Kedarnath Aggarwal (1937-2023) was the founder and chairman of the popular Indian food brands Bikanervala and Bikano who passed away in November 2023.
Kedarnath Aggarwal was born in 1937 (age 86 years; at the time of death) in Bikaner princely state of British India (later Bikaner city in Rajasthan state of India). He started helping his father in his family business of sweet-making during his early teenage years and later started his own sweet-making business.
Height (approx.): 5′ 6″
Eye Colour: Black
He belonged to a family of sweet makers.
Parents & Siblings
His father, Lal Chand Aggarwal, started his own sweet-making shop named Bikaner Mithai Bhandar in Bikaner in 1905. Kedarnath Aggarwal had five elder brothers, four of them named Laxmi Narayan, Jugal Kishore, Har Narayan, and Satya Narayan and a sister named Mannu Bai.
Wife & Children
Kedarnath Aggarwal is survived by his wife, Naurati Devi, and six children. His eldest son is named Radhey Mohan, the middle one is named Navratan, and the youngest one is named Ramesh. His three daughters are Krishankant, Anju, and Suman.
He followed Hinduism.
After working at his father’s shop in Bikaner for a few years, Kedarnath and his elder brother Satya Narayan travelled to different cities such as Mumbai and Kolkata before coming to Delhi in 1955. During their initial days, they used to sell Bikaneri Rasgullas and Bhujia (namkeen) wrapped in paper packets as a street vendor carrying the sweets in a bucket. After a few months, they opened a shop in Paranthe Wali Gali in the Chandni Chowk area of Delhi, India and named it Bikaneri Bhujia Bhandar; however, their elder brother Jugal Kishore once visited their shop and got angry upon seeing the shop.
He told them that they were sent to Delhi to spread the fame of Bikaner and told them to change the name after which they named their shop Bikanervala. Several of their sweets including Moong Dal Halwa, Bikaneri Bhujia, and Kaju Katli became very popular among the masses. They went on to open several shops in Delhi and other cities in India and other countries.
In 1988, he created a new brand named Bikano through which they made namkeens and other sweets in air-tight packets; they later partnered with PepsiCo’s new brand Lehar in 1995. The brands were later managed by Shyam Sundar Aggarwal and his son, Manish Aggarwal. As of 2023, Bikanervala has more than 200 outlets and a yearly turnover of more than Rs 2000 crores.
- He was fondly called Kakaji by people.
- When they came to Delhi in 1955, they stayed in Santlal Khemka Dharamshala where only a 3-day maximum stay was allowed; however, they carried a letter from one of their known persons in Bikaner and were allowed to stay in Dharamshala for around one month.
- Kedarnath Aggarwal once talked about the popularity of Bikanervala’s rasgullas and said that they had to limit the number of rasgullas for each customer during festival seasons and sold only 10 rasgullas to each customer.
- He liked travelling, and in the 1970s, he purchased a Hindustan Ambassador car.