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From a Tiny Stall to Snack Kingdom: Chandubhai Virani's Rs 10,000 Success Story

Understand how Balaji Wafers leverages 'Value for Money' strategy and familial business approach to achieve massive growth in India's snack market.

From a Tiny Stall to Snack Kingdom: Chandubhai Virani's Rs 10,000 Success Story

Wednesday July 26, 2023 , 2 min Read

Balaji Wafers, a household name in many parts of India, has a rich legacy driven by the inspiring journey of its founder, Chandubhai Virani. Aged 60, Chandubhai started his venture into potato wafers in 1982 with a modest investment of just Rs 10,000, crafted from his own home. The company went on to achieve a staggering turnover of Rs 1,800 crores by 2017.

Chandubhai Virani, known for his humble personality, prefers to lead a simple life. Despite being a successful business tycoon, he is often seen in modest attire and spends his free time admiring the beauty of nature. His interests span from farming literature to enjoying traditional Kathiawadi cuisine.

The journey of Balaji Wafers started amidst hardship in 1972 when frequent rains made farming untenable. Chandubhai and his brothers moved to Rajkot, beginning a business in fertilizers and farm implements with Rs 20,000. After experiencing failure and being cheated due to their inexperience, the brothers pivoted to selling refreshments at a local cinema. Their dedication paid off, earning them a contract to run the canteen, paving the way for the inception of Balaji Wafers.

The group, starting as a small cottage industry, eventually grew into a multi-million-dollar company, producing a variety of popular snacks from potato chips to grain-based namkeens. Balaji Wafers was officially established in 1982 with an investment of Rs 20,000, meeting increasing demand by producing homemade wafers.

Growth was the next step, and by 1999, Balaji Wafers had established Gujarat's inaugural fully mechanized potato chips factory. Their ascendancy was spectacular, taking a commanding 90% share of Gujarat's potato chips market by 2006. Now, they operate production facilities in Rajkot and Valsad, with the capacity to produce 3,400 kg of potato chips every hour, and they offer employment opportunities to nearly 250,000 individuals.

Balaji Group's unique approach to business focuses on treating every member like family and providing 'Value for Money' to its customers. It currently enjoys a 13.7% share of the local potato and vegetable chips market and has plans to raise funds for further expansion.

Despite past failures in various ventures, Chandubhai's tenacity and experience propelled Balaji Wafers to its current success. The journey of Balaji Wafers, from humble beginnings to becoming a behemoth in the snack industry, is a testament to the power of resilience and innovation.