Monday, December 4, 2023

    Britannia: The country’s first biscuit company started at just Rs 295, today has a turnover of Rs 12,000 crore


    Its foundation was laid in 1892 in a small house in Dumdum, Calcutta.
    In 1921 Britannia started using gas ovens.
    The company was converted into Britannia Industries Limited on 3 October 1979.

    BritanniaOur childhood joy, the first bite of a medicine pill, the companion of tea. A long journey companion. A late evening snack is a recipe for learning ‘don’t drink plain water’. Don’t know to whom, how it relates, but part of a huge population. Starting from biscuits, the journey extends to bread, cakes, rusk, cheese, drinks and milk. As special as this company’s products are to us, its journey is equally exciting. Starting from just Rs 295, this company today has a turnover of around Rs 12 thousand crores.

    It was founded in a small house in present-day Kolkata and in 1892 in Dum Dum, Kolkata. Gupta Brothers was behind it and cost a total of Rs.295. After that, it was associated with many of our generations. Has become part of the house. After 26 years, on 21 March 1918, CH Holmes joined Gupta Brothers… and then it became a public limited company. Britannia became the only company to make the stoves you see in homes today east of the Suez River. It started using gas ovens in 1921.

    This was the time when the freedom struggle was going on in India. Indians had to think before consuming each pie. Spending power was very low. ‘Do Joon Ki Roti’ was characteristic of a rich family. But despite all this, Britannia’s business has not only flourished but has also been able to build credibility among customers due to its quality.

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    Britannia made its mark in a very short time and opened a new factory in 1924 at Kasara Pier Road, Mumbai. At the same time the company became a subsidiary of Peak Frein & Company Limited UK. After that, factories were opened in many places in Kolkata and Mumbai.

    During World War II, Britannia was used extensively by the British government. Between 1939 and 1945, a large portion of its production was sent to troops fighting in the war. Britannia was fully supplied. It is claimed in many places that about 95% of the production was sent to the troops.

    Independent India and Britain
    Partnerships, ownership and shareholdings in Britannia have changed over time. Britannia traveled to CH Homes, Peak Frains and later ABIL through Gupta Brothers. In 1952, Britannia’s Kolkata factory shifted from Dum Dum to Taratola Road. Now technology has started to be used here and automated plants have been set up. In 1954, an automatic factory was also set up in Mumbai. At the same time the company started manufacturing bread and set up its factory in Delhi.

    The company was increasing and expanding its reach among Indian customers. In 1965, the company started a new bread bakery in Delhi. In 1976, Britannia Bread was launched in Kolkata and Chennai. On 3 October 1979, the company was converted from Britannia Biscuit Company Limited to Britannia Industries Limited.

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    Biscuit King Rajan Pillai
    In 1980, the company signed a 10-year technical cooperation agreement with Nabico Pvt. It was around this time that the name of Rajan Pillai, a businessman from Kerala, came up who took control of the group. People started calling him the ‘Biscuit King’ of India. He previously owned a company called 20th Century Foods and sold potato chips under the Olay brand. At one point he held a 38 percent stake in Britannia.

    Britannia Company

    After 13 years, the Wadia Group acquired ABIL’s stake. He became an equal partner with the foreign group Danone. However during this time both continued to fight with Rajan Pillai. In 1995, Rajan Pillai went to jail for a financial scam and died in jail 4 days later.

    Wadia and Danone clashed in 2006 when Wadia accused Danone of violating intellectual property rights. Danone introduced biscuits under the brand name Tiger. It has also started selling well in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Pakistan, Egypt. In 2009, the two held a boardroom meeting and Wadia took full control of the company.

    What is Britannia’s business model today?
    The company operates in two business segments. Bakery products and dairy products. 95% of the company’s revenue comes from the biscuit segment. Whereas 5% of the total sales come from the non-biscuit category.

    Tags: Business News, Business news in Hindi, Calcutta, success story


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