Fevicol fame Pidilite Industry’s founder Balvantbhai Parekh passes away

Ahmedabad, 26 January 2013

Shri Balvantbhai Parekh ( B.K.Parekh ) , founder and chairman of Pidilite Industries Ltd, makers of the Fevicol brand of glue, and other brands like Ranipal, M-Seal and Dr. Fixit passed away yesterday in Mumbai. He was 90. Shri Parekh was originally from Saurashtra’s Mahuva belt in Bhavnagar district. Pidilite has three major units, one godown campus and five to six job work units in Vapi, Gujarat.

Born in Mahuva in Gujarat, Balvantbhai completed his school education in Mahuva itself. As his grandfather was a magistrate, he too joined Law education, and received his law degree from Government Law College, Mumbai. While studying he married Kantaben.

Not interested in law practice, he joined a dyeing and printing press in Mumbai, and later got the job as a peon in a wood trader’s office. He used to stay in a godown with his wife. Balvantbhai later started importing cycle,
sopari, paper, dyes, from countries from western countries with one Mohanbhai as his investor. He shifted with his brother Sushilbhai, wife and son to a flat in Sion.

Balwantbhai later joined Fedco, a German firm representing German company Hoechst. He was offered fifty percent partnership in profit earned from imports of Fedco. Hoechst company’s Managing Director during his visit to Indian plants took Balvantbhai with him and later invited Balvantbhai for training in German unit. Balvantbhai went to Germany in 1954 for a month. Soon after Balvantbhai came back to India, the German company’s MD passed away. Balvantbhai was the only businessman representing German firm’s Indian interests. When the company decided to go alone, Balvantbhai started a dye and chemical unit in Jacob Circle with his brother under the title of Parekh Dyechem Industries and bought more Fedco shares. The company started making acrylic based dyes under the brand name of Acrone. As anything that bonds two things is called ‘Col’ in German, he started making gleu called Favicol. The German company was making similar product ‘Movicol.’ After some time Balvantbhai’s youngest brother Narendra joined the company and looked after production. Narendra was back from America after finishing his studies there. Another brother Sushilbhai started looking after Finance, Sales and purcahse. One factory ad Jacob circle was just a starting. The other units later came up in Vapi and Mahad. The company was upgraded to Pidilite. ‘Pidi’ in Pidilite came from Parekh Dichem.

Balvantbhai had helped setting up an Arts and Science college in Mahua. He donated Rs 2 crore for Bhavnagar’s Science city project and also gave donation to Gujarati Sahitya Parishad. He also set up a Balvant Parekh Centre for General Semantics and Other Human Sciences. Balvantbhai was living in Usha Kiran where Dhirubhai Ambani also came to stay later. Balvantbhai and Dhirubhai were close friends.