Launched by JRD Tata on the request of Nehru, Lakmé was India’s first made-in-India makeup brand that found its genesis in aftermath of our Independence from the British Raj.
The year was 1971 and Pakistan had just surrendered the liberation war, giving birth to a new country — Bangladesh. Banking on the patriotic fervour that was all around her, a 19-year-old Meeta Shah from Bhavnagar, Gujarat, made a case to purchase a homegrown make-up item for her own by asking her father to give her Rs 5 (a big amount back in the day).
“Papa, I want to purchase a compact made by a swadeshi brand called Lakmé….. Did you know the inspiration behind the brand was Chacha Nehru?” she asked.
After about a minute of contemplation, her father willingly agreed to her request.
She added it to her piggy bank, the total amount of which had reached Rs 30, just enough to get Meeta the compact. It took her several months, numerous oil messages to her granny (one massage was equal to…