The packed snacks business has always been successful in the Indian market. Indians have always liked salty snacks to go with their cup of tea or just to munch away. While global brands have been very popular, there are Indian homegrown brands that enjoy a fair share of the market.
Today we share with you the success story of such a local brand that started with nothing, but today has become a prominent name in the FMCG sector.
This is the story of three brothers, Chandubhai Virani, Bheekhubhai Virani, and Meghjibhai Virani, who were born in a small village in Gujarat Jamnagar. Their father was a farmer who struggled to make ends meet and provide basic necessities for his family.
In 1972, the Virani brothers decided to move to the city to earn a better living. They convinced their father to sell the land and use the funds as start-up capital to start their business. Rs 20,000 is what they got to start their new venture.
They started trading agricultural equipment but could not be successful and lost all their money. After losing all hope and unable to return to their village, the brothers decided to open a small canteen in a theater in Rajkot in 1974 where they sold wafers and sandwiches made by their wives.
For the next fifteen years, the brothers did well in their canteen business, and homemade waffles and sandwiches became very popular in the area. This encouraged them to try to further expand their business. In 1989 they installed a semi-automatic plant to fry French fries. That's when they launched their Balaji Wafers brand, which provided premium chips at very nominal prices.
The brothers worked very hard and personally went door to door to market their product. The initial days were not very promising because many buyers would not be very keen to buy their products either due to packaging or had problems buying in bulk. Many even bought the wafers on credit, which made it difficult for Balaji Wafers to stay afloat. But the brothers never gave up and decided to give everything they could to make this business work.
The Taste Of Success
Balaji Wafers started with three brothers and their wives today works on a very large scale. The brand has manufacturing plants in Valsad and Rajkot that manufacture over more than 38 tonnes of chips and 24 tonnes of wafers every day. The brothers recently invested a large sum of Rs 400 crore in Madhya set up their third manufacturing plant. Their plant in Pithampur, Indore has a daily capacity of 24 tonnes of wafers or chips.
Today, Balaji Wafers is a prominent name in the snack industry, competing with few international brands and some leading national brands. The Indian snacks market today is worth Rs 50,000 crore in which salty snacks capture 60 percent and potato chips hold 40 percent of the market share.
At the moment, Balaji Wafers has a 65 percent market share of salty snacks in Gujarat, 50 percent in Maharashtra, 35 percent in Rajasthan, and 25 percent in Madhya Pradesh. Balaji Wafers reported revenue of Rs 2,400 crore in 2020.
Source: Marketing Mind
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