Rooh Afza, the sweet crimson tonic of bliss and joy
When I get a heatstroke, I make a lassi.
When Hakeem got a heatstroke, he created the world-famous Rooh Afza!
With over 40% market share & Rs 700 crore of revenue, this 111-year-old drink is easily loved by 1 billion people!
Born to a family of Unani medicine practitioners, Hakeem Hafiz Abdul Majeed took over the family business and set up his first pharmaceutical shop called Hamdard Dawakhana in Old Delhi in 1906.
As the summer of 1908 witnessed a surge in cases of dehydration and loo, Majeed started working on a syrup that would help counter the heat strokes.
In 1910, Majeed concocted his flagship product - Rooh Afza (Persian for Elixir of the soul). A mixture of herbs, roots, flowers, and fruits, Rooh Afza's sweet rose essence enticed the passersby to try out the product.
Its ruby-tinted batch of bottles was then sold out in less than half an hour.
Things were going well for Hamdard until Majeed died in 1922.
His wife, Rabea Begum, and his two sons, Mohammad Said & Abdul Hameed, kept the institution alive and thriving.
Abdul chose to stay in India, while Said moved to West Pakistan and began rebuilding Hamdard from scratch in a rented two-room set up.
Because of Rooh Afza's high brand recall value & strategically placed ads targeting the Pakistani market, Hamdard became profitable in 1953.
Hamdard's ambition to use herbs to heal the sick and uplift people helped the brand grow from a small pharmacy to a welfare organization worth Crores.
∼85% of the firm's profits are used to advance health, education, and the nation.
Today, Hamdard generates close to $134M in revenues, and a significant chunk of it comes from Rooh Afza and Safi.
Rooh Afza has endured wars and partition and has even faced competition from foreign beverage businesses and domestic alternatives.
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