Balaji Wafers Private Limited
Balaji Wafers Limited is India’s leading snack food manufacturer and distributor. Its headquarter is situated in Rajkot, Gujrat, India. Bhikhubhai Virani, Chandubhai, and Kanubhai Virani are founders of the Balaji wafer. The company products portfolio includes flavored wafers, namkeen, and western snacks.
Balaji Wafers History
Balaji Wafers is one of the leading snack food manufacturers and distributors. The Virani brothers started making wafers on their own. Balaji wafer headquarters is in Rajkot, Gujrat, India. Bhikhubhai Virani, Chandubhai, and Kanubhai Virani are founders of the Balaji wafer. Chandubhai and his brother Kanubhai and Bhikhubhai belong from a small village Dhan Dhoraji, Jamnagar District, Gujrat. Their father Popatbhai Virani’s occupation was farming.
In 1972 Popatbhai sold their agricultural land for $280 ( 20,000 Rupees ) and gave them to enter into business. Virani brothers started a farm equipment business but had the same lack of experience and knowledge regarding marketing. They could not succeed and lost all funds. After these losses Virani brothers haven’t any land for farming, so they went to Rajkot for new opportunities and jobs. In 1994 Virani brothers took the canteen of the Astron cinema. They worked hard and loyally and soon they were asked the owner to run the canteen. In the beginning, they were sold wafers and sandwiches. Virani Brothers noticed wafer packets most sold in the canteen.
In 1984, they started manufacturing the Potato wafers and distributed them to nearby retailers, the sale was small but their dreams were too high. After the retail success, they were inspired to set up a large unit. In 1989 Virani brothers took a loan to set up a semi-automated plant in Rajkot. The aim was to improve the quality and hygiene of the wafers and also wanted products to reach every region of the country. The semi-automated plant reduced the efforts but after certain periods went under maintenance or technical issues. Then the Virani brothers set up a fully automated manufacturing plant, also extended the line of products for namkeen and snacks.
In the Initial stage, Balaji wafers set up their plant at Valsad, Rajkot with a fully automated concept of making potato chips they operated there for around 22 years. The Rajkot manufacturing plant was the largest in the country. Also widened the distribution network to other states. In 2008 they set up a new plant in Valsad, one of the biggest in Asia at the point. Also, they built manufacturing units for namkeen and other snacks in the same region to achieve increasing demands from another state. They set up a hi-tech plant in 2015 at Indore to serve the northern and western regions of the country.
Balaji Wafers Products and Businesses
The Balaji wafer had a 51+ product range and 93+ SKUs ( Stock Keeping Units ). The products were distributed in three types of Namkeen wafers and western snacks. The company had a massive growth in the chips sector in the 2007-16 decade, Also they aimed to grab a similar market in the frozen food and fries sector by launching a new line of products under the Iscon – Balaji food Brands. The main competitor in the frozen food industry is McCain food. They have six main distributors networks, which included 700 dealers and more than eight lakh shopkeepers. The company has an employee strength of 5000 people of which 2500 are women.
Balaji Wafers Production Capacity
The Balaji Wafers now a day own four food processing units in India with a total 6.5 lakh kg food processing capacity of potatoes and 10 lakh kg capacity of namkeen per day. Balaji makes around 30+ varieties of products like 12 flavored wafers, 12 namkeen, 12 are western snacks. The Balaji wafers Valsad plant started in 2008 and its food processing capacity is approximately 9000 kg of potatoes per hour. Also, the production capacity of the Rajkot plant is 8000-10,000 kg per hour, and they plan to set up two new production units, which will increase 50% production capacity.
Balaji Wafers Market Share
Balaji wafer share of the local potato and banana chips market grew to 13.7% in 2012 from 9.5% in 2008 according to Euromonitor. The company’s main competitors are lays, Kurkure, Parle, and Bingo. According to global researcher Euromonitor show the year between 2013 to 2015 Lay’s share dropped from 51.1% to 49.5% and local player Balaji wafer has steadily gained share every year. The market is estimated to be around Rs- 7000 to 10,000 crores. Balaji wafers dominated the market of western products with a share of 71% and in its home state, Gujrat goes around 90% share. The company has a major market share in Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Goa, and around 15% in Madhyapradesh(MP).
“The Economic Times” recognized Balaji Wafers as ‘Sultan of Wafers’. Balaji wafer is a member of the ‘Snacks food Association.’