Haldiram comes to London… bhujias anyone?

July 2nd, 2008 - 10:13 am ICT by IANS  

By Dipankar De Sarkar
London, July 2 (IANS) After decades of feeding insatiable Indians with its savoury bhujiya snacks, Halidram is coming to London with plans to open a chain of its ubiquitous outlets back home. “London is the perfect place for us,” said Halidram managing director Pankaj Agarwal.

“We were very keen to come to London to see for ourselves why it is such a special place to Indians who now call it home. And we wanted to service that community with a taste of their homeland - our range of snacks and sweets. A memory, if you like,” he added.

Haldiram, which has a turnover of 100 million pounds and last year exported six million pounds of its maddeningly-addictive snacks and sweets, wants to use London as a base for a European launch. Its products are already available in supermarkets around the world but it now plans to open branded outlets of the kind that have made Haldiram a household name from Kolkata to Coimbatore.

Its Europe strategy revolves around the million-strong - and growing - Indian-origin population in Britain, but the company is also keen to find its way into European palates.

It is setting up a manufacturing plant and offices, followed by a series of shops across Britain. The company aims to grow quickly, with 45 jobs being created after one year rising to 100 after three years, said Think London, the capital’s official foreign direct investment agency.

The company is growing internationally at a rate of 40 per cent and is confident of continuing the rate at least over the next five years.

Agarwal said London’s connectivity, proximity to Heathrow for logistics, availability of skilled workforce and target customers and a homely atmosphere for workers - “all make London the perfect place for us.”

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