Bake-walk to success

NIKHIL BALLAL

If you are in Nashik, then Jahagirdar bakers is a must visit for you. Not only are they famous for their out-of-the-box recipes, but also for the quality that they have maintained over the last two decades. Known for their health friendly biscuits, cakes, toasts and savouries, Jahagirdar bakers have carved a niche for themselves.

Humble beginning

Milind Jahagirdar, the owner of Jahagirdar Bakers, used to work in Britannia as a plant supervisor. However, he also wanted to come back to Nashik and start something of his own. After trying his hands in trading, he started a bakery called Continental bakery and was very successful. However, when they developed their flagship Nagali biscuits, they realised that Nashik may not be that good market for them and they thought of exploring Pune as their market with a different name.However, when they asked the printer to print their packaging material, they didn’t have any new name. The printer kept asking them for it and when they delayed it, one day the bags were delivered to them with ‘Jahagirdar Bakers’ printed on it. That is how Jahagirdar Bakers came into being!

Though it was an accidental name, Milind Jahagirdar liked it very much. “We were quite famous in Nashik as Jahagirdars so it was beneficial for us in Nashik. Plus, the printer argued that it is essential to give your name to your goods, especially in the consumer sector. That way, you are obliged to give quality and keep your name high. With our name on the package, the blame would directly stick to us,” shared Milind Jahagirdar.

Developing Nagli biscuit

Nagli is grown extensively in Nashik along with some other districts of Maharashtra. But what sets Nashik apart from other places are the various ways like papads in which Nagli is put to use in Nashik. “Nagli is very healthy and should be eaten by everyone. We thought of developing biscuits using the same as our base ingredient. They turned out well and was well-accepted by the market. Even today, there is no competition to our Nagli biscuits on the basis of quality,” shares Milind Jahagirdar.

They have developed a lot of products and the products sold in their shops are exclusively developed by them. Milind Jahagirdar is the research team himself and his head is the lab! They conduct batch-wise trials of any new product that they are willing to start.

Another product that Jahagirdar bakers are famed for is their variety of flavoured cream rolls. One can find about 10 different types of cream rolls in a typical Jahagirdar outlet. Milind Jahagirdar claims that he got this idea from the kids. “Though adults also binge on cream rolls, our real target audience for it has been kids. When we heard them complaining about same thing in tiffin every day, we thought of developing various flavours.Kids wanted variety.While the smaller kids would ask for the cream roll by its colour, the elder ones tend to buy on the basis of flavours,” he explained.

Bakery that introduced cakes later

“I was always interested in biscuits and muffins. Thus, even when we started a bake-shop, we didn’t have any birthday cakes. People used to ask for cakes and wondered how we don’t have it despite being a bakery,” recalled Milind Jahagirdar. To comply with the demand, they asked a few bakery workers to bake cakes for them. But there were several issues like cleanliness and quality on which Milind Jahagirdar was not ready to compromise. As a result, they stopped the cakesection altogether.

His daughter Saloni asked whether she could try her hand in baking. She went to all the cake shops she could find in the city and tasted their products for about a month or two. After studying all of those samples, she came to a conclusion of how the cakes should be. They decided to focus only on egg-less fresh cream cakes. Their cakes are also exclusive and can be purchased only from their shops. Today, their cakes are not only famous but are also trusted by all the vegetarian communities.

Entering the savoury market

“According to a survey, bakery business is one of the fastest growing sectors in India. We realised that we do not have to bind ourselves to baked products only. We can explore more too,” shared Milind Jahagirdar. With this thought in mind, they planned on coming up with namkeen sector. They started with chakli, shev and bakarwadi, with some Jahagirdar touch. They are also coming up with premixes for cakes, dhoklas, etc.

Developing customer relations

If you have ever purchased a birthday cake from Jahagirdar Bakers, they would keep a note of for whom you have bought the cake. Every year, on the same date, you would get a call from them, not to ask you whether you want to buy the cake, but to wish that person a happy birthday from the Jahagirdar family. If you think this is a sweet gesture, you must take a note from Milind Jahagirdar, who provides customer relationship training to his on the counter staff and well as his production staff. Milind Jahagirdar feels that communication is very important and the language used to communicate should be such that the one to whom you want to communicate should understand it. The production team is given the required training. “I have to make them understand why each and every step of the recipe is essential to done and that too in a particular manner. When I tell it to him in his own language, he understands it better and I don’t have to stand there, policing them about it,” he shared. The result of this exercise has pampered the taste buds of many!

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