Shri Balvantray Kalyanji Parekh – founder of Indian family-controlled glue company Pidilite Industries – died on January 25 at the age of 88.
Despite his great age, Balvantray Parekh, known as Balvant, was chairman of the family business – which he founded with his brothers – at the time of his death. In a statement, Pidilite Industries said: "He promoted and encouraged the close teamwork between employees and value system, which emphasises commitment to excellence, closeness to customers and the spirit of innovation."
One of India's richest men with an estimated family fortune of $1.3 billion (€1.2 billion), Parekh owed his wealth to the glue business set up in 1959.
Over the decades, he worked with his brothers to turn Pidilite Industries into a household name across India with brands including Fevicol, Dr.Fixit and M-seal. Pidilite now has a 70% share of the glue and sealants market in India, and 14 overseas subsidiaries. It reported revenues of €417 million last year.
The business was listed in 1993, but the family retained a 70% stake. The Parekhs have remain actively involved, with five family members in senior management positions including Parekh's two sons. His eldest son, Madhukar, succeeded him as chief executive in 1992.
Aside from glue, Parekh's other passion was general semantics – a social science designed to understand and improve the way people interact with their environment and each other. In 2009 he founded the Balvant Parekh Centre for General Semantics and Other Human Sciences to promote the discipline in India.