Chandubhai Virani: The Owner Of Balaji Wafers

History of Balaji Wafers

In the Jamnagar district of Gujarat, Chandubhai and his brothers Bhikhubhai and Kanubhai left their little village of Dhun Dhoraji. Their farmer father, Popatbhai Virani, handed them 20,000 (US$250) to start a business after selling the family farmland.

Despite investing in farm machinery, the Viranis failed and lost their money. In a canteen of an action movie theatre in Rajkot, Kakubhai and his brothers launched a wafer company in 1974. The Viranis’ home was where the wafers were made and distributed till 1989 in and around Rajkot City.

Beginning with a revolutionary method of making potato chips, Balaji Wafers opened their facility at Aji Vasad (Industrial Zone, Rajkot).

Success Story of Chandubhai Founder: Balaji Wafers

The biggest advantage they received was the availability of ready-made infrastructure, which significantly lowered their cost. There they ran a business for around 22 years.

With a modest investment of Rs 10,000 in a shack he had erected in his backyard, Chandubhai Virani, the 60-year-old founder and chairman of Balaji Wafers, Chandubhai Private Limited, started making potato wafers in 1982. He then went on to create a company that generated Rs 1,800 crore in sales in 2017. The main regional potato wafer and snack company in the nation and the second-largest player in the potato wafer market is Balaji Wafers.

In 1972, Meghjibhai, Bhikhubhai, and Chandubhai received 20,000 rupees apiece from Popat Ramjibhai Virani, Chandubhai’s father. When the family relocated to Dhundoraji in the Jamnagar region, around 79 kilometres from Rajkot, Chandubhai was only 15 years old.

His older brothers spent money on fertiliser and farming supplies, yet they were out of pocket. The three brothers were obliged to leave in search of a job due to a meagre rainfall and the accompanying terrible drought, and the youngest brother, Kanubhai, stay behind with his parents and two sisters. For Chandubhai, no task was too big or small. The proprietor of the cinema canteen was so satisfied after a year that he extended an offer to him and his siblings for a contract for Rs 1,000 per month.

By 1982, the entire family had moved to Rajkot, and Ramjibhai had bought a house with a sizable yard. The family provided the cafeteria with “masala” sandwiches; while they were well-liked, they were also perishable, so Chandubhai saw wafers as a possible product. After finishing up at the canteen, Chandubhai built a small hut in the courtyard for an estimated cost of 10,000 rupees and started experimenting with making chips.

Chandubhai worked at three canteens, including one at the Kotecha Girls High School and two at the Astron Cinema. Soon after that, he started selling wafers to another 25–30 retailers, and in 1984. They decided to call themselves Balaji. the problem is yet there.

Nothing could stop Chandhubhai, who persisted in his efforts despite the obstacles. They held onto his optimism that things will turn around, and never compromised on quality. Chandubhai started a company in 1989 with modest profits and a bank credit of about Rs 50 lakh in Rajkot’s Aji GIDC. Moreover, these are which at the time housed Gujarat’s largest potato wafer plant.

Bhikhubhai, Chandubhai, and Kanubhai, three brothers, created Balaji Wafers Private Limited. By offering superior goods, delivery, price, and services, they fended off rivals like Uncle Chipps, Simba, and Binnies.

With 4 facilities presently operating in India, Balaji can process 6.5 million kg of potatoes and 10 million kg of nankeen every day. In addition, Balaji makes around 30 more savoury and salty snacks. The largest capacity in Asia at the time, their third factory in Valsad. It opened in 2008 and can process 9,000 kg of potatoes per hour. A cutting-edge, fully automated factory was launched in Indore in 2016 to extend across the nation.

While Lay’s market share decreased from 51.1 per cent to 49.5 per cent between 2013 and 2015, local businesses like Balaji Wafers founder Chandubhai. It steadily expanded its market share every year in a market worth around Rs 7,000 to 10,000 crores. The data is according to a report by the international research firm Euromonitor.  The company is currently expanding at a rate of 20% to 25% per year. Several businesses, including MNCs, have asked Chandhubhai to purchase a stake in Balaji.

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