Hair-care brand Indulekha, acquired by Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) in 2016, has become a ₹2,000-crore brand for the FMCG major, its Chairman and MD, Sanjiv Mehta said.

The offering under Indulekha include hair oils and hair cleansers (shampoos).

Hinting that it was a successful acquisition, Mehta said, against the ₹350 crore paid three years back, Indulekha generated a business of ₹400 crore annually. Moreover, from a regional brand with strong presence in Southern markets, it has expanded pan-India.

Indulekha, as on March 2015, generated a turnover ₹100 crore and had an EBITDA margin of 30 per cent.

“Indulekha now generates at turnover of ₹400 crore annually and is a ₹,2000-crore brand for us,” he said during an event organised by the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Initially owned by the Kerala-based Moson Group, Indulekha was first launched in 2009 as a premium Ayurvedic hair oil. Over the years its ‘Bringha Oil’ carved out a niche for itself, in the premium naturals segment, supported by endorsements. The brand had a strong presence across Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. It had made a foray into Maharashtra at the time of acquisition by HUL.

The acquisition marked HUL’s re-entry into the hair-oil space, a segment it had exited in 2006, sources say.

The acquisition story

Mehta, while sharing the story of Indulekha, pointed out that he had personally spoken to consumers before investing in the brand. Initially, when his team came with the acquisition offer, he was hesitant. “I had no touch and feel about the product,” Mehta said.

During a trip to Chennai, he wanted to talk to consumers who had either used the brand or even “moved away from it”.

“I spoke to 25 of them. I found that people who had moved away from it was because their need or requirement (hair fall prevention) had been fulfilled. So I came back and told my team, tell me which cheque you want me to sign and what amount do I need to put in,” Mehta added.