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Vinni to take on vaseline, pond’s & lux

Darshan Patel is a changed man. A year back when we spoke to the co-promoter of Paras Pharma who sold most of his stake in the makers of Moov and D’cold to Actis.

, ET Bureau|
Mar 22, 2010, 12.42 AM IST
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MUMBAI: Darshan Patel is a changed man. A year back when we spoke to the co-promoter of Paras Pharma who sold most of his stake in the makers of Moov and D’cold to Actis, there was no mistaking the pain of having to let go of something that he had nurtured for so long.

But with the past behind him, Darshan Patel alongwith his younger brother Deepam Patel is ready for a new innings. They have started Vini Group of Companies. Based in Ahmedabad, Vini Group will specialise in cosmetic, wellness and health science over-the-counter products.

While Mr Patel is reluctant to give out brand names, he promises the products will be blockbusters, just like those he helped build back in Paras Pharmaceuticals. “Though India has come a long way since Paras was established, Indian consumers are still the same culturally,” he asserts.

Established in early February this year, Vini Group already has a sales and distribution team of 200 people with Darshan Patel in charge of marketing, besides being the MD and chairman of the company. While Vini is not competing directly with Paras brands, it intends to take on Garnier and HUL brands like Pond’s, Lux and Vaseline. Vini will be launching its range of skincare and haircare products in early April, followed by its wellness products by the end of June this year.

A man who strongly believes that insights are critical for product development, Vini hired Ormax Consultants to understand what the customer really wanted. “Our product development is based on qualitative and quantitative research done by Ormax for a period of 5-6 months,” says Mr Patel.

The wellness products that Vini is looking at launching will be around lifestyle diseases like diabetes and the formulations would be more preventive than remedial in nature. The health science OTC products start with pain relief.

Vini is being funded by Mr Patel himself and has started with an initial investment of Rs 50 crore, while the manufacturing has been outsourced. Besides its inhouse team, Vini has tied up with 23 depots and over 1,200 stock points to ensure its products reach every corner of India. Vini will be launching seven products in the first year and going forward will increase its basket of products. “I am targeting revenues of Rs 50 – 80 crore within the first year,” says Mr Patel ambitiously.
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