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Business News/ News / Harsh Mariwala wins Lifetime Achievement Award at Mint India Investment Summit
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Harsh Mariwala wins Lifetime Achievement Award at Mint India Investment Summit

Nirma, ChrysCapital, BPEA EQT and Zepto recognised for deals struck during a tough year

Harsh Mariwala, Chairman of Marico Limited, was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award this year at the #MintIIS2024.Premium
Harsh Mariwala, Chairman of Marico Limited, was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award this year at the #MintIIS2024.

Marico founder and chair Harsh Mariwala was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Mint India Investment Summit 2024 on Saturday evening in India’s financial capital, recognising his decades long journey in founding and establishing one of the most successful consumer goods companies in the country.

The awards were for India’s sharpest and boldest dealmakers for some of the most visionary and market moving deals struck in the past year, fraught with challenges and a ‘funding winter’.

Among the winners of Mint India Investment Summit Awards for deals was Nirma's $680-million acquisition of Glenmark Lifesciences, which was declared the M&A deal of the year.

ChrysCapital and BPEA EQT's acquisition of HDFC Credila for $1.03 billion was chosen as the private equity deal of the year. Zepto’s $200 million fund raise, that saw the quick commerce company turn a unicorn in a challenging market, was awarded as the Digital Deal of the Year.

It was on 2 April 1990 that Mariwala stepped out of his family’s commodities trading business to start his own business—Marico. The company initially focused on marketing and distributing edible and hair oils.

Mariwala's success lies in his deep understanding of the Indian consumer market. He recognized the importance of branding and created a strong emotional connection with Parachute by positioning it as a symbol of healthy hair and family well-being. This strategy, coupled with a robust distribution network, propelled Parachute to become a household name in India.

Marico's growth wasn't limited to hair care and cooking oils. Over the last few decades, the company has diversified into other fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) categories with the launch of packaged foods, personal care, and more recently, digital first brands. Today, its India portfolio consists of brands such as Parachute, Saffola, Hair & Care, Livon, Set Wet, Revive, Beardo, Just Herbs, among others.

The star-studded jury that chose the award-winning deals of the year comprised Amit Jain, the managing director and head, Carlyle India; Gaurav Deepak, cofounder and CEO, Avendus; Nishith Desai, founder, Nishith Desai Associates and Sonia Dasgupta, managing director and CEO, JM Financial Investment Banking.

The awards recognised the challenging business environment for dealmakers over the last year. The jurors gave higher weightage to the complexity of the deals, the challenging environment in which they were struck and the creativity of the transaction than the value of the deal.

For instance, Nirma's acquisition of Glenmark Lifesciences marked the company’s bold entry into the highly competitive Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) sector. The jury noted that the buyer had the credentials to purchase and venture into new markets and that the deal was challenging. The jury concluded that the Nirma Group's exceptional conviction was worthy of the coveted award.

When ChrysCapital and BPEA EQT acquired HDFC Credila, it was a gargantuan feat of two financial sponsors carving out a business from a large financial services group such as HDFC. The jury noted that this was not easy as the buyer had to solve for complexity post the transaction. The jury said that the deal demonstrated that the buyers had the muscle to execute and run such a large business and saw value creation from an already set business and, therefore, deserved the PE Deal of the Year award.

Zepto’s fundraise in August 2023 ended the Unicorn drought of the year. The jury found the company's ability to rapidly scale the quick commerce business while maintaining tight control over unit economics and amidst stiff competition from players such as Blinkit and Instamart, notable. After several rounds of deliberation, the Jury awarded the Digital Deal of the Year to this transaction, because of the difficulty involved in closing the deal during the peak of the funding winter.

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Published: 30 Mar 2024, 09:20 PM IST
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