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Bikaji: From Humble Beginnings to a 13,000 Cr Snacking Empire

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Bikaji: From Humble Beginnings to a 13,000 Cr Snacking Empire

Snacking is so much fun!! It’s a delightful indulgence, whether it’s during your favorite movies, picnics, parties, or even just chilling at home. When your taste buds crave excitement, reaching for that spicy packet in the cupboard can turn your afternoons, evenings, or even nights into something special.

Are you itching to uncover the story behind that colorful pack that occasionally catches your eye? We are sure you’ve often picked up a pack of this Bhujia brand we’re talking about. It’s known not just in India but internationally, too. India alone is in 22 states and ships to almost 35 countries worldwide.

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From Restless Spirit to Culinary Legacy

Shivratan was a young boy with a restless spirit. While others found success in academic achievements, Shivratan found the kitchens and spices were more enticing.

Captivated by the magic of snack-making, his keen interest led him to learn the art of making bhujia from his grandfather, a secret family recipe passed down through generations.

It wasn’t just a recipe; it was a legacy, a taste of tradition waiting to be shared with the world – the taste of Bikaneri Bhujia!

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A Dream and a Secret Recipe

When Shivratan decided to pursue his dream in the late 1980s, large-scale bhujia production seemed like a distant dream. Technology was scarce, and the market was uncharted territory. 

But, Shivratan was determined and believed in the power of his family recipe. He decided to not only create a business but to carve a path for himself away from his family business.

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Bikaneri Bhujia

Fired up by his dream, Shivratan took the plunge in 1987, launching his Bikaneri Bhujia business. He didn’t shy away from rolling up his sleeves, personally pedaling through dusty streets and delivering each packet with his own hands.

It wasn’t just about sales; it was about connecting with his customers, understanding their likes, and ensuring his bhujia found a place in their hearts.

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In A Crowded Marketplace 

The Indian snack market was far from an empty plate. Competition was fierce, and scaling up using traditional methods was difficult.

Yet, Shivratan had faith in his product, so he meticulously maintained the highest quality standards, ensuring every Bhujia was crafted with the finest ingredients.

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Setting up Shivdeep Industries

Shivratan wondered how to meet the growing demand while staying true to his roots?

The answer was the establishment of Shivdeep Industries Ltd. in 1987, which meant shifting to a machine process.  

He embarked on international trips, seeking knowledge and acquiring machinery specifically designed for snack production to meet growing demand while keeping his cherished family recipe intact.

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Bikaji, The Brand Was Born

Shivratan felt that his company’s name didn’t quite capture the essence of Bikaner’s culture. In 1993, he discovered the perfect name for the brand inspired by the city’s founder.

He renamed the brand Bikaji after Prince Bika Rao, the founder of Bikaner. The new name became memorable, linking Bikaneri Bhujia to every consumer. 

Under his leadership, the disorganized Bhujia manufacturing sector transformed into a thriving industry.

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First Export Venture

In 1994, Shivratan decided to export his products to the UAE, marking Bikaji’s first international export venture.

Customers adored Bikaji Bhujia, spreading its fame far and wide. Bikaji became synonymous with irresistible spice and crunch.

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Achievements & Accolades

Bikaji clinched the Rajasthan State Award for Export Excellence in 2008 and followed it up with the Government of Rajasthan State Award for Export Excellence in 2009.

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A Snacking Powerhouse

Today, Bikaji stands tall as India’s top manufacturer of Bikaneri bhujia, spreading its products worldwide, from the Asia Pacific to North America and the Middle East.

With six manufacturing units in India, Bikaji offers a wide array of namkeen, handmade papads, western snacks, and packaged sweets.

Bikaji holds is the second-largest handmade papad producer in India. Their repertoire extends to snacks, such as chips, with an impressive selection of over 30 packaged sweets, including favorites like soan papdi, dry fruit barfi, gulab jamun, rasgulla, and rajbhog.

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The Magic of Star Power

In 2019, Bikaji added star power to its Ads, welcoming Amitabh Bachchan as its brand ambassador, kicking off the awesome “Amitji loves Bikaji” campaign.

Teaming up with the legendary Bollywood icon, Bikaji set out to win over folks from every generation and create a stronger bond with ethnic snacking.

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Bikaji Strengthens Grip on Ethnic Snacks

In a bold move, Bikaji Foods acquired a stake in Bhujialalji Pvt. Ltd., solidifying its position in the ethnic snacks market.

This strategic acquisition and Lighthouse Funds’ recent investment approval from the CCI underscores Bikaji’s impressive growth and bright future within the industry.

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Bikaji Bites into Strong Growth

Bikaji Foods International’s revenue surged 23%, reaching a mouthwatering ₹624 crores compared to last year’s ₹508 crores.

The company’s profit also saw a sweet 15% increase, rising to ₹46 crores in the third quarter, compared to ₹40 crores the year before, fueled by the festive season buying spree.

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Setting New Standards in Snacking

As India’s food and beverage industry feasts on a projected 14.2% annual growth by 2024, fueled by a young, urban population hungry for new experiences, Bikaji is poised to become a major player in the global snacking arena.

Bikaji is not content with simply satisfying appetites; they’re aiming to shake things up in the FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) sector with their sights set on the world stage.

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Achieving Their Ambitious Goal

Diving headfirst into cutting-edge research and development they seek to secure the finest, premium ingredients, transforming their beloved bhujia recipe into a global phenomenon.

It is not just about expansion; it’s about staying true to their legacy while catering to the ever-evolving preferences of a diverse consumer base.

Bikaji’s journey, from the dusty streets of 1987 to a 13,000 Cr empire, is a testament to their firm dedication to quality and innovation.

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I’m Archana R. Chettiar, an experienced content creator with
an affinity for writing on personal finance and other financial content. I
love to write on equity investing, retirement, managing money, and more.

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