How these brands found the recipe for success and other top stories of the week
There are enough examples in history to validate that Indian kitchens produce the most delicious food and have enough inspiring business stories.
This week, SMBStory covered the journeys of— a brand whose muesli were served to former US President Bill Clinton — and Empire Spices and Foods, a popular papad and pickle brand that recently onboarded Madhuri Dixit-Nene as its brand ambassador.
Shyam Bagri was just 19 years old when he joined his family business of flou -milling in the late 1970s. Wanting to explore more, he established a flour-milling unit at 21 and ran the B2B unit for the next few years.
However, Shyam wanted much more than running a flour mill business.
“He had the desire to establish his brand, which is healthy and nutritious, and it wasn't driven by any commercial objective,” his son Aditya Bagri tells SMBStory.
This is how cereal brand Bagrry's began its journey in 1994. In particular, the company came into the limelight when former US President Bill Clinton was served Bagrry’s muesli during his visit to India in 2000.
Today, Bagrry’s basket includes nutrition bars, peanut butter, quinoa seeds, flax seeds, and apple cider vinegar, among others, in its product lineup to keep up with consumer demands. It is present across 70,000 outlets in India and exports to eight countries, including the US and Canada.
Recently,signed up Bollywood actor Madhuri Dixit-Nene to endorse its popular flagship brand of pickles and papads, Ram Bandhu.
The partnership with the actor, according to the company Chairman Hemant Rathi, is like adding precious kesar (saffron) to a glass of milk.
One of the fastest-growing FMCG companies, Empire Spices and Foods offers a wide range of products, including pickles, papads, spices, ketchup, sauces, pastes, and chutneys. It is on a mission to expand its business and is reaching out to new markets.
Started in the 1970s in Nashik, the family-managed business Empire Spices and Foods brand portfolio includes brands Ram Bandhu, RBM, Temptin’, and Zaiqa.
The company has a presence across 12 states, with more than half a million retail shops, and a network of 1,000-plus distributors. The company also exports to countries like the US, the UK, Qatar, Dubai, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Bahrain.
In an interaction, the uncle-nephew duo share more about the company’s journey and future plans.
Other top stories of the week:
Hailing from a typical Marwari family, Namit Bajoria (49) was encouraged to start his venture. During his third year of graduation, he started taking small steps towards his entrepreneurial journey.
At the age of 23, in 1994, Namit borrowed Rs 1.30 lakh from his father to start a fax machine agency. But, over the years, Namit took bold steps, pivoted according to changing trends, and followed consumer demand to create a one-stop shop for all kitchen needs.
In 2003, Namit started— now a Rs 300 crore company — without any external funding. And to strengthen the ‘Made in India’ move, Namit is shifting the business from the import model to local manufacturing.
In an interaction, Namit talks about how he built the company and how he is contributing to the Aatmanirbhar Bharat initiative.