A Vendor Starting Biggest Brand, Story Of Kedarnath Aggarwal
Image Credit: Nabaroon Roy/facebook

Namkeens like bhujia and mathri hold a special place in the hearts of every Indian. They are our favourite snacks to pair with evening tea. You can find plenty of brands selling flavourful namkeens, and Bikanervala is one of the most popular ones. Headquartered in Delhi, this is a renowned Indian restaurant chain that specialises in sweets and snacks.  

Though it was started with a small shop in Chandni Chowk, today, this group has a turnover of ₹ 1,300 crore and has over 150 outlets in India and other parts of the world like Singapore and New Zealand. The credit for Bikanervala’s success goes to Kedarnath Aggarwal and his brother Lalji, who moved to the capital city in 1950 to explore new opportunities for expanding their traditional business. 

Popularly known as Kakaji, Kedarnath Aggarwal, who scripted the legacy of Bikanervala, passed away on Monday at the age of 86. He started his entrepreneurial journey by selling bhujiya and rasgulla on the streets of Old Delhi before becoming the chairman of the country's most popular snack and sweets company, Bikanervala Group. 

Hailing from Bikaner, the Aggarwal family has had a sweet shop in their hometown since 1905. It was called Bikaner Namkeen Bhandar, and they used to sell a few varieties of traditional snacks and sweets.  But Kaka Ji had larger ambitions, and he decided to migrate to Delhi to expand his business. In the early 1950s, he and his brother Satyanarayan Aggarwal came to Delhi with a determination to give their traditional family business a big name. 

The journey was not easy, as initially, they both had to struggle a lot. The brothers used to sell bhujia and rasgulla on the streets of Delhi by carrying them in buckets. However, their hard work paid off, and soon the Aggarwal brothers and their unique taste of Bikaner got recognition and acceptance by the locals.  

Later, they started a shop in Chandini Chowk called Bikaner Namkeen Bhandar, and step-by-step, they got their identity in the food industry. Then the name of the shop was changed to Bikanervala. Their family recipes, such as moong dal halwa, Bikaneri bhujia, and kaju katli, started getting recognition in different regions of the country, and the legacy was passed from generation to generation. 

In 1988, to make Bikanervala a global brand, they launched Bikano, which had huge success. It was made to sell sweets and namkeens in air-tight packages overseas. Seven years later, in 1995, the company also entered into an agreement with PepsiCo’s to produce and sell Indian namkeens under the brand Lehar. For this, they had set up a new plant in Faridabad, Haryana. Since then, Bikanervala has been ruling the market with their incredible taste and business skills.