5 companies that dominate the world with a common but strong idea

The world is full of remarkable ideas, it’s just the willingness to take risks and execution that sets successful entrepreneurs apart.

Starting a small business just takes an idea and the will to execute it.

SMBStory listed five small businesses that started with a simple premise.

Empire Spices

One of the fastest growing FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) companies, Empire Spices and Foods and Foods offers a wide range of products including pickles, papads, spices, ketchup, sauces, pastes and chutneys. He has made it his mission to expand his activities and reach new markets.

Launched in the 1970s in Nashik, the family-owned Empire Spices and Foods brand portfolio includes the Ram Bandhu, RBM, Temptin’ and Zaiqa brands.

The company is present in 12 states with more than half a million retail stores and a network of more than 1,000 distributors. The company also exports to countries like in the United States, United Kingdom, Qatar, Dubai, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Bahrain.

Today the company sells 1,000 tons of papad and 6,000 tons of pickles annual. It also sells 8 tons of sauces, a new edition in their product category, daily.

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Shyam Sundar Aggarwal and Manish Aggarwal

After the partition of India in 1947, businesses found themselves in a newly independent India, with a new set of rules and standards and finding new ground. Many entities had suffered and people were looking for new opportunities to make ends meet, making them travel.

Lala Kedarnath Aggarwal also moved to Delhi from Bikaner to earn a living and started selling traditional sweets and flavors from a cart in Chandni Chowk. His hard work and luck favored him and the business quickly took off. In a short time, he opened a small confectionery as ‘Bikaner Namkeen Bhandar’ in the same area, offering namkeens and snacks.

In due course, the establishment was recognized as ‘Bikanervala’ and became popular for delivering bikaneri bhujia and other dishes with authentic Indian flavors. In 1965, Lala’s son, Shyam Sundar Aggarwaljoined the company to develop Bikanerwala inside and outside the National Capital Region.

In 2020, Bikanervala grew to more than 100 outlets in India.

Building on Bikanervala’s heritage, the family felt they had to take their culinary heritage beyond the borders of India. With the emergence of the packaged food industry in the 1980s, they could finally realize their vision of expanding their business.

Shyam Sundar spear Bikano in 1988 to become a dominant player in FMCG, while maintaining the quality of excellence as envisioned by his father.

Bikano now offers different varieties of namkeens, cookies, candies, papad, syrups and flour-based foods like matthi and samosa. It has more 270 national references and more than 320 international references, with frozen foods forming the backbone of its export business. It exports to 45 countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom.

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Ankit Agrawal (left), Director and Partner, MDPH, and Anshul Agarwal (right), Partner, MDPH

Even seven years later Prakash Agrawal quit his job as a sales assistant in a textile store in Indore, he was unable to succeed as an entrepreneur. His attempts to manufacture and sell soaps, detergents and hair oils all proved unsuccessful.

Prakash’s mother didn’t want him to continue manufacturing and failing. The family had limited means and they always wanted their son to pursue a stable job in the textile workshop. But he was adamant and wanted to stick with entrepreneurship.

One fine day in 1992, Prakash’s mother told him that since he could not succeed as a manufacturer, he should become a distributor of any established brand of agarbatti (incense sticks).

He instead took it as a challenge – wanting to prove his mother wrong by becoming a successful manufacturer. But even Prakash had to admit that the agarbattis were a good idea. The Indian market for agarbattis was booming in the 1990s due to growing demand.

Talk to SMBStoryhis son, Ankit Agrawalmentioned:

“My father had no capital. In 1992, he borrowed Rs 5 lakh from relatives to start an agarbatti manufacturing business, Mysore Deep Perfumery House (MDPH), and agarbatti brand Purab Paschim Uttar Dakshin. His younger brothers, Shyam and Raj Kumar, joined him in the effort.

So Prakash and his brothers started making agarbattis in a small garage in their home in Indore. Her mother joined to oversee the work and production processes.

The brand started to do well but Prakash wanted to experiment with a new brand with an English name and colorful packaging. This led him to launch ‘Zed Black’ under parent Mysore Deep Perfumery House (MDPH) In 2000.

The experiment turned out to be a huge success and quickly became one of the fastest growing agarbatti brands in India.

Today, the company processes over three crores of incense sticks and sells over 15 Lakh Retail Packs of Zed Black Agarbattis in India every day. In FY21, it recorded revenue of Rs 650 crore.

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Dupatta Bazaar

The origin of dupattas (also called chunni) can be traced back to Indian culture. An indigenous product that many are proud to wear, is famous worldwide for the variety of its designs.

But one of the biggest flaws of dupattas is that they usually don’t appeal to their main customers – women.

From fabric quality to color, design and length, finding the right dupatta to match a dress is exhausting. And it’s there Dupatta Bazaarexecuted by Gaurav Gargfills the gap.

“I was once at the Crawford market in Mumbai for a meeting when I saw a woman struggling to match a dupatta with her suit. While I was waiting for the person to arrive I could see this lady jumping from store to store looking for a desired dupatta but to no avail. I was in the market for about two to three hours and when I left I always found her looking for that desired piece of dupatta,” the founder told SMBStory.

As Gaurav is from a family textile business and comes from the heart of Rajasthan, Ajmer, it was surprising to him to see this woman struggling so much. “I thought artisans and traders who sold dupattas in Rajasthan were struggling to attract customers and here customers are actually advocating for these same products.”

At this point, Gaurav thought of starting a dupatta business of sorts to help customers by creating a one-stop shop for their dupatta needs.

A former equity research analyst, Gaurav was the only one in his family who pursued a job, but fate had other plans. Gaurav quit his cushy job and entered the world of textiles selling dupattas.

In the span of 11 years now, Gaurav has served over seven lakh orders and made a presence beyond Indian borders. The collection of more than 3,000 dupattas available under Dupatta Bazaar are made in-house or sourced directly from artisans. From Mexico to East Africa, Zimbabwe and beyond, we have delivered dupattas everywhere,” says Gaurav. SMBStory.

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Yash Pakka Ltd

The story of by Ved Krishna life on a roller coaster is the perfect example of the saying: “when one door closes, another opens”. Ved had always dreamed of becoming an Air Force pilot. However, fate had other plans for him.

Ved is no stranger to business. From the start, he saw his father, KK Jhunjhunwala, build a paper mill from scratch in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. Created in 1981, Yash Pakkastarted by making wrapping paper from sugar cane waste.

KK has had a lot of ups and downs in his life, especially after separating from his joint family. His wife even had to sell her jewelry for KK to start the business.

“I saw my parents working as a team. My dad is my role model and he always viewed my mom as a trustee of his business,” Ved explains.

At one point, Ved’s father was even considering selling the business. But now, over 40 years later, Yash Pakka Ltd is a Rs 300 crore turnover company with a presence in 30 countries with its sustainable packaging.

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Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti