TomorrowMakers

From a backyard bakery to an international food conglomerate, here’s the inspiring story of Rajni Bector, the founder of Cremica Foods.

The Cremica Story: How Rajni Bector turned her hobby into a household name

This is one of the greatest stories of a strong, enterprising woman from a humble background who defied all odds to build a successful brand. She borrowed Rs 300 to buy her first oven for her business and turned it into a 2500-crore company we know today as Cremica. If there ever was an inspiring story, this is it! 

Like a lot of Indians back then, Rajni Bector and her family had to leave everything behind in Karachi during partition and find refuge in Ludhiana, Punjab. She grew up in Ludhiana and was married off at the tender age of 17. After raising three boys and sending them to boarding school, she decided to focus on herself. And she did this by enrolling at the Punjab Agriculture University. 

Rajni was always a skilled cook and baker. She would lovingly make cakes on the gas stove and ice creams in her backyard for her friends and family. Her treats became very popular and this encouraged her to borrow Rs 300 to buy her first oven and start a small bakery.

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Before long, her little enterprise gained a lot of attention, and her husband loaned her Rs 20,000 to set up an ice cream manufacturing unit in 1978. She chose the name Cremica as it sounded similar to ‘Cream ka’, which means made out of cream in Hindi. And the rest, as they say, is history. 

With her vision, Cremica Food Industries Limited has since grown from strength to strength and become a huge food products conglomerate. Today, Rajni Bector is 80 years young and has created a legacy that will be passed down for generations to come.

The Cremica journey 

Cremica Foods has grown exponentially over the years and has a food product range that includes tomato ketchup, various sauces, spreads, mayonnaise, salad dressings, syrups, and dessert toppings. Its unique recipes focus not only on taste but also on health and use only the best ingredients. It boasts state-of-the-art infrastructure and quality controls and follows the highest food processing industry standards. 

The Cremica Group operates India’s largest tomato ketchup line, capable of packing 2.5 million sachets per year. It is also the supplier for bread, burger buns, sauces, pizza bases, condiments and other such products to international brands operating in India, such as Pizza Hut, Burger King, and Papa John’s. 

The company is the second-largest exporter of biscuits in the global market. It is a contract manufacturer for FMCG brand Mondelez India Foods, the company behind Cadbury, and makes Oreo biscuits and Cadbury Chocobakes cookies. It also supplies to Indian Railways. 

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Record-breaking IPO 

The parent company named after the entrepreneur - Mrs Bector’s Food Specialities - went public in December 2020. The household name from the food and beverages industry saw massive interest from institutional as well as retail investors, and the IPO was subscribed by over 198 times!

On the listing day itself, the company joined the elite group of businesses valued at over Rs 1000 crore. It has further bolstered growth and revenue by increasing manufacturing capacity, adding new products, and realigning export strategy. In just a year since listing, as of November 2021, Mrs Bector’s Food Specialities’ market cap has more than doubled to about Rs 2500 crore!

Related: IPO Performance In The Last Ten Years

Last words

Rajni Bector is a true inspiration to millions of women who want to become entrepreneurs. Her ‘Made in India’ brand, which was started in her home kitchen in Ludhiana, has not only made a mark in the food industry within the country, but also in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, the US, and Australia, where its products are exported today. Mrs Bector, the Padma Shri awardee, is living proof that all you need is a dream, a lot of hard work, and a little support from your loved ones to reach for the stars.