The world bids farewell to the visionary owner of Bikanervala, a prominent figure in the culinary landscape. As we reflect on his inspiring journey, let’s take a moment to delve into the story of this entrepreneur who not only carved a niche in the food industry but also left an indelible mark with his culinary legacy. Join us in commemorating his life and celebrating the remarkable path he paved in the realm of gastronomy.
On Monday, Lala Kedarnath Aggarwal, the founder of Bikanervala, renowned for initially vending bhujia and rasgullas in buckets on the streets of old Delhi, breathed his last at the age of 86.
The demise of Aggarwal, affectionately known as Kakaji, “signifies the conclusion of an era that has enriched palates and influenced numerous lives,” stated Bikanervala. The company manages over 60 outlets in India and maintains a presence in countries like the USA, New Zealand, Singapore, Nepal, and the UAE.
“Kakaji’s departure isn’t merely a setback for Bikanervala; it creates a void in the culinary panorama. His vision and leadership will eternally steer our culinary journey,” remarked the group’s Managing Director Shyam Sunder Aggarwal.
Commencing his entrepreneurial journey in Delhi, Kedarnath Aggarwal initiated his foray into business. Since 1905, his family had owned a sweet shop in the narrow lanes of Bikaner in Rajasthan. The shop, originally named Bikaner Namkeen Bhandar, specialised in vending a limited range of sweets and snacks.
In the early ’50s, driven by ambitious goals, Aggarwal, accompanied by his brother Satyanarayan Aggarwal, migrated to Delhi, introducing his family recipe to the city. Initially, they faced challenges carrying buckets filled with bhujia and rasgulla, peddling their goods in the streets of old Delhi. Despite the initial struggles, the Aggarwal brothers’ tireless efforts and the distinctive flavor of Bikaner gained popularity and acceptance among the residents of Delhi.
Subsequently, the Aggarwal brothers established a shop in Delhi’s Chandini Chowk, utilizing family recipes passed down through generations. Bikaner Namkeen Bhandar swiftly became renowned for its Moong Dal Halwa, Bikaneri Bhujia, Kaju Katli, and more. The shop, along with the two brothers, evolved into the well-known entity, Bikanervala.
Venturing into the restaurant business, Bikanervala opened multiple outlets nationwide, introducing a new brand named Bikano. Guided by Manish Aggarwal, the third-generation entrepreneur who joined the business in 2000, Bikano expanded into new markets, securing export licenses, and presently boasts an empire worth Rs 1,300 crore (US$ 178 million).
As the legend bids farewell, the legacy is carried forward with a profound sense of responsibility. Bikanervala, underlining his values, remains a place where each dish narrates a story, and every customer is considered part of the extended family, expressed Radhey Mohan Aggarwal, Director of Bikanervala Group and the eldest son of Kakaji.
In the wake of Kakaji’s farewell, the culinary world mourns the loss of a visionary whose legacy extends far beyond the walls of Bikanervala. As we bid adieu to this culinary luminary, let’s cherish the flavors, stories, and moments he shared through his culinary empire. Kakaji’s indomitable spirit and commitment to culinary excellence will forever linger, reminding us that every dish is a testament to his enduring legacy. May his gastronomic journey continue to inspire and satiate the cravings of generations to come. The legacy lives on, serving a feast of memories and flavours that linger in the hearts of food enthusiasts.