Darling South Africa

In 2011, Godrej Consumer Products entered into a partnership with Darling Group Holdings, a leading pan-African hair care company, and acquired a 51% stake in the business. Darling, which has operations in 14 countries across Africa, is a market leader in hair extension products; a category which it has pioneered in the continent.

The Darling business was founded in 1979 by Saadallah Khalil and his uncle, Ali Hoballah. They started by trading in basic synthetic fibres used for braiding in Senegal in West Africa. Over the years, they expanded the brand and business to other countries in West Africa like Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon. Very early, they established a partnership with Kaneka Corporation of Japan to introduce high quality fibres that could be used to manufacture a full array of hair extension products. Each of these countries saw a business being built from scratch, covering manufacturing, distribution and marketing. By the early 2000s, Darling became the market leader in hair extension products in Africa, with a comprehensive presence across West, East and South Africa. The Darling brand today stands for beauty and is an enabler for every African woman to transform the way she looks. It has tremendous affinity with salons and is the preferred brand for stylists across Africa.

In 2008, Godrej Consumer Products acquired the Kinky Group, as part of its foray into the hair extension business in Africa. Later, in 2015, Frika Hair (Pty) Limited, a leading premium hair extensions company, with particular strengths in the Western Cape and Gauteng, was acquired. Today, together with Frika and Kinky, Darling makes Godrej Consumer Products the leading hair extensions player in Southern Africa, with a large, varied portfolio.

Darling is the largest synthetic hair supplier to Southern Africa and has the widest range of styles in its portfolio in this region. One of our biggest strengths is our distribution network. It is arguably the best in the region, both by width and depth of coverage. We also manufacture locally and our products are used by millions of Southern African consumers. In fact, approximately 100 Darling braids are sold every minute in South Africa and Mozambique, combined. In 2014/15, we sold over 52 million pieces.

Establishing a strong foothold in Africa is a key part of the Godrej Consumer Products strategy, both in terms of business size today, as well as potential for the future. We are convinced about the tremendous potential that Africa offers; it has one of the fastest growing consumer markets in the world with a young population. We hope to use our current Southern Africa infrastructure as a distribution and marketing platform for taking other home and personal care products from the Godrej portfolio to the African consumer.

We are very proud of our team members and our focus is to create a truly inspiring place to work. We promise Godrejites a culture of ownership and innovation; take serious bets on them and differentiate basis performance. We also understand that our team members play multi-faceted roles and so, we strongly encourage them to explore their whole selves. We believe that these efforts will help our company deliver even stronger results in the future.

One of our activation events at the University of Johannesburg campus

The Darling team wins 'Outstanding International Business' at the Godrej Awards 2015

Models showcasing our popular styles