The Indian struggle for independence from British rule was multifaceted. While some Indians took the route of protest and agitation, others sought to strengthen the Indian populace economically and, through this, strengthen the country for autonomy. In 1929, Gourmohon Dutta, an affluent member of the merchant community in Kolkata took the latter route and established GD Pharmaceuticals, a company which aimed to manufacture medicinal products that matched the quality of similar products being imported at the time.
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The Boroline People
A persistent campaigner, Gourmohon worked tirelessly to realise his vision of an economically self-sufficient India. Of the range of products which the company produced, one left a lasting mark on the consumer – Boroline. The trademark moss-green tube fast became a household name. From young people who used the thick, fragrant cream on pimpled or dry skin to mothers who rubbed it generously on the wounds of their young children, Boroline had multiple uses. A dependable antiseptic, Boroline was an integral part of first-aid kits.
From Kashmir to Kanyakumari
The flagship product of GD Pharmaceuticals, Boroline soon became a bond which united pre-independent India. While the Kashmiris used it to counter frostbite and chapped skin (a result of their sub-zero temperatures), the residents of southern India used it to protect their sink against the harsh sun. This enriching formula was suitable for all skin types and for users of all ages. It was made of boric acid, which is an antiseptic, lanolin, which soothes cuts, rough skin and infection, and zinc oxide, which is a sunscreen and astringent.
A reflection of the times
As India strode steadily towards its new identity as an independent entity, and subsequently earned a place for itself on the global stage, the company shifted and evolved to accommodate changing consumer needs. Besides the trusty tube of Boroline, the company now produces a range of products including Suthol, an antiseptic skin liquid for use in summer, Eleen hair oil, Glosoft face wash and Penorub liquid pain reliever, which could cure all kinds of aches and pains.
With great popularity came great demand, and this company, which was built on the foundation of one man’s vision, soon acquired a large and loyal customer base. The first manufacturing unit was located in Chakbagi in West Bengal, a hamlet in the backyard of the capital city Kolkata. This facility is still in operation and has a floor area of 48,000 sq. ft. set in a plot of land that spans 20 acres. To cope with the increasing demand, a second facility measuring 8000 sq. ft. has now been set up in the Mohun Nagar Industrial Area of Ghaziabad (NCR, Delhi).
Over the years, GD Pharmaceuticals has stayed close to its initial aim of serving the nation. The company maintains plantations near its facility in Kolkata, and a large reservoir of 6000 sq. ft. to replenish the environment. All packaging materials used are recyclable and the waste produced is biodegradable. A firm believer in social responsibility, the company also provides financial assistance to underprivileged patients, terminally ill individuals and children requiring heart surgery.
A tradition of excellence
In spite of the deluge of skincare products which have flooded the Indian market, Boroline has successfully retained its position in the market. The secret to this consistency is the unflinching adherence to quality, its innovative products and distinct packaging. The company has acquired all the mandatory government licences and complies with GMP norms. The factories are fully automated, and the production process is monitored by strict SOPs, trained personnel document and monitor the process. A well-planned distribution and marketing process makes sure that the products are easily available across the country.
GD Pharmaceuticals and Boroline are carrying forward the tradition of quality and excellence. The company’s high standards have enabled it to specialise in over-the-counter pharmaceutical products and healthcare products, and is steadily moving from strength to strength.
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