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Sunday, May 19, 2024

How grit and determination helped KB Foods become Rs 10 cr turnover business

Manish Khungar invested just over Rs. 5 lac to start Royal Star Snacks. Here is how his company, KB Foods, has become a Rs 10 crore turnover business.

Manish Khungar has strong intentions to grow his business. But he was only about 11 years old when the business of his father, Sudarshan Khungar, experienced losses and the family had to endure difficult times.

Manish, now 40, founded Nagpur-based Royal Star Snacks in 2007 with a Rs 6 lakh investment. Among other things, the company sells puff snacks, spaghetti, and ready-to-fry products.

Manish founded Royal Star Snacks in 2007, shortly after receiving his MBA from a Nagpur institution, in order to reestablish his family’s circumstances.

The narrative of how the company grew to be so successful is one of tenacity and grit.

Manish explains why he chose to stay in Nagpur: “Because the college where I completed my MBA wasn’t one of those reputed ones, I never got a job that met my expectations. I didn’t want to leave my parents behind and relocate to another place to hunt for work because I was an only son with two older sisters who were married off.”

Manish sought business options after deciding not to accept a job and visited Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu in 2007 with the intention of getting some experience in building up a peanut chikki bar production factory.

However, after noticing wholesalers selling maize sticks in the metropolis, he decided to start a similar business in Nagpur.

Manish, who first focused on the local market, explains: “I borrowed Rs 2.5 lakh from friends and family and acquired a bank loan of Rs 4.5 lakh to build up a 1,000 sq ft business for creating maize sticks.”

He gradually increased his product range and expanded into new markets. He travelled to numerous destinations on a shoestring budget.

The early years, he claims, saw him using local buses and living in modest hotels to save money. I used to visit cities in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Karnataka on most trips with only Rs 5000, and I managed my travel, food, and lodging within that budget.

He started with only three people, and as his output increased, so did his workload.

In 2008, he rented a space and set up another equipment to create raw corn flakes. However, he suffered losses when he was forced to sell the machinery within 15 days of establishing the business due to poor product quality.

The following year, he married his college sweetheart Varsha, who has been there for him during his difficult times.After her MBA, she started working for ICICI Bank, but left that after marriage. Manish says Varsha now takes care of the ecommerce part of Royal Star Snacks.

According to him, there were labour issues, and automation became necessary. During this time, we also began exporting to the Gulf region.

Priyanshi Industries Private Limited was established in FY 2013-14 as Manish’s business grew. His daughter Priyanshi, who is now 11 years old, inspired the company’s name. They added a new plant and began producing corn puffs, which are now one of their most popular snacks. They debuted ready-to-fry 3D snacks and pasta in 2017. Two years later, a few months before the Covid lockdown was announced, Manish began construction on a new 12,000 square foot facility, which will be completed in August 2020.

Manish’s sole proprietorship firm, KB Foods, began with a turnover of Rs 11 lakh and has since grown to clock a turnover of Rs 10 crore.

He claims that they are now focusing more on the domestic market and less on exports. Manish has serious expansion plans and claims that Venture Capitalists are ready to invest 1.5 million USD in the company, which he claims is currently valued at Rs 40 crore.


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