In light of the recent controversy surrounding Haldiram over a label on one of its food products, a social media Publish claiming that Haldiram’s group is currently under the ownership of a Muslim is widely publicized. The message further claims that Yogesh & Naresh, alleged grandsons of Haldiram, sold the business to a Muslim. Through this article let us verify the claims made in the post.
Claim: The Haldiram group is currently owned by a Muslim; Haldiram’s grandsons Yogesh & Naresh sold the business to a Muslim.
Fact: According to reports, there is no grandson of Ganga Bhishen Agarwal (Haldiram) who is named Yogesh and Naresh. So the argument that these two grandsons sold the business to a Muslim does not hold. Additionally, according to available information, all of Haldiram’s business units running separate operations are currently under the management of Haldiram’s sons and grandsons. There is no report of a Haldiram business unit being sold to a Muslim. Therefore, the claim made in the message is FAKE.
The roots of the famous Indian food brand Haldiram date back to 1937, which started as a small bhujia shop in Bikaner in Rajasthan by Ganga Bhishen Agarwal, also known as Haldiram. It was in 1950 that Ganga Bhishen Agarwal along with her two sons Moolchand Agarwal and Rameshwar Lal Agarwal started their first business outside of Bikaner in Kolkata.
In the 1990s, the grandsons of the Ganga Bhishen Agarwal divided the entire Indian market into three distinct areas. The Delhi-based North Indian Market has been awarded to Manohar Lal and Madhusudan Agarwal (younger sons of Moolchand Agarwal), the Kolkata-based Eastern Market has been awarded to Prabhu Shankar Agarwal and Ashok Agarwal (Sons of Rameshwar Lal Agarwal) and the southern and western markets at Shiv Kishan Agarwal (eldest son of Moolchand Agarwal) of Nagpur.
In 2013, a court order banned the Kolkata-based company from using the name “Haldiram Bhujiawala”, following a lengthy legal battle over the copyright issue. Later, the Kolkata based company was renamed Prabhuji and the Delhi and Nagpur based companies continued with the original Haldiram brand.
Forbes in his 2019 article on the success of Haldiram, published the family tree and territorial division of the company within the Agarwal family. The details did not include any Haldiram grandsons named Yogesh and Naresh, as claimed in the viral post. Thus, the claim that Yogesh and Naresh, alleged grandsons of Haldiram, sold the business to Muslims is not true.
Currently, across the country, the entire Haldiram group of companies running separate operations like Haldiram Foods International, Haldiram Snacks and Nagpur-based Ethnic Foods are under the management of the Agarwal family (sons and grandsons of Haldiram). This is apparent from information regarding the directors of the company, available on the Ministry of Corporate Affairs website.
None of the Haldiram Group companies run by sons and grandsons had a Muslim director. Details of the directors of some Haldiram companies, managing separate operations can be seen below. Also, we found no reports of the Haldiram business unit run by one of the siblings being sold to a Muslim. According to reports, in 2019, the American company Kellogg’s expressed interest in buying stakes in Haldiram’s Delhi and Nagpur-based businesses, but this did not materialize.
To sum up, none of Haldiram Group’s business activities are owned by a Muslim.