The Bhujia Baron Under Deepak Agarwal, MD, Bikaji Foods, the brand became the first one in the snacking category to rope in superstar Amitabh Bachchan as ambassador, and in 2022, became the first listed company from the ethnic food industry.

By Priya Kapoor

This story appears in the July 2023 issue of Entrepreneur India. Subscribe »

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Deepak Agarwal, MD, Bikaji Foods

In the last three decades of its establishment, Bikaji foods has expanded its footprint not only across the country, but also internationally. The company currently boasts of 8 depots, 38 super stockists and 486 distributors in the country; supported by manufacturing units in Bikaner, Kolkata, Guwahati, Bangalore (Tumkur), Muzzafarpur, Kanpur and Patna.

"We started our export journey in 1994 with the first consignment to Dubai and then there was no looking back. I am proud to share that Bikaji is now available in over 26 countries across the globe and we are looking to grow this network further in the years to come," says Deepak Agarwal, MD, Bikaji Foods.

Agarwal, who joined his family business, believes that coming from a small town has its own issues like hiring and retaining professional talent (Bikaner), resources like water and electricity, connectivity to the city (from metros) and supply chain management. "The good thing that comes with challenges is that it also pushes you to think out of the box to overcome the same. Therefore, we got creative and created a better ecosystem to support ourselves; and continue to do so."

Agarwal is a visionary like his father, Shivratan Agarwal. "My father was the first one to have set up a factory to manufacture Bhujia, launch packaging for this product's shelf life and mobility, colour packaging for the category, automate multiple production processes for these ethnic snacks for mass production and a lot more. Like all next generation business leaders, I entered the family business with much vigour to take it to newer heights. It is almost unheard of when we became one of the first companies in this industry to have raised funds through private equity investments (in 2014). Apprehensions were many but I had a vision to make Bikaji a household name in India, and abroad. It is this decision of ours that inspired us to launch our IPO," explains Agarwal.

On how challenges have changed over the years, Aggarwal says, "While the initial challenge was to change consumer habits since we decided to take a local product to the mass market in new packaging, what came next was to improve the shelf life of Bhujia. Thereon, it was all about scalability," says Agarwal.

In 2019, the brand became the first one in the snacking category to rope in superstar Amitabh Bachchan as ambassador, and on November 16th, 2022, Bikaji became the first listed company from the ethnic food industry. More recently, it acquired 49% stake in Bhujialalji.

Digital transformation has been a driving force for Bikaji. "We now have over 75% percent automation in play and have strengthened the business ecosystem by implementing a central ERP in all manufacturing units," concludes Agarwal.


Year of inception of the company: 1993

Turnover: INR 1600+ crores (FY 2021-22)

No. of employees: 2500+

Head office location: Bikaner, Rajasthan

Priya Kapoor

Feature Editor

Priya holds more than a decade of experience in journalism. She has worked on various beats and was chosen as a Road Safety Fellow in 2018, wherein she produced many in-depth & insightful features on road crashes in India. She writes on startups, personal finance and Web3. Outside of work, she likes gardening, driving and reading. She can be reached at her email id:




Related Topics

Business News

Here's the Secret to Growing Your Small Business, According to Execs at UPS, Airbnb, Mastercard, and Other Big Brands

These 10 executives work at big companies, overseeing programs that help small business. Here's the advice they wish all small business owners were getting.

Business News

'Bar Tab Was Almost 80%': Restaurant Slams Well-Known Columnist After He Goes Viral For Claiming His Meal Cost $78

A photo of a burger and fries from 1911 Smokehouse BBQ at Newark Airport went viral for its alleged price, but the restaurant says the man didn't factor in his many alcoholic drinks.

Business News

Is Your Relationship With Your Work at a Breaking Point? You're Not Alone, Survey Finds

In a new survey by HP, 83% of unhappy workers said they are willing to earn less to be happier at their job.

Growing a Business

This is the Number One Mistake to Avoid After Hiring Your First Employee. Are You Guilty of It?

Hiring the "best candidate for the job" won't necessarily cut it anymore.

Growing a Business

A 5-Time Founder Shares His Best Success Tips

Godard Abel's sold businesses to Oracle and Salesforce, and these are the three biggest secrets to his success.

Business News

Opening a New McDonald's Franchise Will Be More Expensive in 2024

Starting January 1, franchise royalty fees will rise from 4% to 5% for new locations in the U.S. and Canada.