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Sunday, December 10, 2023

How Vadilal turned from fountain soda shop to Rs 650 cr ice cream empire

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Vadilal sold fountain soda much before it became a popular ice cream brand. Here’s the amazing sucess story of the company that clocks a Rs.650 crore turnover.

Vadilal was founded in 1907 in Gujarat by Vadilal Gandhi and is presently run by the fifth generation. The corporation has a strong presence in India and 45 other countries.

Vadilal had humble origins in Gujarat in 1907 — even before India’s independence — and is now a well-known brand throughout the country.

Beginning with the traditional Kothi process of churning milk, ice, and salt with a hand-operated machine, the company now offers their customers over 200 different flavours of ice cream created at their state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment.

Kalpit Gandhi, a fifth-generation entrepreneur in the family,  walked us through Vadilal’s long past.

Vadilal Gandhi, who was from Ahmedabad, created the namesake company in 1907.

In 1926, Vadilal founded its first ice cream shop. By the time India gained independence, the corporation had four locations throughout the city.Vadilal had grown to 10 stores in Ahmedabad by the early 1970s, when Ramchandra and Laxman Gandhi, sons of Ranchod Lal Gandhi, joined the firm. After establishing its reputation in Gujarat, the corporation began searching for strategies to expand into other states and began its expansion in 1985.

By the 1990s, the Gandhi family’s fourth generation had joined the firm.  The company was listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) as Vadilal Industries Ltd in 1990. In the same year, a family split resulted in two names being recorded on the BSE.

With a revenue of Rs 650 cores in fiscal year 2019-20, the company remains optimistic about a higher revenue figure this fiscal year.

Kalpit Gandhi, the company’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), may have grown up hearing stories about the brand’s growth and struggles.

Vadilal has grown from a company that aspired to expand outside of Gujarat to a company that has a thriving exports operation. He claims that in the early 1990s, the company ventured into the processed food market with the debut of Vadilal Quick Treat.

Vadilal was the first Indian brand to introduce frozen veggies to the US market in 1995.

He claims that Vadilal is now the best-selling Indian ice cream brand in the United States, and that his company’s products have reached 45 nations around the world.

Kalpit adds with pleasure that, while conducting business responsibly is important to the brand, they are also concerned about the environment and aim to protect it.

According to Kalpit, one of our facilities in Pundhra (Gandhinagar district, Gujarat) is the country’s largest fully automated facility, and it is also approved by the Export Council of India and the British Retail Consortium, which gives us a lot of confidence in the worldwide market.

He also mentions that each of their facilities has a green cover of about 60%, and that all wastewater is transferred to a treatment plant and used for the lawns and gardens within the facilities.

It’s an honour to work for a corporation that has so many firsts to its name, says Kalpit. Vadilal was the first ice cream brand in India to introduce ice cream dollies, cones, and sundaes, as well as the first to build a fully automated candy manufacturing line.

In the 1950s, it also introduced Cassata ice cream and offered home delivery of ice creams in specially built thermos cases.

In November 2001, Vadilal set a record and was listed in the Limca Book of Records. Vadilal created the ‘World’s Largest Ice Cream Sundae,’ which was produced with 4,950 litres of ice cream, 125 kilogrammes of dry fruits, 255 kilogrammes of fresh fruits, and 390 kilogrammes of various sauces. This sundae was assembled in record time by 180 individuals in 60 minutes.

According to the company, nearly 50,000 customers ate this sundae.

The brand has made certain that they cater to diverse segments and also have a premium selection of ice creams that begin at Rs 50 for a 140 ml container of ice cream. And, despite the fact that Vadilal has been there for almost a century, they have kept up with the times.

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