colour, blue. ‘Is white soap for bathing or washing?’ asked some curious kirana owners. They too had a point: Raj Super White was a perfumed soap. And the last gripe was the most potent one: The price of the white soap was two times of what was available in the market. ‘Are you serious? It’s a soap, and you are charging the cost of detergent,’ quipped others.

The soap’s chances of success were fast dissolving. The Bansals dreaded the possibility of staying confined to being a B2B player. Four years after coming back from the UK, Sahil entered the business of supplying soap noodles to big FMCG players in 2007. The business had money, but no visibility, no name. “We always wanted to start our own brand, and make it big,” says Sahil. Raj Super White was the Great White Hope.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM FORBES INDIAView All

EARNING HIS STRIPES

Following the success of The White Tiger, newcomer Adarsh Gourav finds himself in haloed territory of global award nominations

6 mins read
Forbes India
March 12, 2021

Forbes INDIA Leadership Awards 2020-21

In a year when business leaders were forced to overhaul their strategies from growth to survival mode, the Forbes India Leadership Awards honour those who successfully navigated the pandemic by innovating and leading from the front

10+ mins read
Forbes India
March 12, 2021

‘COVID-19 SPED UP EXISTING TRENDS IN THE MARKET'

Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO of the Bvlgari Group, on the impact of the pandemic on the luxury sector

5 mins read
Forbes India
March 12, 2021

How LTI Came Into Its Own

With Sanjay Jalona at the helm, the IT services company is winning against bigger rivals, stepping out of its larger parent’s shadow, and forging an identity for itself

9 mins read
Forbes India
March 12, 2021

Valuations of Consumer Companies in Slow Lane

Despite a bright business outlook, FMCG companies have not outperformed the markets

3 mins read
Forbes India
March 12, 2021

‘If You Don't Understand Technology or Data, You'll Become Obsolete'

Raja Rajamannar, CMO at Mastercard, talks about his book Quantum Marketing, and how marketers can stay relevant in the future

4 mins read
Forbes India
March 12, 2021

From Noun To Verb: Can Dunzo Do A Zoom?

It has raised close to ₹880 crore in six years, earned ₹27.5 crore and lost ₹338.4 crore. Critics may scoff, but Dunzo’s backers are not complaining, and co-founder Kabeer Biswas is chilled out

10 mins read
Forbes India
March 12, 2021

Bitcoin Gets A Shot In The Arm

Tesla’s $1.5 billion investment in cryptocurrency will encourage more corporates to gamble with it. Experts say India needs to join before it’s too late

10 mins read
Forbes India
March 12, 2021

Tech For Health: The Practo Way

With Covid-19 becoming a tipping point for business, the startup that helps people find and consult with doctors is doubling down on expanding and deepening its tech platforms

10 mins read
Forbes India
March 12, 2021

Can Koo Be King?

Forbes India delves deep into the new bird app and its content moderation policy to find out if the migration from Twitter will stick

10+ mins read
Forbes India
March 12, 2021
RELATED STORIES

Daily Cases Top 18k For 1st Time In 55 Days, 109 Deaths Reported On Fri

Daily Covid-19 cases in the country surged past the the18,000 mark on Friday for the first time in 55 days since January 9, even as Maharashtra added more than 10,000 fresh infections, the highest since October 17.

1 min read
The Times of India Mumbai
March 06, 2021

A FULLY BAKED IDEA

How did a Ludhiana-based company go from being an experimental home kitchen to the bourses? The success story of Mrs. Bectors Food is rooted in its visionary leader Rajni Bector and her genetically-blessed taste buds.

8 mins read
Fortune India
March 2021

6 SOLD PLAYERS WHO COULD LIGHT UP IPL 2021

History was created during the auction as South African all-rounder Chris Morris became the most expensive purchase in IPL history, sold to Rajasthan Royals at a whopping INR 16.25 crore...

3 mins read
Cricket Today
February 26, 2021

PLANT COLLECTORS IN KASHMIR

While studying Botany, students hardly spare a thought about the processes and the people who gave their lives to identify and name the plants that Kashmir grows. Exceptional botanist, Ralph R Stewart who push-biked into Kashmir more than a century earlier details the contributions that Western experts made to Kashmir taxonomy

10+ mins read
Kashmir Life
January 21-27, 2021

Private hospitals can charge up to Rs 250 per dose of Covid vaccine

Centre asks states to focus on strict enforcement of norms

3 mins read
Millennium Post Delhi
February 28, 2021

जल्द भारत लाया जा सकता है नीरव मोदी

• ब्रिटेन में प्रत्यर्पण के खिलाफ नीरव मोदी मुकदमा हारा • विदेश मंत्रालय ने कहा कि सरकार प्रत्यर्पण के लिए ब्रिटेन से संपर्क करेगी • पीएनबी से दो अरब डॉलर धोखाधड़ी और धनशोधन मामले में भात में वांछित है नीरव

1 min read
Business Standard - Hindi
February 26, 2021

UP, CLOSE & PERSONAL

I AM FOND OF THAI CUISINE FOOD — JHYE RICHARDSON

1 min read
Cricket Today
February 05, 2021

महाराष्ट्र-पंजाब से आने वालों की जांच अनिवार्य

कोरोना से जंग : दिल्ली सरकार ने कहा-आरटीपीसीआर रिपोर्ट जरूरी

1 min read
Hindustan Times Hindi
February 24, 2021

पांच राज्यों में संक्रमण बढ़ने पर केंद्र ने चेताया

चिंताजनक: 22 दिनों बाद करीब 14 हजार नए मामले दर्ज,सरकार की हिदायत-नियमों का पालन करें

1 min read
Hindustan Times Hindi
February 21, 2021

पंजाब समेत पांच राज्यों में रेल रोको' का असर

केंद्र के तीन नए कृषि कानूनों के विरोध में गुरुवार को संयुक्त किसान मोर्चा के आह्वान पर देशभर में चार घंटे चले रेल रोको आंदोलन का पंजाब, हरियाणा, यूपी, राजस्थान एवं महाराष्ट्र आदि पांच राज्यों में व्यापक असर देखने को मिला। वहीं, बिहार,झारखंड, केरल और कर्नाटक समेत बाकी अन्य राज्यों में आंदोलन बेअसर रहा। पंजाब-हरियाणा में किसान पटरी पर बैठे वहीं, वेस्ट यूपी में तीन घंटे रेलवे ट्रैक उनके कब्जे में रहा। महाराष्ट्र व राजस्थान में भी कई जगहों पर कुछ घंटों के लिए ट्रेनों को रोके रखा। कहीं से हिंसा की सूचना नहीं आई।

1 min read
Hindustan Times Hindi
February 19, 2021