Paras Pharmaceuticals

Paras Pharmaceuticals Image

Region

South Asia

Country

India, Middle East

Deal type

Growth capital

Investment date

2005

Exit date

2010

Status date

Realised

Taking a successful Indian brand to the rest of the world

Paras knows the Indian market, and has always capitalised on that. Many of its healthcare products use ingredients from Ayurvedic medicine, and the company has grown by meeting the needs of India’s growing middle class. In the words of its chairman, Paras’ products are not personal care products as much as ‘lifestyle products’.Paras is a leading health and personal care company in India. ‘Moov’, a Paras pain relief ointment, is one of the country’s best-known brands. It’s joined by fourteen others from the Paras family, each with evocative names: anti-ageing cream ‘Recova’, cracked heel cream ‘Krack’ and headache relief tablet ‘Stopache’. And they all have their own catchy jingles and straplines (Livon hair untangler: “Fall in love with your hair again with Livon Silky Potion”, Setwet Hair Gel: “Setwet style: very, very sexy!”).

One thing emerging markets share is a growing middle class, and Actis’ investment thesis is to help companies tap into this trend. So Paras was a good investment fit for us. Our plan? Build on Paras’ strong position in an expanding market.

In late 2008 and early 2009, we worked with Paras’ management team to completely revamp the company’s sales and distribution lines. Together, we supported the launch of new products like ‘Moov Neck and Shoulder’ and DermiCool Skin Defense Talc. Actis also put in place a strong board and recruited a new CEO and senior management team with many years industry experience in companies including Unilever and Dabur.

This resulted in a significant rise in sales and profitability with a year-to-date revenue growth of 32% and earnings of 51% (EBITDA). Paras products are now available in forty countries.

On December 2010, Actis agreed to sell Paras to UK-based FTSE 100 firm, Reckitt Benckiser Group plc for US$726m. Commenting on the sale, Paras Founder and Chairman Girish Patel said: “We have been on a rewarding journey with Actis and the quality of our partnership has proved to be the key reason for the recent success of the company.”