Rooh Afza has been an integral part of every desi household. From milkshakes to desserts, this multipurpose drink has been a favourite for literally everyone.
But did you know that Rooh Afza’s legacy has been around for more than a century? In fact, do you even know about the history of this brand? Well, Azhar Jafri’s Twitter thread is here to explain it all.
He starts by telling everyone how the drink is manufactured by Hamdard Laboratories which was founded by Hakim Hafiz Abdul Majeed in Delhi in 1906. Then talks about Majeed a little more.
Majeed was a Unani practitioner who had a small shop by the name of Hamdard in Old Delhi.— Azhar Jafri (@zhr_jafri) July 25, 2020
In 1910, he launched Rooh Afza (which means soul refresher). It was a concentrated drink made from fruits, herbs and rose intended to be used as a remedy for hot summers
The thread mentioned how Rooh Afza was sold in wine bottles in beginning and the labels were designed by an Artist named Mirza Noor Ahmad. After it became a hit, the brand began distribution at a national level.
It even started advertising in newspapers. One such ad (shown below) stated: when the motor car was on its way in and the horse buggy on its way out, Rooh Afza was there— Azhar Jafri (@zhr_jafri) July 25, 2020
He then went on and shared a little more about Hameed and how he had a brother who migrated to Pakistan and started his own company.
Post independence of Bangladesh, Said gifted the Bangladeshi subsidiary to a local entrepreneur who went on to run the company under the name of Hamdard.— Azhar Jafri (@zhr_jafri) July 25, 2020
The companies in all 3 countries use the same formula for making Roohafza. Hence the drink tastes the same everywhere.
In all three countries i.e. India, Pakistan and Bangladesh the companies are registered as Waqf which is a non profit organization under islamic law. They also run a lot of charitable schools and clinics for the needy. The company in India sells over 2 crore bottles every year.
The brand has now come up with new products and manufacteres fruit juices and milk shakes as well.
With changing times, the product still hasn't lost its appeal. But to keep up with the tastes of newer generations is an important task for Rooh Afza now.— Azhar Jafri (@zhr_jafri) July 25, 2020
The Pakistani Hamdard has already understood this and added new products like RoohAfza Go.
Just last year, the brand was trending on social media when there was shortage of it due to some storage issues. This shows how the brand is still so personal for us desis even after an entire century.