From Bhujia to Bourse

From Bhujia to Bourse
The company has a reach of 8.5 lakh outlets in India which is aspired to grow to 11.5 lakh outlets two years down the line.

By Vaishnavi gupta , Sr Correspondent

23 Oct 2023 | 7 min read

Launched in 1993 by Shiv Ratan Agarwal, Bikaji Foods International is the largest manufacturer of Bikaneri Bhujia, the second largest manufacturer of handmade papad, third largest ethnic snacks company in India, and the second fastest growing company in the Indian organized snacks market. It claims that it is the first traditional snacks company to be listed on the stock exchange in November 2022, and currently has a market cap of more than Rs 12,500 crore.

Options Galore

The company operates into six categories, including bhujia, namkeen, packaged sweets, papad, western snacks, and other snacks (frozen, cookies, maida items, etc.), and offers consumers more than 300 products. Additionally, Bikaji has also developed a range of healthy snacks like jowar mix, multigrain mixture, beetroot, okra chips, etc.

The company as it goes to different geographies provides an offering according to the local taste of consumers like in the south, it has launched a southern mixture, murukku sticks Mangalore mix, and in the east, it has introduced Kolkata chana chur, jhaal muri, etc.

“One of our key strengths is that around 55 percent of our sales come through family packs (other than Rs 5 and Rs 10), which denotes that the brand is part of family consumption and is a household item and part of grocery planning of the family,” said Manoj Verma, COO, Bikaji Foods International Limited.

Going forward, the company will launch products such as multigrain bhujia, trail mix, nut mix, pulse mix, cocktail mix, roasted almonds, roasted cashews, etc.

From Bhujia to Bourse

Market Penetration

Bikaji has a presence in 23 states, and 4 union territories, and exports to more than 25 countries. The company has three core markets viz Rajasthan, Assam, and Bihar, where it has a market leadership position.

The company has a reach of 8.5 lakh outlets in India which is aspired to grow to 11.5 lakh outlets two years down the line. Further, the direct reach of Bikaji is around 1.6 lakh outlets which is aspired to grow to 2.5 lakh outlets around the same timeline.

“We have not neglected this in international markets as well where the company has a vast distribution network and to further strengthen it, we have recently opened up a subsidiary in the US which will act as a CFA to manage the distribution in the US continent,” asserted Verma.

Becoming Digital Savvy

The company undertook various initiatives to strengthen its presence across e-commerce, new generation, and institutional channels like upgrading its existing website to a one-of-a-kind online shopping portal. It has also developed its own shopping app, which is available on both Android and iOS platforms, and worked with leading e-commerce giants such as Amazon, Blinkit, Swiggy, BigBasket, and others to promote and sell its products.

With the world going digital, Bikaji has also laid importance on being actively present on all the social media platforms. “Our topical customer-led contests and influencer/movie collaborations are a prime way to increase the brand recall of our products. During the year under review, we ran our first campaign with MX player targeting consumers in the cow belt region of India. We also tied up with other states to run our ad campaigns on OTT platforms in regional languages that would be more real and relevant,” he explained.

Path Ahead

The company’s long-term vision is to become a “Foods Company” and become a part of each household. As a part of its strategy, the focus would be on driving distribution and reach, and range of products i.e. choice to consumers and innovation.

In the upcoming period, Bikaji will also launch two manufacturing plants in Bikaner, Rajasthan, and Raipur, Chhattisgarh, which will be operational by November 2023 and March 2024, respectively.

“Going forward, the opportunity is immense since till some time back we were primarily focused and strong in 3 states - Rajasthan, Bihar, and Rajasthan but now we are looking at growing in the rest of the states. Western snacks as a category is more than 50 percent of the overall snacking category, however, our presence till 2 years back was very low because of our inability to service distant markets. Now, we have built capacities across the country and started getting into it too,” concluded Verma.

Launched in 1993 by Shiv Ratan Agarwal, Bikaji Foods International is the largest manufacturer of Bikaneri Bhujia, the second largest manufacturer of handmade papad, third largest ethnic snacks company in India, and the second fastest growing company in the Indian organized snacks market. It claims that it is the first traditional snacks company to be listed on the stock exchange in November 2022, and currently has a market cap of more than Rs 12,500 crore.

Options GaloreThe company operates into six categories, including bhujia, namkeen, packaged sweets, papad, western snacks, and other snacks (frozen, cookies, maida items, etc.), and offers consumers more than 300 products. Additionally, Bikaji has also developed a range of healthy snacks like jowar mix, multigrain mixture, beetroot, okra chips, etc.

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