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Nov 24, 2008, 01.27 PM IST | Source: CNBC-TV18

Zinda Tilismath: A remedy for all ailments

“Har marz ki dawa: Zinda Tilismath”––that's a common refrain one can hear from Hyderabadi oldtimers. It is a simple Unani formula that has become a household name with time.

“Har marz ki dawa: Zinda Tilismath”––that's a common refrain one can hear from Hyderabadi oldtimers. It is a simple Unani formula that has become a household name with time.

 

Here is a transcript of Vishwanath Pilla’s comments on CNBC-TV18. Also watch the accompanying video.

 

It has its roots in the industrial revolution that took the princely state of Hyderabad by storm and this is symbolised by the Nizam's Crown adorning the bottle. And this Unani medicine, which goes under the name "Zinda Tilismath," with its strong Nilgiri aroma, is a standard component of any traditional Hyderabadi family's medical box.

 

It came to life in the hands of Mohd. Moizuddin Farooqui nearly 80 years ago, gaining popularity during the Cholera outbreak that ravaged Hyderabad in the 1930s, as an affordable panacea. But Farooqui's grandson, who is one of the heads of the business house, says that's not the only reason.

 

Ahsfaq Mahmood, Partner, Kharkhana Zinda Tilismath, said, "The USP of Zinda Tillismath is it is affordable medicine to everybody, it is herbal, it has no side affects and it is one of the few medicines which can be taken orally as well as externally."

 

Mahmood said, "At that time women models were not in vogue. To let this go through, he brought a Black African model. So people used to curiously come and that was the first impact he used to give to the people."

 

 

But this was not the only reason for its popularity. Apart from being a distinguished Unani practitioner, or Hakim, as he was locally called, Farooqui was an astute businessman with a keen sense of marketing techniques. He is said to have pioneered the use of outdoor advertising, and is even creditted with using a model, to make his remedy a household name.

 

Farooqui is also credited with another first, he used the cricket craze in India to further brand image, by being the first to sponsor Former Indian Cricket Captain Mohd Azharuddin. The sponsorship deal was signed in 1985, immediately after Azhar hit three tons in his first three test matches. Interestingly, Azhar was offered Rs 30,000.

 

"In a family oriented business, there is a resistance to change, to use modern marketing tools and other modern things. My grandfather is first generation, my uncles second generation and we are going to third generation and trying to bring the cause for change," Mahmood said.

 

At one time, Zinda Tilismath was the highest tax-payer in Hyderabad. But that's history. The question that now haunts the brand is: Will Zinda Tellismath fade away is memory like many other Hyderabadi brands, or will it survive the test of time, and regain its old glory?

 

Zinda Tillismath, in Urdu, means "Living Magic." And the third generation is now fighting to infuse more strength in this magic by giving it a national footing.

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