Balaji company started in 1976 by the members of Virani Group, when Chandubhai and his brothers Bhikhubhai and Kanubhai migrated from a small village Dhun Dhoraji, Jamnagar district of Gujarat. Their father Popatbhai Virani was a farmer, who sold ancestral agriculture land and gave ₹20,000 (US$280) to them to venture into business.
The Viranis invested in farm equipment, but could not succeed and lost the money. Kakubhai and his brothers started a wafer business from a canteen of a cinema hall in Rajkot in 1974. Until 1989, the wafers were produced at the Viranis’ house and distributed in and around Rajkot city.
By their retail success they were inspired to set a semi-automatic plant instead of preparing wafers by the traditional frying method. The product gradually reached every part of Gujarat, and the Viranis wanted to take over the whole western India, so the biggest automatic plant of Gujarat came into the picture.
In the initial stage Balaji Wafers set up their plant at Aji Vasad (Industrial Zone, Rajkot) with a new concept of making potato chips. The main benefit they got is the readymade infrastructure availability due to which their cost was reduced to large extent. They operated there for around 22 years.
Balaji Wafers then set up their new fully automatic plant near Metoda G.I.D.C. which is in the area of the village Vajdi, outside the town of Rajkot.
Balaji Wafers had a growth in the chips sector in the 2007-2016 decade, outwitting the marks of major players like Lays’, Kurkure, Parle and Bingo. The company aims at a similar market grab in the frozen foods and fries sector dominated by McCain Foods, by launching a new line of production under the Iscon-Balaji Foods brand.
Balaji’s share of the local potato and vegetable chips market grew to 13.7% in 2012, from 9.5% in 2008, according to Euromonitor. Balaji also dominates in the western market with a share of 71%. In its home state Gujarat, it has a share of 90%.The Economic Times recognized Balaji Wafers as ‘Sultan of Wafers’.
Balaji Wafers is also a member of the Snacks Food Association.