Meet the visionary force and architect behind the triumph of the present Billion Dollar Empire – Parle Group, a conglomerate now segmented into Parle Products, Parle Agro & Parle Bisleri.
Rooted in a sprawling family tree, the legacy traces back to Mohanlal Chauhan, the patriarch who birthed five remarkable children: Maneklal, Pitamber, Narottam, Kantilal, and Jayantilal. Together, this formidable family orchestrated the ascent of Parle into the corporate behemoth it is today.
As time unfolded, the mantle of leadership passed to Jayantilal’s eldest son, the late Madhukar Chauhan. Following a subsequent split, the empire found new homes within three distinct families:
- Parle Products – Spearheaded by Ajay, Vijay, Sharad, and Anup Chauhan (Cousins).
- Parle Bisleri – Under the stewardship of Ramesh Chauhan, his wife Zainab Chauhan, and their daughter Jayanti Chauhan.
- Parle Agro – Helmed by Prakash Chauhan along with his three daughters, Schauna, Alisha, and Nadia.
Contrary to the norms of their era, Mohanlal Chauhan and his family embodied a lifestyle far ahead of their time, reveling in dancing, drinking, dining out, and hosting lively gatherings.
Untold Story of Parle Group
Inception of Parle Group
The narrative unfolds in the early 1900s when an ordinary soul, Mohanlal Chauhan, migrated to Mumbai from the village of Pardi in South Gujarat. Initially aspiring to master sewing, Mohanlal established his shop in Gamdevi, Mumbai, by the age of 18. Over time, he transitioned from tailoring to confectionery, birthing the inception of the Parle Group.
In 1936, Mohanlal Chauhan officially retired, passing the reins to his sons. The five brothers collectively navigated the challenges, and the family business evolved from fabric trading to confectionery.
World War I and Transformation
During World War I, the Chauhan brothers decided to shift from tailoring to confectionery-making. The transformative journey of Parle Group commenced. Challenges surfaced, debts loomed, but Maneklal’s astuteness kept them afloat.
Post-War Era and Biscuit Debut
Post-World War I, in 1939, Parle Group introduced its first biscuit. Initially restricted to manufacturing for soldiers, the real breakthrough came in 1947 when Parle launched biscuits for the Indian consumer market, accompanied by the impactful “Freedom from British Campaign.”
Split and Evolution
In 1961, an unforeseen split occurred, leading to the separation of Parle into two entities: Parle Products and Parle Agro. Jayantilal’s son, Madhukar, played a pivotal role until his untimely demise. Ramesh Chauhan, stepping into the void, led the company through a rough patch, introducing modern management techniques.
Rise of Parle Agro
In 1969, Ramesh Chauhan acquired Bisleri, propelling Parle Agro into the bottled water domain. The company diversified its portfolio with iconic soft drinks like Gold Spot, Limca, Thums Up, Citra, Maaza, and more.
Challenges and Resilience
The market dynamics shifted with the entry of global players. In 1993, faced with challenges, Ramesh Chauhan made a strategic decision to exit the soft drinks market, selling to Coca Cola. The split persisted, resulting in the formation of three independent companies: Parle Products, Parle Agro, and Parle Bisleri.
1. Parle Products
Led by Vijay, Sharad, and Anup Chauhan, Parle Products boasts an impressive array of products, including the iconic Parle-G, KrackJack, Monaco, and many others. Parle-G, a household name, remains the leading biscuit brand in India.
2. Parle Agro
Guided by Prakash Chauhan and his three daughters, Schauna, Alisha, and Nadia, Parle Agro has diversified beyond soft drinks to include Frooti, Appy, Appy Fizz, Saint Juice, and more. With global exports and a robust presence, Parle Agro stands as a Rs. 2500 Cr organization.
3. Parle Bisleri
Under the leadership of Ramesh Chauhan, Zainab Chauhan, and Jayanti Chauhan, Parle Bisleri has become synonymous with bottled water. Holding a significant market share, the company’s portfolio includes Bisleri Water, Bisleri Soda, Vedica, Urzza, and other offerings.
In conclusion, the saga of Parle Group, marked by resilience, innovation, and strategic evolution, exemplifies the transformative journey of a family-driven enterprise into a triumphant legacy spanning diverse sectors of the Indian market. The indomitable spirit of the Chauhan family, from Mohanlal to the present generation, continues to shape the narrative of Parle Group’s enduring success.