Balaji Wafers has become a household name in many parts of India. Chandubhai Virani, the 60-year-old founder and director of Balaji Wafers Private Limited, has a story that can inspire all of us. He started making potato wafers in 1982. His was a very humble start with an investment of just Rs 10,000, at his own house. His company then went on to become a large brand that had a turnover of Rs 1,800 crore in 2017.
Chandubhai Virani is known to be a down-to-earth person who leads a very low profile life. If one visits his office, he can see his walls are adorned with pictures of his father, his gurus and Swami Vivekananda.
Balaji Wafers is arguably the largest domestic potato wafer brand snack brand in the country. In his earlier years, Chandubhai started as a gate-keeper at Astron Cinema in Rajkot. His dedication and hard work at the cinema were noticed by Govindbhai – the cinema owner, who handed over the canteen to him on contract basis in 1976. Before Balaji Wafers was founded, for six years they ran the canteen, and thereafter decided to invest around INR 20,000 and start their core business.
From that point the success story of Chandubhai Virani started and never stopped!
Balaji Group is based out of Rajkot, Gujarat. This company is one of the leading manufacturers and distributors of potato chips and packaged snacks such as Wafers, Banana Wafers, Masala-Wafers, Simply-Salted-Wafers, Tomato-Wafers, Sev, Chanal-Dal, Gathiya, Moong-Dal etc. Balaji Gorup, today, is a Multi Million Dollar company.
During its growing years, a desperate need of bringing in latest technology was felt and in 1999 Balaji Wafers installed Gujarat’s first fully automated potato chips plant and then another one in 2003-04 with a capacity of 1,200 kg per hour. Their growth escalated quickly and by 2006, Balaji captured a 90% share of the potato chips market in Gujarat. Besides Gujrat, they continued to grow in the markets of Maharashtra and Rajasthan.
By 2017, Balaji owned four plants in India with a total processing capacity of 6.5 lakh kg of potatoes and 10 lakh kg of namkeen a day. Besides potato wafers, Balaji also makes around 30 varieties of salted snacks and savories.
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