These four Indian spice brands have the right mix for success


Indian spices have a special place, whether in savory dishes or even desserts. In fact, sometimes they can make or break a dish.

Their popularity extends far beyond the domestic shores. According to a report by the India Brand and Equity Foundation, India exported spices worth $ 3.65 billion in FY20. Major importers include the United States, China, Vietnam and Hong Kong, said the report.

While Mahashian Di Hatti (MDH), MTR, Catch and Everest Spices have been leading the pack for a while, SMBShistory lists four Indian spice companies that have also carved out a place for themselves in national and international markets.

Subodh Bhartiya, Director, Urban Spices

Urban Spices Pvt. Ltd, founded in 2017 by entrepreneurs Subodh Bhartiya, Jiwesh Gupta and Pranav Jain, is an FMCG company engaged in the production of Indian spices, herbs and essential oils. The Sonepat, Haryana-based company also retails international spices and herbs.

Confessed foodie, Subodh, 59, owns two restaurants in Delhi. His neighbor, Jiwesh, 50, has been associated with the spice industry for more than two decades. The Jiwesh company, which bears his name, previously supplied spices to local restaurants and family shops.

In August 2017, the two neighbors teamed up with Pranav, a 23-year-old BBA student, to launch Urban Spices. The initial investment of Rs 30 lakh was paid by the founders out of their own pockets.

Urban Spices started out in a small room in Delhi, where Subodh experimented with and mixed spices to create rajma-chole and dal makhni masalas. “We distributed the masala to our friends and family and received an overwhelmingly positive response,” he says.

The company is home to three brands: Healthy Planet, Jiwesh Spices and Salto.

Urban Spices has established its presence both online and offline. It has an offline footprint in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi-NCR, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Jammu. The products can be ordered on its website and are also available on e-commerce platforms including Amazon, Flipkart, and Paytm Mall.

The company claims to have achieved a 75% growth in turnover since last year.

Read the full story here.

Vishal Chordia, Strategy Director, Marketing, Finance, Pravin Masalewale

Vishal Chordia’s grandparents were enterprising people, who started making masalas at home in 1962. Their first batch of kanda-lasoon masala – an onion and garlic paste – priced at Rs 5 per kg quickly sold in the neighborhood.

This masala led to the creation of Pravin Masalewale. Symbiosis-trained Vishal, who got involved in the family business from 1994, began to feel a dissonance. Moreover, his father and uncles were unable to come up with a “unified business plan” that would help Pravin Masalewale develop in a liberalized, privatized and globalized India.

“I finished my MBA, then told my dad I had a vision and could run a new business,” Vishal recalls. In 1999 he bought the masala business from his uncles for Rs 15 crore which would become Suhana Spices.

The company relaunched its products under the Suhana brand in 2001. Over the past 17 years, Vishal has expanded Suhana’s portfolio to over 150 products including spices, ready-to-cook mixes, instant meals in “cuppas” and snacks. Suhana has two sub-brands: Ambari which sells traditional masalas from Pravin Masalewale and Sarvam which sells masalas with good value for money.

A company of Rs 18 crore in 1999, Suhana has grown into a Operation Rs 600 crore in 2018. From being a leader in rural Maharashtra, the renowned company is now present in nine Indian states and 25 international markets.

Read the full story here.

Aarti Samant and Urmila Samant, co-founders of Masala Tokri

Based in Mumbai Masala tokri is run by the mother-daughter couple, Urmila Samant and Aarti Samant.

A lifelong passionate cook, Urmila took a formal course in the art of making spices in 2016, later turning her hobby into a profession, says Aarti.

Urmila started by sharing a few mixes with her friends and family and gradually formed WhatsApp groups, where she received orders for her masalas from customers. By 2018, the company had grown.

Urmila packaged masalas and exported them to customers in the UK, Singapore, Dubai and the United Arab Emirates. Aarti realized that it was no longer possible for one person to do everything and decided to intervene.

Together, they launched Masala Tokri in February 2019 as an upscale gourmet masala business. While Urmila develops and ensures that the spices reach the completion stage, Aarti takes care of the sales, marketing and promotion activities.

The brand started with five basic masalas – Shahi Garam Masala, Awadhi Biryani Masala, Mumbai Pav Bhaji Masala, Kerala Sambar Masala and Malvani Meat Curry Masala. It currently offers 11 products.

The initiated company recorded a turnover of Rs 20 lakh during the last financial year and aims to reach Rs 1 crore by the end of FY21.

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Paras Budhiraja, Director, Paras Spices

In 1982, when Nestlé planned to set up its Maggi‌ production unit in India, it was looking for an Indian with two

The multinational conglomerate planned to establish the manufacturing plant in Moga, a small town in Punjab, and was looking for “local” suppliers “to” facilitate “operations. During this time Nestlé came through a small store selling spices in the local market which met their expectations.

Father-son pair Kishan‌ ‌Lal‌ Budhiraja‌ ‌‌and‌ ‌‌Viney‌ ‌Budhiraja‌ had “started” a “spice shop” in the mid-1970s. They used “to” source spices locally and from “parts” of Rajasthan and Gujarat. The call of Nestle‌ came as a once in a lifetime opportunity and there has been no turning back since.

Today, 30‌ ‌years later, the company has a 15‌ acre manufacturing plant, which processes‌ approximately‌15,000‌ ‌tons‌ of spices‌ annually, ‌ employs‌ ‌1,700‌ ‌people ‌and‌ TC supplies‌ to psimin ‘‌McCain, ‌ ‌Haldiram’s and ‌Veeba food.

Paras Spices recorded a turnover of Rs 400 crore in FY20.‌ ‌

Read the full story here. ??


Freeda S. Scott

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