Among a host of lip-smacking things that Pune is famous for, sweets and namkeens manufactured by Chitale Bandhu Mithaiwale are right on the top of the list. It is arguably Pune’s favourite Halwai (confectionary), manufacturing a range of products, from laddoos to modaks to bakarwadis and many more.
On the occasion of Engineer’s Day, which falls on 15 September every year, the birth anniversary of Bharat Ratna Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya, Indraneel Chitale, an engineer himself and currently a Partner at the Chitale Group, shared an inspiring video to explain why a Halwai studied Engineering.
The answer to why a Halwai studied Engineering ….— Indraneel Chitale (@cIndraneel) September 15, 2021
Happy Engineers Day …. pic.twitter.com/1IMx3I41rZ
The clip provided a window into how Chitale Group is using advanced machines, procured from different parts of the world, to optimise its manufacturing process and cater to the needs of people.
“Our pida machines are coming from Japan, or the bakarwadi machines are coming from Holland. The motisur ladu machine is coming from Germany or the modak machines are coming from Brazil. So you can see the various geographies these machines are coming from and the way they are modified to sit our products,” says Indraneel, who also features in the video.
The video shows different machines at work, churning out various sweets and namkeens inside the company’s manufacturing unit. Indraneel says they have streamlined the process in such a manner that they can manufacture a large number of items with the help of just a handful of machines.
The legacy of Chitale Bandhu Mithaiwale
In 1939, Bhaskar Ganesh Chitale started a milk distribution business at Bhilawadi in Maharashtra’s Sangli district that decades later went on to become one of the country’s most loved confectionery brands, Chitale Bandhu Mithaiwale. The entrepreneurial venture started out by Ganesh Chitale was taken forward by his two sons, Raghunath Bhaskar Chitale(Bhausaheb) and Narsinha Bhaskar Chitale(Rajabhau), who established Chitale Bandhu Mithaiwale as a subsidiary of the Chitale Group of Industries.
In just a short span of time, Chitale Bandhu Mithaiwale grew at a remarkable speed, leading to the establishment of manufacturing and retail outlets for sweets and snacks. Some of its products such as Bakarwadi and mango burfi (also known as amba burfi) became the most sought after items of the brand, with their unique taste capturing the imagination of gourmets across the country.
The iconic confectionary is today run by the fourth generation of the family, which is harnessing its entrepreneurial spirit and leveraging advanced technologies to unlock new business potential. In the year 2000, after having completed Master’s degree in Commerce, Kedar joined the family business to expand the family business further. He was appointed to look after the marketing and distribution network of the company in Pune.
As demand skyrocketed, Kedar appointed franchisees and developed a sophisticated network of distribution within Pune. With the IT influx, as more people started gravitating towards the city, Chitale used the opportunity to open small outlets at various IT parks and lounges at Mumbai and Pune airports. As of June 2020, Chitale Bandhu Mithaiwale had 20 franchisees in Pune, outlets in many IT hubs, and five new innovative stores called Chitale Xpress.
Another fourth-generation Chitale, Indraneel, joined the family business in 2011. With a degree in Electronics and Telecommunications, Indraneel was smitten with marketing, product and business development. In 2011, Indraneel joined Chitale Group in the role of product and business development. He was later assigned the responsibility of manufacturing and production. He also travelled to the Netherlands for training with GEA group, one of the largest suppliers in the food processing industry.
There he is said to have learned about advanced machines and their use in augmenting and streamlining manufacturing. On his return in 2012, Indraneel undertook the project of automating the crate washing process. Much of the current wave of automation witnessed in the company, which has played a crucial role in expanding the manufacturing capacity and improving overall efficiency, could be credited to Indraneel Chitale.