From making wafers in a 1 BHK home to being an industry leader in western India, Rajkot-based Balaji Wafers have a worthy success story to tell. In this story, we will read about the inspiring story of Virani Brothers – the family behind the iconic Balaji Brand.
Crux of the Matter
The Virani Brothers started Balaji Wafers in 1982, Rajkot.
- Extruded Snacks
(They have over 50 odd varieties)
- Madhya Pradesh
- 1974: The Brothers trio shifted to Rajkot with ₹20,000. Failed at running an agriculture product business. joined Astron Cinema’s Canteen.
- 1981: With the growing demand for wafers & getting a contract to run the canteen, the trio decided to make homemade potato chips named Balaji.
- 1995: Extending the product offerings, it became a Private Limited firm and set up a fully automated plant in Rajkot
- 2002: Set up a new state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Rajkot and began distribution in Rajasthan and Maharashtra.
- 2015: Set up Indore plant for serving Northern & Western India.
- 2020: Had 59 products, 120 SKUs, dealer count of 1,000, and clocked revenue of ₹2,374 crores.
- The second generation of founders is gradually taking over the business.
The Differentiating Factor
Adamant on not selling the company to MNC Goliaths even at an offer quadruple its revenue in 2014.
“If they thought they could intimidate me with their size, they were wrong.”Chandubhai Virani, Founder & Director, Balaji Wafers
- Followed a fixed pattern of progressing in one area at a time.
- The aim was to bring happiness to stakeholders and not run after targets (although they never had one).
- Strict adherence to the Philosophy “Profit doesn’t gives you business but business gives you profit”
- Challenging to become a pan-India player.
- Compete with not just global but local variants of the products.
- Expanding an efficient distribution syWaf
- Lord Venkateshwara is a form of the Hindu god Maha Vishnu. Balaji is one of the many names of Lord Venkateshwara.
- The global potato chip market generated total revenue of US$16.49 billion in 2005. This accounted for 35.5% of the total savoury snacks market in that year ($46.1 billion).
- The earliest known recipe for something similar to today’s potato chips is in William Kitchiner’s book, The Cook’s Oracle published in 1817, which was a bestseller in the United Kingdom and the United States. Early recipes for potato chips in the US are found in Mary Randolph’s Virginia House-Wife (1824) and in N.K.M. Lee’s Cook’s Own Book (1832), both of which explicitly cite Kitchiner.