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Started As A Small Shop In Bikaner, Halidrams Impressive Journey To Become A Global Snack Food Brand

New Delhi: The spotlight has suddenly shifted to the snack food manufacturer Haldiram, as reports suggest that Tata Consumers are in talks to acquire the well-known brand. Tata Group’s consumer products division appears to be interested in purchasing over 51% of Haldiram’s stake, positioning itself for direct competition with Reliance Retail and Pepsi.

Have you ever wondered how Haldiram became a renowned snack maker, or dare we say, a household name? Let’s take a closer look to understand the journey of this snack food manufacturer from the city of Bikaner in Rajasthan.

The Humble Beginnings of Haldiram’s

In 1937, the streets of Bikaner, Rajasthan, witnessed the birth of Haldiram’s, a modest shop offering traditional sweets and namkeen. Founded by Shri Ganga Bhishen Agarwal, this establishment set itself apart in a market already saturated with bhujia vendors. Haldiram’s quickly became a household name, marking the beginning of a remarkable journey.

A Legacy Across Generations

Spanning six generations of business acumen, the Agarwal family’s expertise in spices and adeptness in handling legal disputes have led to the accumulation of significant wealth. Haldiram’s outperformed global giants, establishing a solid presence in Indian households.

A Diverse Portfolio of Brands

Haldiram’s boasts an impressive array of products under recognizable brands like Haldiram’s, Haldiram’s Prabhuji, Bikanervala, Bhikharam Chandamal, Bikaji, and Bikano. This diverse portfolio has contributed to its widespread popularity and success.

Geographic Divisions and Expansion

In the early 1990s, the Agarwal siblings, who are the grandchildren of Ganga Bhisen Agarwal, strategically divided Haldiram’s outlets geographically for independent operations. This move allowed Manoharlal and Madhusudan to oversee the North, while Shiv Kishan managed the South and West. Prabhu Shankar and Ashok took charge of the east Indian markets.

Growth and Competition

In 2013, due to a court ruling, Prabhu Shankar and Ashok were prohibited from using the ‘Haldiram’s Bhujiawala’ brand. They subsequently rebranded it to ‘Prabhuji: From the house of Haldiram’s.’ Despite these internal challenges, Haldiram’s flourished, splitting into three geographical divisions comprising approximately 12 companies. In FY19, it recorded revenue of Rs 7,130 crore, placing it in direct competition with major players like Hindustan Unilever’s food and refreshment segment.

The Rise of Branded Snacking

Despite occasional shadows cast by internal family disputes, Haldiram’s played a pivotal role in elevating the branded snacking category. The growth of this market is evident as consumers shift from unbranded to branded products, boosting revenue for major brands. Branded goods also enjoy a strong presence on e-commerce platforms, outperforming regional and loose brands.

Factors such as increasing urbanization, higher per capita income, and growing brand consciousness among consumers are driving the transition from unbranded to branded products.

Legacy and Resilience

Today, the Agarwal family’s legacy is firmly rooted in the Indian food sector. Their brands are staples in countless households, consistently purchased by consumers nationwide. While the family navigates legal challenges, the Haldiram’s brand symbolizes the resilience and innovation characteristic of Indian business dynasties.

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