It is doubtful that you will go to an airport and not see an Indian trying to sneak in packets of bhujiya and moong dal through security checkpoints, and nine times out of ten, those packets are usually from Haldiram’s. We Indians need our namkeen-be it an accompaniment to our favorite whisky or just a yummy treat in the airport. Haldiram’s is always our first choice.
So how did Haldiram’s become a beloved choice? What is the history of Haldiram’s? Let’s dive into Haldiram’s history in this article.
Haldiram’s history started in 1937 with a boy fondly called Haldiram by his mother. His actual name was Ganga Bhisen Agarwal, and he was born in Bikaner in a Marwari family. Haldiram often helped out in his father’s shop at a young age, selling his aunt’s namkeen. After leaving his home with his wife due to a family dispute, he started selling homemade moong dal namkeen on the street, eventually starting his first shop in Bikaner. He reinvented his bhujia by adding moth flour to make it thinner, naming it “Dungar Sev” after Dungar Singh, the Maharaja of Bikaner, and it took off, skyrocketing his sales.
A pivotal point in Haldiram history is having a book written on them! Pavitra Kumar covers the entire story of Haldiram’s in her book ‘Bhujia Barons’ that Agarwal was selling as much as 200 kilos of bhujia every week. Now, Haldiram’s has an estimated value of $3b, and even Kellogg’s wants to have a stake in it.
The rise of Haldiram’s
By 1993, Haldiram’s started exporting its products to 50 countries, including the US. In 2003, this multi-crore company earned the Most Trusted Brand industry certification.
Unlike many other Indian companies, Haldiram’s history shows us its success because of the founding family’s strict control over operations. Like all family recipes, Haldiram’s guards its bhujiya and product recipes dearly. Family-led teams are in charge of manufacturing, and each new family member is groomed to take over key positions in the company. In 2017, it was crowned as the country’s largest snack company, surpassing all domestic and international competitors like Domino’s and Mcdonald’s.
Challenges faced by Haldiram’s
Haldiram has also faced its set of hurdles and struggles. The Maggi ban in 2015, the US food regulatory authority also banned several snacks and food products made by Haldiram’s. They found food pesticides and bacteria at high levels and marked them unsafe. In September 2015, India’s FDA took numerous tests on the products and gave the company a clean chit. Growing past these challenges, Haldiram’s is looking for newer tie-ups and paths for growth. In some states, the company partners with Indian Railways to provide food on long-distance trains.
You can also check this out From Food to Success: Journey of Zomato
From selling Bhujia to setting up a multi-billion dollar company, Haldiram’s is one of the biggest brands in India. The company has grown tremendously over the years, and there’s no stopping.