Do you know how India’s largest paint maker was born?

Do you know how India’s largest paint maker was born?

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Year 1942 is of great significance in Indian freedom movement. It’s the year when “Quit India” movement was started which eventually led to Britishers leaving India and the country getting its freedom. The same year, four friends, Champaklal Choksey, Suryakant Dani, Chimanlal Choksi, and Arvind Vakil joined hands to start a paint manufacturing unit in a garage in Gaiwadi, Girgaum - Mumbai

Asian Paints is the largest paint maker in the country enjoying more than half of the market share. Further, it’s the third largest in Asia and one of the top ten paint makers in the world. Today it can be rightly considered as Indian multi-national company having operation in 22 countries. But do you know how it all started and what hurdles it had to face in the initial years?

Year 1942 is of great significance in Indian freedom movement. It’s the year when “Quit India” movement was started which eventually led to Britishers leaving India and the country getting its freedom. The same year, four friends, Champaklal Choksey, Suryakant Dani, Chimanlal Choksi, and Arvind Vakil joined hands to start a paint manufacturing unit in a garage in Gaiwadi, Girgaum – Mumbai. Timing was not right and the whole world was engaged in World War II  which led to a temporary ban on paint imports leaving only foreign companies and Shalimar Paints in the market. However, over the years Asian Paints was able to overcome all these hurdles and became a leading paint manufacturing company.

While talking about Asian Paints, one cannot forget the role played by “Gattu” – a mischievous boy with a paint bucket in his hand. “Gattu”, the mascot of the company, was created by the well-known cartoonist, R. K. Laxman, which found appeal with the middle-classes. Gattu was used only in print advertisements and packaging till 1970s and by 1990s was also seen on television advertisements. Gattu helped in bringing the commodity-led business of painters to the actual end users of home-owners. The company revamped its corporate identity in 2000s and axed Gattu as their mascot and later changed its “Asian Paints” logo to the shorter “AP” mnemonic.

Through its innovative ad campaigns and product development Asian Paints over the years has been able to transform the general mindset of homeowners in the country. No longer painting is done only when walls are peeled off and people have started viewing paint as an item of home décor. Part of the credit for this transition in mindset should go to Asian Paints.