There is no home in India that does not know about the brand Fevicol. It’s synonymous with the word glue. Pidilite’s Fevicol is a trusted brand and has been around for decades. But the company was started in humble and unsure circumstances. 

Balwant Parekh, the founder of the company, juggled between poverty and his studies, and could not even find a decent job to begin with. He worked as a peon in a company. He received his education from a Government Law College in Mumbai but did not practice law after that. 

While doing his multiple jobs, he once got a chance to travel to Germany. Balwant could not have imagined what his simple visit to Germany would result into. Passionate about starting his own business, Balwant started an adhesive manufacturing company with his small funds. 

It was mid-20th century, and German technology was on the rise. Balwant was curious and learned about the technicalities of business from various German businessmen. 

Born in a small town in the Bhavnagar district, Balwantrai Kalyanji Parekh wanted to do more than be just a simple clerk. His family would have preferred to see him as a lawyer, but his interests lay somewhere else. 

He even participated in the Quit India Movement in the 1940s. Later, he returned to Mumbai to complete his studies but had no intention of becoming an advocate. 

Menial jobs

Unwilling to practice law, Balwant started looking for other jobs. Meanwhile, his parents got him married, and life became even more difficult for him. He now had the responsibility of two people on his shoulders. He took up a peon’s job at a merchant’s godown and lived there with his wife. He saved up some money from his salary with the intention of starting his business. And he was able to make it possible after he went to Germany.

Association with a German company

Balwant got involved in the import business. He imported products from a German company called ‘Hoechst’, which worked in association with ‘Fedco’ in India. Using his brilliant business skills, he entered into a friendly agreement with the German company. Fifty per cent partnership was offered to Balwant Parekh which he gladly accepted. 

The next step was a visit to Germany. On the invitation of Hoechst, Balwant went to Germany for a month. In unforeseen circumstances, the MD of Hoechst passed away, and Balwant was made to take a bunch of important decisions. 

He was a skilful and decisive man and did not hesitate to carry out the responsibilities. Later, he started a pigment emulsions unit with the help of his brother. He named his company ‘Parekh Dyechem Industries’ before eventually changing the name to ‘Pidilite’. 

The launch of Fevicol

Working at the merchant’s godown, he had noticed that the labourers used glue to join the wood. Their glue was of extremely low quality and gave off a pungent smell. The idea of manufacturing glue emerged from there.
There’s a saying that nothing happens as a coincidence; had not Balwant given up the idea of becoming an advocate and had he not gone on to do a peon’s job at a merchant’s godown, he would never have been able to bring his magnificent invention to this world. One idea leads to another. 

Balwant officially launched his brand in the year 1959. Inspired by the German word Kol, he named his glue brand as ‘Fevicol’. The company was renamed and came to be known as Pidilite Industries. 

The legacy continues

Balwant Parekh left this world in the year 2013 with his tremendous legacy of work. A smoulder of his ideas erupted into colossal flames and made Pidilite the company it is. 

The company still thrives successfully in the business world with little children repeating its fun tagline “Yeh Fevicol ka jod hai, tutega nahi” (This is Fevicol’s bond, it won’t ever break).