Today, as you embark to forge your own path, learn from the legacy of those who tread those same roads long-long ago. Hamdard is an un-missable name on the list, given that Rooh Afza is the most beloved drink in India and in other countries as well.
The Unani system of medicine owes, as name suggests, its origin to Greece. The Unani physicians, who settled in India, experimented with some drugs and added those new drugs to the system.
Hakim Hafiz Abdul Majeed was one of those Unani Physicians, who played a role in giving new life to Unani Medicine.
Hamdard Laboratories was set up in 1906 by Hakeem Hafiz Abdul Majeed in one of the bylanes of Old Delhi.
In 1907, Hamdard launched its flagship product Rooh Afza, a cooling medicinal rose syrup that he packaged in used wine bottles.
Hamdard flourished as people thronged to procure Majeed’s high quality products that delivered what they promised.
By 1920, Rooh Afza and other herbal products were being distributed nationally.
Majeed passed away in 1922, at barely forty years of age. His widow Rabia Begum and fourteen year old son Abdul Hameed took charge of Majeed’s work, expanding the product portfolio vastly.
His son brought extraordinary vision and business acumen to the fore of Hamdard and focused on the market expansion of Rooh Afza.
No player till date has been able to develop the authentic taste of Rooh Afza. Rooh Afza is popularly called the drink of the east with immense popularity in India and Pakistan.
The beautiful and colourful labels of Rooh Afza were printed by the Bolton Press of the Parsees of Bombay (Mumbai).
This dark pink coloured syrup, initially made as a remedy for the loo, is now used extensively as a flavour in Indian homes.
No matter how much we relish the drinks of the west, there would not be anyone in India who hasn’t tasted Rooh Afza in one or the other from- be it in water or cold milk or on desserts.
Many Indian and international players have tried to come up with a substitute for Rooh Afza in the form of a strawberry flavoured syrup but were unsuccessful.
Although, Rooh Afza’s recipe is available on the internet, but Hamdard, the parent company of Rooh Afza remains the most loved provider of this crystalline syrup. Its fragrance not only tempts the common people but also poets and writers who have written pieces in its glory.
To say it all, a large variety of squashes have come and gone, but a Rooh Afza bottle has always been a part of our kitchen shelves.