The success tale of C K Ranganathan- A man who started from Rs 15000 business now runs the Rs 500 crore company

c k ranganathan

You think only multinationals can rule the Indian industry…. Think again because we have people in India who beat these multinationals in the arena of advanced​consumer goods. And one of the people who did this was C K Ranganathan.

C K Ranganathan is a chairman and MD of CavinKare worth Rs 500 crore.He stated his business with a mere amount of Rs 15,000 well that’s long time back. You have every right to know how C k Ranganathan evolved his business and how did it all begin.

Follow the story as you are about to enter into the life of a successful entrepreneur where you can learn some business skill and get inspired.

Childhood and family background
He was born in a good family. His father Chinni Krishnan was an agriculturalist and pharmaceutical businessman. Chinni Krishnan knew that his son Ranganathan was weak in studies he advised him to start a business or become an agriculturalist.
Unlike his siblings he wasn’t given much luxury in the education. Besides he wasn’t doing well in studies which made him suffer from inferiority complex.

He might not be doing well in studies but he was doing great in rearing pets. With more than 500 birds and fishes he started making money off it. This is how he managed his first little business. This indicated that he had got the spirit to be a businessman.

The sachet concept

it was CK Ranganathan’s father who came with the concept of sachet. Ranganathan’s father chinni believed that whatever product he produce must be used by everyone no matter you are a coolie or a rickshaw puller. That’s the reason he started putting things into small packs or sachets. There was a time talcum powder was sold in tin containers so what he did he sold the same powder in smaller packs of 20 gm, 50 gm and 100gm. He even turned the 100 gm Epsom salt packet into the small sachet of 5 gm.

His father was visionary man who believed sachets would be the product of the future. No doubt he had innovative ideas but he lacked in understanding and forming marketing strategies
Joining the family business

Life after his father’s death

After his father died, his brothers were in charge of the family business and they introduced velvette shampoo in the market.  Ranganathan also joined the business but couldn’t stayed for long as his ideas were clashing with his brothers.

The Rs 15000 venture

 soon after leaving his brothers company Ranganathan had to do something and he did. He had savings from his previous job which he decided to invest in his own business. So, first thing was to decide what business he should do. He could only think of rearing pets and making shampoo as he had been dealing with them in the past. At last, he chose the shampoo business. For that he had to invest around 15,000 Rs on renting a house cum office, factory and bought shampoo making machine from that money.

Chik Shampoo 

Ranganathan named his business on his father’s name Chi from chinni and k from Krishna. His startup faced hurdles in the beginning but did succeed gradually as he learned so many things while doing business. In the next year they stated earning the profits.
In order to maintain, manage and expand the business Ranganathan needed large sum of money.  He was struggling to get the loans from the Banks but did not succeed as he had no collateral to give to the bank. But luckily one bank helped his company and offered him a loan of Rs 25,000. The reason why bank helped him was that he always paid his taxes.

Now, Chick shampoo was entering in the market where there were already competitors like his brothers company Velvette Shampoo which was being marketed by Godrej. But there was nothing to be afraid of as he had an offer nobody could refuse. The initial scheme was they exchanged five sachets of any shampoo for a Chik Shampoo sachet for free. However, they discontinued the scheme as now they began giving one free Chik Shampoo sachet in lieu of five Chik Shampoo sachets.

The schemes were massive success as now everyone was buying chick shampoos only. And you won’t believe the sales jumped from Rs 35,000 to Rs 12 lakh per month. This was just the beginning as soon the figures were about to get increased. They introduced rose and Jasmine fragrances shampoos and the sales figure touched to Rs 30 lakh per month. The biggest game changer was using actor Amala as a brand endorser, who helped them in earning Rs 1 crore per month.

The year was 1992 and chick shampoos were all over the South Indian market. Besides, Ranganathan overtook his brothers business and it took him 9 years.

Ranganathan and his​ Midas touch
The time was come when everything seemed to be in Ranganathan’s​ side or I say he could turn profit out of anything​. He knew the importance of Indian rural market which multinational companies were underestimating. He know the Indian rural market was expanding  and he turned this knowledge into profit . He captured the rural market of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and other states.
Soon Ranganathan entered into another business and this time it was Meera herbal powder. As mentioned Ranganathan’s Midas touch was working everywhere and same thing happened with this new venture also.

His herbal herbal​powder was a success and overtook the business of dominating Shaw Wallace and recorded the
95 per cent market share.

They also launched perfume for the poor which anyone can afford. It was spinz that was priced just Rs 10 so that ordinary people can also have some fun.

Products like Fairever and Ruchi pickles were also launched by his company. Fairever was a fairness cream and this venture was a risk as there is already a player successfully running the show. But still Fairever did pretty good and secured the second place in the market share of fairness creams. As far Ruchi pickles are concerned they literally succeed in the market.


As his company were planning to expand latest products, they decided to name the company CavinKare (initials of his father’s​name) under which beauty and cosmetic products would be sold.

Being a founder and chairman of CavinKare, Ranganathan believe that it was his team who worked so hard and should be responsible for this massive success.

Ranganathan always feel that we are social being and it is our duty to pay the society back. So his company CavinKare sponsored for CavinKare Ability Award for physically disabled people so that these people must be appreciated for their hard efforts.