Neeraj Agrawal:Director, Haldiram’s Foods International

For over 80 years, we’ve been known for our traditional taste and age-old recipes,” Neeraj Agrawal tells The CEO Magazine. “That’s what we stand for and that’s what our tagline also says: ‘a taste of tradition’.”

Since his great-great-grandfather’s time, the same recipes, the same taste and the same quality has run through every sachet of namkeen or box of kaju katli.

“That is something that we take pride in,” the Director says.

But that doesn’t mean that the business hasn’t moved forward and evolved with the times. Since those early days, when Ganga Bishan Agarwal started selling namkeen from a small store in Bikaner, Rajasthan, Haldiram’s has relocated, expanded, added new products, opened retail stores and taken the name to overseas markets, including the United States.

I knew that everything was moving online and that people would eventually start shopping online.

In 1970, his grandson Shiv Kishan Agarwal shifted the headquarters to Nagpur and, in 1982, it opened its first store in Delhi.

And since his great-great-grandson officially joined the family business in his early 20s, the company has taken a step into a whole new world: the digital one. “I joined when I had just finished my master’s in the United Kingdom,” Agrawal says.

“After everything I’d seen there, I knew that everything was moving online and that people would eventually start shopping online.”

Haldiram’s had yet to embrace ecommerce, however. “We had a website, but it was inactive,” he explains, adding that it was just a holding page about the business.

Under Agrawal’s direction, not only did the website become a channel to showcase and sell the complete range of Haldiram’s products, but the company made its first foray into social media. “We started doing a lot of campaigns and social media activities,” he says.

Year-on-year growth from the ecommerce segment of the business has been the reward of his initiative.




Sweet Exports


Haldiram’s first appeared on a supermarket shelf outside of India in 1993. The country? The United States.

Today you’ll find Haldiram’s traditional Indian sweets and savory snacks in Tesco, Sommerfield, Spinneys and Carrefour, among other global chains.

“In the near future we hope to be in Algeria, Jordan, Yemen, Taiwan, Columbia, Cyprus, Ukraine, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Armenia, West Indies, Sweden, Finland, and Trinidad and Tobago,” the company states on its website.