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Meet 5th fail man who started selling perfumes and attars - got Rs 1 Cr deal in Shark Tank and went viral.

Journey of Adil Qadri: 5th-grade dropout to perfume mogul. Explore his success, Shark Tank triumph, and thriving business

By Naina Yadav
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Adil Qadri Founder in Shark Tank

Imagine this. You’ve just passed out of school and are desperately looking for quality colleges to join. You think about a bunch of things, mostly anxiously.

“Will I land my dream college?”

“I wish I had better grades.”

“This college promises 100% placements - let me apply here.”

“If I don’t get a good college, I won’t get a high-paying job!”

These are the dilemmas of almost everyone who finishes their 12th standard. Fresh out of school in the jungle of life - almost everything seems daunting.

But what if you fail the 5th standard and don’t get any formal education after that?!

This is exactly what happened with Adil Qadri. But he went on to launch a successful perfume brand, make Rupees 20 crore annually, and to top all of it - go on Shark Tank India, secure a deal worth Rupees 1 crore, and become a viral Internet sensation. 

But, of course, like everything in life, nothing happened overnight.

The beginnings

Adil's story is rooted in humble beginnings.

He comes from the Bilmora, Surat. His mother crafted henna cones for a living, while his father worked in a perfume shop owned by Adil's grandfather.

Due to his asthma issues, Adil Qadri couldn’t finish schooling and had to drop out of school in the 5th standard itself.

To date, he has no formal education in terms of school, college, degrees or diplomas. But as someone who was always interested in learning new things, Adil delved into various courses, including computer hardware and website design.

Founder of Adil Qadri Perfumes Founder of Adil Qadri Perfumes

Initially, Adil found his footing in the mobile repairing industry until 2014. Seizing an opportunity, he underwent an SEO course, leading him to venture into website design and monetize through AdSense. However, this was just the beginning of his diverse entrepreneurial journey.

From Digital Business to Perfumes

Realizing the demand for textiles, Adil and his father embarked on several online ventures—selling mobile accessories, and t-shirts, and even utilizing dropshipping to sell products in the US. 

Despite facing challenges and shutting down their first startup, Sharpdeal.net, Adil learned the importance of branding.

Armed with this knowledge, he set out to create a brand with a unique identity. After traveling across India to source perfumes, Adil entered the fragrance market. Starting as a Muslim fashion brand, he soon pivoted to attars, recognizing the market's potential. 

Store of Adil Qadri Perfumes Store of Adil Qadri Perfumes

Talking about the pivot in an interview with Startup Pedia, Adil Qadri said, “Initially, we were actually doing good in Muslim fashion apparel. But the demand was extremely seasonal and I realized that the business wouldn’t be very scalable. During the wedding season and specific festivals, we would get a huge number of sales, but then see a very significant dip right after. I wanted to deal with something that is scalable, always sells, and that everyone can use. This is how I started Adil Qadri, the perfume brand, in 2018.”

From Meta Ads to a Well-Established Brand

Adil's journey from 0 to 1 was marked by strategic moves. He wanted to ensure that the perfumes and attars are unmatched in quality as well as price.

Adil had saved some money from his previous ventures and invested the same in research and development, high-quality perfume oils, and packaging.

The initial 20 orders were secured through Meta ads, but he realized the need to establish a brand identity. 

Customer feedback played a pivotal role in the brand's evolution. 

During the 2020 lockdown, Adil capitalized on credits and launched an aggressive advertising campaign.

Eventually, he scaled his brand and started selling all over India as well as internationally.

Today, Shanaya attar is his best-selling product with a daily average of 1500 units sold. 

Shanaya Perfume from adil Qadri perfumes Shanaya Perfume from adil Qadri perfumes

In FY23, Adil Qadri touched a revenue of Rs 20 crore. 

In the interview, Adil Qadri said, “This year has been good for us as well. To date, in FY24, the brand’s revenue figure has crossed Rs 50 crore.”

Adil expanded the brand by establishing 15 offline stores in Maharashtra and Gujarat, with a significant presence in Dubai.

Shark Tank Triumph and Beyond

Adil's journey reached new heights when he recently participated in the third season of Shark Tank India.

He says, “It was a great experience. I was excited throughout, from the first moments of filling up the form to the interview to the final pitch. The response has been very positive. We can see our sales increasing after the episode aired and there is a flood of followers on social media.” 

Adil Qadri, even before appearing on Shark Tank India was a well-established brand with a loyal customer base of over 15 lakhs.

His statement of calling himself the “gunda” of the perfume market on TV went viral on the Internet with many lauding Adil’s confidence and grit.

Founder of Adil Qadri Perfumes at Shark Tank Founder of Adil Qadri Perfumes at Shark Tank

When asked what he would’ve done differently during the pitch if given a second chance, Adil says, “In life, you always look back and think of something that you should’ve said. The same thing happened to me. But I realize that you can never be fully prepared for anything. So I am happy with how I presented myself there. This is what my advice will be to future entrepreneurs who are going on the show. Be ready to answer any question, because on the stage, the conversation can take any turn. Just mental clarity on that would help a lot.”

Looking ahead

As of the current fiscal year of FY24, Adil Qadr has achieved a remarkable revenue of Rs 50 crore, demonstrating its robust market presence. 

With plans for 111 offline stores in the next two to three years, Adil Qadri's journey is nothing short of a roller coaster ride.

From a 5th-grade dropout to the founder of a thriving perfume brand, Adil's journey underscores that success often arises from unexpected paths.

To buy Adil Qadri’s attars, visit his website https://www.adilqadri.com/.


1. Who is Adil Qadri?

Hailing from Surat, Adil Qadri is the founder of the popular attar brand ‘Adil Qadri’ that went viral on Shark Tank India. 

2. Is Adil Qadri a 5th standard dropout?

Adil Qadri didn't get any formal education after class 5th due to his asthma issue. However, he undertook various courses later.

3. Why is Adil Qadri viral?

His statement of calling himself the “gunda” of the perfume market on TV went viral on the Internet with many lauding Adil’s confidence and grit.

4. How much is Adil Qadri’s revenue?

In FY23, Adil Qadri touched a revenue of Rs 20 crore. 

5. What is the best-selling attar of Adil Qadri?

Shanaya attar is his best-selling product with a daily average of 1500 units sold.

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Tags: adil qadri Adil Qadri perfume brand Adil Qadri story Adil Qadri journey Adil Qadri revenue Adil qadri shark tank Shanaya attar