If you are a Bhujia fan, then there’s no way in the world you wouldn’t be familiar to the Bhujia-king Haldiram’s. Kelloggs, World’s second-largest snack company wants a stake of Haldiram’s which is valued at $3 billion today (excluding the Kolkata branch)
But what is the story behind the establishment of such a big empire of a Bikaner originated snack shop? Here’s a sneak-peek into the success of this iconic bhujia maker:
Haldiram’s started off its journey from a small shop in Bikaner in 1937.
Ganga Bhishen Agarwal, fondly called Haldiram by her mother, learned the recipe trick from his aunt who used to make a thick and soft prototype of the current snack known as Bikaneri Bhujia. Ganga joined his family snack stall and reinvented bhujia by using the recipe trick he had learned from his aunt.
Smartly, Ganga branded his new product with a name of “Dungar sev” after Dungar Singh the popular Maharaja of Bikaner. With this new brand, he parted ways with his grandfather’s business.
His new product hit the snack market very well and in nearly a decade, the brand was selling as much as 200 kilo of bhujia every week and the price had gone up to 25 paise from 2 paise.
The humble beginning was the sole reason why Haldiram’s is HALDIRAMS today! Haldiram went to Kolkata to attend a wedding which gave him the idea of branching out of his Bikaner business by opening a shop there.
The second generation did not expand the business further. However, his grandsons Manoharlal and Shiv Kishan extended it to Nagpur and Delhi. The Chandni Chowk shop in Delhi proved to be a huge hit. Manufacturing plants in Delhi and Nagpur were opened, followed by restaurants in major cities India as well as foreign countries.
The company was divided among areas with Delhi-based Haldiram Snacks and Ethnic Foods in the northern region, Nagpur-based Haldiram Foods International in western and southern regions and comparatively smaller Kolkata-based Haldiram Bhujiawala in the eastern region. However, The Delhi frontier emerged to be the largest.
With a small shop in Bikaner, Ganga Bhisan in 1937 had no idea that he would diversify his business to selling Kebabs, sweets and so much more. But, well isn’t that common to all these tycoons – they never know that they will be so big someday, do it anyway and unmask wonders!
Haldiram’s signed its first partnership outside the family and entered into an exclusive master franchisee partnership with French bakery café Brioche Dorée, the world’s second-largest bakery chain.
Presently, Kellogg’s is eyeing on two of the three branches of the company – Delhi-based Haldiram Ethnic Foods and its affiliates, and Nagpur based Haldiram’s Food International and affiliates. Afterall, Haldiram’s posted sales of ₹4,224.8 crore in the year ended September. That’s massive!
The expansion of the empire to the world by the grandsons of Ganga Bhisan was the turning point for the company. If today, Ganga would’ve been alive he would be proud of his decisions.
But now this rumored ‘purchase’ has left all of us wondering what would be the mix of cornflakes with bhujia be like?