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Zandu Pharmaceutical Works Ltd. was named after venerable Mahatma Zandu Bhattji to whom it owes its origin.
Zandu Bhattji's real name was Karunashankar; he was the son of legendary Vaidya Vithal Bhattji, a personal physician to Ranmal, the then king of Jamnagar. He was very accurate in diagnosis of diseases and also intelligent and learned. Therefore, those who learnt ayurveda from him have become famous among Ayurvedic Physicians e.g. Shri. Raghunathji Indraji, the author of Nighantoo Sangrah and Shri.Bawabhai Achalji, a very well known personality among the Vaidyas who were co-students of Zandu Bhattji; all of them learnt the art of Ayurveda from Vithal Bhattji. After Jam Saheb, the king of Jamnagar was satisfied with the ayurvedic medicines prepared by Shri Zandu Bhattji, he gave the latter a piece of land on the bank of Rangamati River in Gujarat for preparing medicines there. This was the oldest factory manufacturing Ayrveidc drugs, established about 147 years ago from this date (Ras-Shala was established by Zandu Bhattji in August 1864 in Jamnagar)
All the drugs prepared in this research were tried by him on poor patients for free. Zandu Bhattji used to employ learned Vaidyas for the preparation of drugs and treatment of patients. Chyavanprash-avleh, Arogyavardhini, Vidangtanduprayog and Samsamani are standard preparations whose specific effects in some diseases were proved by him only for the first time.
Grandson of Shri Zandu Bhattji took his high tradition of Ayurveda forward. Shri Jugatram Vaidya had great knowledge of chemistry and pharmacy. While working under Professor Lee in the Chemical Laboratory at Rajkot, he dreamt of starting an Ayurvedic Pharmaceutical Industry to manufacture Ayurvedic medicines strictly following standard books like Charak, Sushrut, Bhiasajya Ratnavali, Sarangadhar etc. With modern technology this dream came true with the birth of the Zandu Pharmaceutical works, founded by him in October 1910 as a private concern.
The company started gaining popularity with its various products from the very beginning. Within a decade, it started finding it difficult to meet the growing demands of the market, and the need for more capital investment was urgently felt. Hence on 10th December1919, Zandu was converted into a Public Limited Company.
In the year1936, the company started manufacturing Allopathic medicines on a large scale, including standard galenical preparations, pills, tablets, ointments, emplastars and various patent and proprietary medicines.
As part of company’s programme of expansion in 1943, a Biological Laboratory was established. In this laboratory various important biological preparations like Liver extracts, vitamins, hormones, protein hydrolysate and other useful injectables, tablets and liquid items were manufactured. Thus, from a modest beginning in 1910, the company had gone on to manufacture more and more products year after year, meeting the growing needs of people. Slowly the company started launching wide range of varied different products in Ayurvedic and Allopathic divisions. With the help of modern machinery and strict technical control the company became expert in mass production of various products like tablets and pills, liquids and solids. The company gradually put up few factories at Vapi, Sanjan, Silvasa and in Uttaranchal for higher production.
To diversify the production, an associate company Zandu Chemical Ltd. was established in 1990 at Ankleshwer in Western India to manufacture bulk drugs and intermediates. To promote research and healthcare through traditional systems of medicines like ayurveda, Zandu Foundation for Health Care was established in 1990.
In 2008, Emami acquired major stake in Zandu Pharmaceuticals Works Ltd, from the Parikh family, on the basis of huge business synergy between Zandu and Emami. Post the acquisition of Zandu Pharmaceuticals a century old household name in India; some of its prominent brands like Zandu Balm, Zandu Chyawanprash, Zandu Kesri Jeevan, Zandu Pancharishta, Nityam Churna are also under Emami’s basket of brands.
Today, Zandu is a part of Emami Limited.