The story of iconic bhujia maker Haldiram, who has grown from a small namkeen shop in Bikaner (Rajasthan, India) into a multi-billion dollar company is quite inspirational.
As Haldiram is valued today at more than 3 Billion Dollars(~24000 crores) but one interesting fact to note is that among all the founding generations of haldiram no one is educated more than class 8th.
So, it’s very important for all Entrepreneurs and Business-minded people to know and learn from the motivational story of Haldiram.
Haldiram Empire was started in 1937 even before India got its independence. It was all got started by Ganga Bhisen Agarwal, fondly called Haldiram by her mother. Haldiram was born in Bikaner in a Malwadi family and was married to Champa Devi.
Initially, Haldiram used to work in his father’s namkeen and snacks shop and used to sell Bhujia as per his aunt’s recipe. But later on due to some family dispute, he left the home along with his wife.
After that, he starts selling mong daal namkeen on the street which was prepared by his wife at home.
In 1946, Haldiram started its first shop in Bikaner where he started selling his Bikaneri Bhujia. Where he reinvented the Bhujia by adding moth flour to it also making it thinner. With all these changes his sale and income got increased by manifolds.
Later on, Haldiram went to attend a wedding in Kolkata, and there only he got the idea to set up his shop there. With this step first branching out of the Bikaner bhujia business was started.
Haldiram as a family business was joined by his sons and grandsons who later expanded the business to greater heights. But as the company starts expanding it gave rise to a dispute over territorial and trademark rights of the Haldiram empire among his younger generation.
Currently, his three sons Moolchand, Rameshwar Lal, and Satidas, and their sons are working under different names like haldiram & Sons, Bikaji, Haldiram’s Nagpur, Haldiram Bhujiwala, etc.
Rise of Haldiram:
From the year 1985 onwards, Haldirams grandson Shiv Kishan Agarwal who was the past CMD of the company started working on the expansion of the company and improved the shelf life and packaging of products to international levels.
Currently, Haldiram expanded his portfolio to over 70 different namkeens and snacks, Sweets, refreshment drinks, frozen foods, and quick-service restaurants. The company has manufacturing plants in Nagpur, New Delhi, Kolkata, Bikaner. Also, Haldiram has its own retail chain stores and a range of restaurants in Nagpur and Delhi.
In contemporary times, Haldiram’s products are exported to several countries worldwide, including Sri Lanka, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, United Arab Emirates, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Thailand, and others.
Haldiram vs Foreign Players:
Foreign food businesses, however big they are in the international market, have to go desi to succeed in the Indian market. Whether it’s the case of McDonald’s where they introduced veg. burgers like McAloo Tikki burger and Mac Maharaja etc. or the opening of Subway Jain counter at its first all-veg outlet in Ahmedabad.
Recently, Haldiram’s also entered into an exclusive master franchisee partnership with French bakery cafe Brioche Dorée, the world’s second-largest bakery chain. For the first time, the Brioche Dorée cafes will serve only vegetarian food.
In FY16, Haldiram revenue crossed over 4k crore and grew larger than Dominos and Mcdonald’s revenues together. Also in Sept 2017, Haldiram regained its top spot in India’s snack company surpassing PepsiCo product likes Lays, Kurkure, uncle chips sales.
From the initial days, onwards Haldiram never invested much in Marketing and advertising to expand his brand they gained their business majorly through word of mouth. But now due to the intense competition, they realized the importance of marketing and advertisement and started gaining attention from them.
One of the major recent campaigns is with Haldirams tied up with a Bollywood movie “Prem Ratan Dhan Payo” and launched a contest for promotions through which they distributed 1.5 crore packets of snacks.
Haldiram and Kelloggs:
Currently, Kelloggs which is the world’s second-largest snack food company is eyeing a stake at 3$ Billion in Haldiram so that it can diversify its portfolio beyond breakfast products and also enter into India’s snacks market as it’s difficult for a foreign player to create desi snacks brand which can compete with a brand like Haldiram.
An amazing fact to note Like Ganga Bhisan of Bikaner, and Will Keith Kellogg of Michigan in the US too invented a food item — cornflakes — more than a century ago.
As Kellogs is eying a stake in Haldiram’s, it will be an interesting question to ask whether the cornflakes from Michigan will ever meet bhujia from Bikaner?
What is the story of Haldiram and Bikaji?
I already had you encompassed with Haldiram’s story, now let’s see in brief how Bikaji background story.
Bikaji is a more recent entrant in the snack food market, founded in 1987 by Shri Shivratan Agarwal in Bikaner, Rajasthan. Bikaji started with small-scale production of bhujia, a popular snack made from gram flour, but quickly expanded to produce a variety of snacks and sweets. Like Haldiram’s, Bikaji is also known for its high-quality products and has a strong presence in the Indian snack food market.
While both Haldiram’s and Bikaji are successful in their own right, there has been some rivalry between the two companies. In 2018, Haldiram’s sued Bikaji over alleged trademark infringement, claiming that Bikaji’s packaging and product names were too similar to Haldiram’s. The case was eventually settled out of court.
Despite the competition, both Haldiram’s and Bikaji continue to thrive in the Indian snack food market and have gained a loyal following among consumers.
Facts and Updates:
- In 2010, Prabhu Shankar Agarwal was sentenced to jail along with 4 others.
- In 2018, FDA(Food and Drugs Administration ) in America banned Haldiram from the USA.
- In FY19 Haldiram sales crossed $1 billion(~7000 crores) which is an increase of 14% from the last year.
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