Bhelpuri beats burgers just as comprehensively as farsan beats fries. Haldiram’s revenues, at Rs 3,500 crore, is more than the combined revenue of Domino’s (Rs 1,733 crore) and McDonald’s (Rs 1,390 crore; adding toplines of the two separate operations in India). Or take that popular two-minute snack, Maggi, which netted a revenue of Rs 1,200 crore; Haldiram is almost three comtimes bigger.
These figures — for 2013-14; the latest available in official records — when combined with the fact that Haldiram’s commands 40 per cent of the Rs 5,500-crore traditional snacks business, conclusively demonstrates one thing.Whether in fast food or munchies, and despite the profusion of MNC brands with high cool quotient in both categories, good old-fashioned Indian offerings from Haldiram’s still dominate the market.
Equally interestingly, Haldiram’s, present both through its ubiquitous casual dining eateries and its packaged snacks, is a success story with some unusual twists. First, the brand has survived disputes and break-ups in the original Agarwal family that started with a small shop in Bikaner in 1937. Haldiram is the biggest brand of those launched by Agarwals.
Second, Haldiram’s itself has succeeded as a national brand although the business is broken into three distinct geography-based entities. In 2013-14, Haldiram Manufacturing, which looks at North India, clocked Rs 2,100 crore in revenues. Haldiram Foods, catering to West and South India, had annual sales of Rs 1,225 crore. And Haldiram Bhujiawala, which does business in East India, earned revenues of Rs 210 crore.
Third, owners remain old-fashioned in that they aren’t looking at exiting. “Contrary to many consumer company founders who have taken an exit route in the last few years, we are more interested in building and preserving the business for the next generation,” says 40-year-old Kamal Agarwal, fourth generation member of the founding family.
Fourth, every savoury and sweet items sold by Haldiram’s is made inhouse, in units closely monitored by family-dominated management.”Developing and manufacturing products in-house in over ten dedicated units has also helped the company experiment with a host of new products,” Agarwal says.