Chandubhai Virani’s inspiring journey is a captivating narrative.

Meet the individual who stood resolute against selling his chips company to Pepsi for 4000 crores.

Being an Indian farmer in 1972 was a formidable challenge, particularly in Gujarat, a state often plagued by erratic rains and droughts. Facing financial difficulties, Chandubhai Virani received Rs 10,000 from the sale of his father’s farm.

Chandubhai entered the business by selling refreshments at the renowned Astron cinema in Rajkot. Identifying sandwiches as a popular item, he faced the challenge of their perishable nature, leaving moviegoers with no snacks to take home. The breakthrough came when he introduced potato chips in the cinema, leading to the establishment of a small factory at his house with his father’s 10,000 rupees.

The success of the chips grew, and Chandubhai expanded operations to two more canteens, with 30 merchants selling his chips outside theaters. As demand increased, he set up a larger factory.

In 1989, Chandubhai borrowed 50 lakh rupees to establish Gujarat’s largest potato chips factory, emphasizing quality, technology, and hygiene. The business flourished, and a larger capacity factory producing 250 kg of potato chips per hour was opened.

In 1995, inspired by the Hanuman temple behind the Astron cinema canteen, Balaji Wafers was born. Expanding into namkeens and other categories due to increasing demand, Balaji dominated the market by 2000 with a 90% share in chips and a 70% share in Namkeen.

With over 100 distributors, 30,000 retailers, and a mega factory producing 1200 kg of chips per hour, Chandubhai aimed to expand beyond Gujarat. Balaji ventured into Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan, introducing region-specific flavors and gaining fame in other states.

Balaji’s success continued, becoming a 1000 crore company. Offering 25% more quantity at the same price as Uncle Chips and Lays, it caused Pepsi-owned Lays to lose 10% market share, admitting defeat.

In 2013, despite a 4000 crore offer from Pepsi, Chandubhai, with larger aspirations, declined the deal. Today, Balaji Wafers boasts a 4000 crore annual revenue, with four nationwide factories processing 6.5 million kg of potatoes and 10 million kg of namkeen daily. From humble beginnings, Chandubhai Virani is now hailed as the “Sultan of Wafers.”