In light of the recent controversy surrounding Haldiram over a label on one of its food products, a social media post claiming that Haldiram’s group is currently under the ownership of a Muslim is being circulated widely. The post further claims that Yogesh & Naresh, alleged grandsons of Haldiram sold the company to a Muslim. Through this article let’s fact-check the claims made in the post.
Claim: Haldiram’s group is currently under the ownership of a Muslim; Yogesh & Naresh, grandsons of Haldiram sold the company to a Muslim.
Fact: As per the reports there is no grandson of Ganga Bhishen Agarwal (Haldiram) going by the name Yogesh and Naresh. Thus the argument that these two grandsons sold the company to a Muslim does not hold true. Further, according to the available information, all the business units of Haldiram handling distinct operations are currently under the directorship of sons and grandsons of Haldiram. There are no reports of any business unit of Haldiram being sold to a Muslim. Hence the claim made in the post is FALSE.
The roots of the famous Indian food brand Haldiram can be traced back to 1937, which started as a small bhujia shop in Rajasthan’s Bikaner by Ganga Bhishen Agarwal, also known as Haldiram. It is in 1950 that Ganga Bhishen Agarwal, along with his two sons Moolchand Agarwal and Rameshwar Lal Agarwal, started their first venture outside Bikaner in Kolkata.
In the 1990s, the grandsons of the Ganga Bhishen Agarwal divided the entire Indian market into three distinctive zones. The Delhi based north Indian market was allotted to Manohar Lal and Madhusudan Agarwal (youngest sons of Moolchand Agarwal), Kolkata based eastern market was allotted to Prabhu Shankar Agarwal and Ashok Agarwal (sons of Rameshwar Lal Agarwal) and the south & west markets to Shiv Kishan Agarwal (eldest son of Moolchand Agarwal) from Nagpur.
In 2013, a court order barred Kolkata-based company from using the name ‘Haldiram Bhujiawala’, following a long-drawn court battle over the copyright issue. Later on, the Kolkata-based company rebranded to Prabhuji and the Delhi and Nagpur-based companies continued with the original Haldiram brand.
Forbes in its 2019 article about the success of Haldiram, published the family tree and the territorial division of the business within the Agarwal family. The details did not feature any grandson of Haldiram named Yogesh and Naresh, as claimed in the viral post. Thus, the claim that Yogesh and Naresh, alleged grandsons of Haldiram sold the company to Muslims does not hold true.
Currently, throughout the country, all the Haldiram group of companies handling distinct operations like Nagpur-based Haldiram Foods International, Haldiram Snacks, and Ethnic Foods is under the directorship of the Agarwal family (sons and grandsons of Haldiram). This is evident from the information regarding the directors of the company, available on the Ministry of Corporate Affairs website.
None of the companies of the Haldiram group managed by sons and grandsons had a Muslim director. Details of directors of a few companies of Haldiram, handling distinct operations can be viewed below. Further, we could not find any reports of the Haldiram business unit handled by any of the siblings being sold out to a Muslim. According to reports, in 2019, US-based Kellogg’s showed interest in buying stakes in the Delhi and Nagpur-based business of Haldiram, however, this did not materialise.
To sum it up, none of the business operations of the Haldiram group is under the ownership of a Muslim.