Success tastes sweet only when it is brewed with crispiness of hardwork. There are a few rare who achieve and cherish such kind of success and all of them have one quality in common – of never giving up. This is a story of one such man who started off with his father from a small grocery store in Kolkata.
The small set-up could not limit the heights of his goals and today he is the whole and sole behind one of India’s biggest food brands. He has proven that those who aim high and believe in achieving it can cross every milestone and even create new ones.
This is the inspirational journey of Ganesh Prasad Agrawal who laid the foundation of Priya Food Products. In merely three decades his company developed and became one the biggest brand from East India. His is making a turn-over of Rs 100 crore every year now and every penny is a result of the massive struggle he has put into his company.
With 36 varieties of biscuits and 15 kinds of snacks, Priya Food Products has a large share of West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha’s market.
Living the struggle
Born into a middle-class family Ganesh’s father owned a small grocery store. The financial condition at home was almost always fragile which is why he encouraged Ganesh to focus of his grades. He thought a decent job would safeguard some money for the family. The son balanced him life between taking private tuition, school and helping father in the shop.
He managed to complete his graduation from City College of North Kolkata but did not go applying for a job and decided to help father in the store. It would have been difficult to feed the family of seven had he not done this. He continued doing this for 14 long years.
After years of being involved in the small scale business he understood that demands for household products never dips. Following his heart, in September 1986, he decided to set up a factory which would make biscuits. This required funds which he did not have and the only option was to mortgage his share of parental property and ask friends to chip in.
Making biscuits is a complex process which requires machinery, oven and dozens of workers. Ganesh always thought big therefore he got 2 acre land few miles from his house and hired 50 workers for his new-born factory. This is how India’s famous Priya Gold biscuit was born in Panihati, Kolkata.
I spent the entire day hopping between factory and office and did most of the work myself. Often I was working from 7 am to 1 at the night. Those were the days of immense struggle
Selling biscuits was a severely challenging task as the market was owned by huge brands like Britannia and Parle-G. He had a fair idea by then that only marketing of exceptional quality could imprint a positive image of Priya Gold in consumers’ mind pushing them towards sales.
Without any delay, he hired five people who went from door to door explaining and marketing the biscuits. First of their products were glucose and coconut biscuits. Their strategy was to sell quality products at throw away prices and it worked wonders with the consumers.
Now was the time for expansion. In 2005, he established a plant named ‘Reliable’ which made tasty potato chips and other snacks. In 2012, he set up a factory of soya nuggets. He plans to build another plant this year. He has appointed both his sons as directors in the company.
He began as a one man army and took a head-on collision with giant brands. Challenges came and went by but his determination to keep marching forward has become a source of motivation for many young entrepreneurs who want to prove their mettle in business.
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