India's Largest Fabric Whitening Company Knows Consumer is King

Marketing gimmicks cannot make up for the quality of product, feels Ullas K Kamath

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A successful brand is differentiated from rest of the herd, when consumers are able recognize its products, no matter how many changes it undergoes. One such legacy brand in India is that of Ujala, the household name whose iconic jingle and blue coloured bottle, still resonates with consumers across the length and breadth of the country.  


Ujala, the largest brand under Jyothy Laboratories Limited, still remains the largest player in the fabric whitener space in India with a market share of 72%, after almost three decades in the market. Some of the other successful brands under the company across key FMCG sectors like fabric care, utensil cleaners, personal care and fabric care service are Pril, Exo, Henko and Margo. 

Entrepreneur India sat down to chat with Ullas K Kamath, Joint Managing Director of Jyothy Laboratories Limited to discuss the success of brands like Ujala and how after so many years, the company continues to lead in key household FMCG sectors, despite growing competition.  

What is the Secret to Building an Iconic Brand Like Ujala?

Building brands of such stature takes time, it can’t happen overnight. Something like Ujala has been used by over two generations. Who have believed in the product all through these years. We’ve becomes a part of their household, to the point that they don’t care what the price of Ujala is, because they know they need it.

If the product is delivering what it promises consumers don’t need to look for other options.

How Do Legacy Brands Like Yours Take on the Challenge of Competition from New Age Players?

Competition is necessary as it sharpens your focus and your thinking, it makes your life a little difficult but will help you grow better. But at the same time, I think there is ample scope for everyone to grow in the FMCG market, as we are a country with population of over a billion. For us there is no competition when it comes to certain brands like Ujala as we have penetrated markets where no one else has gone.

But it also has to do with the margin we decide on each product, that separates us from the competition, in a closely contested FMCG sector. We do not keep such high margins and believe its necessary to be less greedy compared to the competition. 

What's your Advice to Budding Entrepreneurs?

I believe startups hold the future to our country but ignorance is not bliss in business. So your product has to speak and appeal to your consumers. You also have to be among the first to play in the business, else its just a matter of time before someone else comes and takes over. One way to accomplish that is meet as many peolple as you can and try and validate your idea, especially from investors etc. 



Agamoni Ghosh

Written By

She was generating stories out of Bengaluru for Entrepreneur India. She has worked with leading national and international business publications, including Newsweek, Business Standard, and CNBC in the past.