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Harsh C. Mariwala

EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year Class of 2021, India

Harsh C. Mariwala, Chairman of Marico Limited

Harsh Mariwala reinvented a family business to create a consumer goods giant.

Photographic portrait of Harsh C. Mariwala

Harsh C. Mariwala

Harsh Mariwala was just 20 years old when he became the third generation to join Bombay Oil Industries, the family business. Although eager to support his family, he was also brimming with his own ideas. His opportunity to forge his own way came when he spotted a gap in the market to convert oil-based products into consumer packaged goods.

The idea was the beginning of Marico, the consumer products branch of the company that Harsh founded in 1990, eventually spinning it off from the rest of the family business. In the three decades since, he has transformed Marico into a leading consumer goods giant with operations in more than 25 countries across Asia and Africa. He has built a portfolio of major brands in hair care, skin care, edible oils, health foods, male grooming and fabric care. Today, Marico reaches more than 5 million retail outlets, and the company estimates that one in three Indians use its products.

Harsh wants to see other entrepreneurs flourish, so in 2003 he founded the Marico Innovation Foundation to nurture startups, and in 2012, he set up Ascent Foundation, a peer learning platform for entrepreneurs to exchange insights, experiences and ideas in a confidential environment.