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Fact-Check: Viral Posts About Haldiram's Ownership Are Communal and False

Posts claim that the company has been sold off to a Muslim, but the truth is that the Agarwal family still owns it.

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WebQoof
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A post claiming that the Indian sweets and snacks company, Haldiram's is under the ownership of a Muslim is doing the rounds on social media. It goes on to claim that the company was sold by "the pervious owner's two grandsons – Yogesh and Naresh Khandelwal".

Haldiram's was recently targeted by right-wing television channel Sudarshan News, who had alleged that the company was writing the ingredients of one of its products (also consumed by people fasting during Navratri) in "Urdu".

However, we found out that the founder of the Haldiram's group, Ganga Bhishen Agarwal (Haldiram) has no grandson named Yogesh or Naresh and the business is still owned by the Agarwal family.

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CLAIM

The post claims that the Haldiram's is currently owned by a Muslim and goes on to ask people to not use the company's products.

It elaborates on the family's history, stating that the grandchildren of the original founder, Haldiram, sold the enterprise to a Muslim, thus the company was "far from pure."

Posts claim that the company has been sold off to a Muslim, but the truth is that the Agarwal family still owns it.

An archive of the post can be seen here.

(Source: Twitter/Screenshot)

Several other users claimed the same in their posts on Facebook and Twitter.

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WHAT WE FOUND

We checked the history of the brand and discovered that the company's founder Ganga Bhishen Agarwal, also known as 'Haldiram' neither has a son named Ghasi Lal nor do any of his grandsons go by the name of Yogesh and Naresh, as claimed in the viral post.

We came across his family tree in an article published by Forbes in 2019 on the success story of Haldiram's and it did not feature the names Yogesh and Naresh, as stated in the posts.

It also added the territorial divisions of the business among the family according to which different operations across the country are run by different members of the family.

Posts claim that the company has been sold off to a Muslim, but the truth is that the Agarwal family still owns it.

The family tree of Ganga Agarwal.

(Source: Forbes)

We also looked for the information regarding all the operations of the Haldiram Group like the Haldiram's Vyanjan Private Limited, Haldiram Bhujiawala Ltd, etc. on the website of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and found that all of them are under the directorship of the Agarwal family.

Earlier giants like PepsiCo and Kellogg's have shown interest in buying stakes in the company, however, the deals didn't eventuate.

In an interview with CNBC-TV18, on 13 April 2022, the Agarwal Brothers didn't mention anything about selling the company. In fact, they revealed that they are planning to launch an initial public offer (IPO), in the next two-three years.

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A BRIEF HISTORY OF HALDIRAM'S

Pavitra Kumar, author of 'Bhujia Barons: The Untold Story of How Haldiram Built a Rs 5000-crore Empire' wrote in an article for Forbes that the journey of the enterprise began in 1918 as a small namkeen shop in Bikaner.

Ganga Bhishen Agarwal spent his childhood days making the snack we today know as Haldiram’s bhujia.

According to the article, In the early 1950s, Ganga Bhishen, along with his sons Moolchand and Rameshwar Lal, spread the business to Kolkata which became a huge success within a few years.

The firm moved to Nagpur and subsequently to the capital during the next three decades.

The Haldiram family, like most family businesses, was not immune to inheritance conflicts, Kumar wrote. Ganga Bhishen put an end to the family quarrel early on in the family's journey by developing a unique structure of territorial division in which each section of the family could only do business in the regions allotted to them.

The different divisions of the business across the country are owned and run by Ganga Agarwal's grandsons and none of the owners are from the Muslim community.

We reached out to the Haldiram's group and Pavitra Kumar, author of 'Bhujia Barons', for confirmation and this article will be updated as and when we receive a response.

Clearly, the claim that the food giant is under the ownership of a Muslim is wrong.

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(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at webqoof@thequint.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

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Topics:  Webqoof   Haldiram   Haldiram's 

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