Raghunandan Srinivas Kamath is the founder of Naturals Ice Cream. He opened the first store in Mumbai in 1984. Kamath is the son of a poor fruit vendor who paved his way from a mud house in Karnataka to Mumbai. In 2020, the ice cream chain recorded a turnover of ₹300 crores. The company was also named as India’s Top 10 brand for customer experience in 2013. Currently, it has stores in 135 cities across India. After a lot of hardships and failures, Kamath launched his first store the has not stopped ever since. Here’s his inspiring rags to riches success story.
Early life and struggles
Raghunandan Srinivas Kamath was born in a small village in Karnataka called Mulki in 1954. He is the youngest of seven children. Kamath had a very simple childhood. He spent his days climbing trees and exploring his surroundings. Kamath’s father was a poor fruit vendor who earned just enough to feed his family of seven children and wife.
At the age of fifteen, Kamath moved to Bombay to work at his brother’s eatery. In Bombay, he lived in a 12 by 12-foot house in a chawl. While working at his brother’s eatery, he sold ice cream along with pav bhaji. Kamath wanted to offer more flavours to his customers. Hence, he decided to start his own shop.
Starting Naturals Ice Cream
After moving to Bombay to join his brother’s eatery, Kamath sold homemade ice cream at the shop. There, he had an idea of selling ice creams made from fruit pulp. After a while, he got some money from the restaurant and decided to open his own ice cream shop. Kamath hence set up a small 200 square feet shop in Juhu, Vile Parle. He wanted to create exciting flavours other than the usual vanilla and chocolate. In 1984, he launched his first store with four employees and ten ice cream flavours. After a lot of failures and hurdles, his hard work finally paid off.
Kamath kept the ingredients very simple and eventually, stopped selling pav bhaji to focus on his ice cream brand. Some of the unconventional but tasty flavours include gajar halwa (carrot dessert), cucumber, tender coconut, and many more. Other fruit flavours include jackfruit, muskmelon, litchi, black grapes, and more. Today, the company offers 125 flavours to its customers. In 2020, the company made a turnover of ₹300 crores. Naturals have stores in 135 cities across the country. In 2013, the company received an award for Best in Customer Service. Naturals Ice Cream is one of the most successful homegrown brands in India.
Srinivas Kamath’s success story
Srinivas Kamath’s success story is very inspiring. From being born into a low-income family to creating one of the most loved and trusted brands in India, he is an inspiration to thousands of people. Firstly, Hard work is the key to success. It teaches us dedication, perseverance, and determination. Kamath wanted to create something out of the box and took a risk. After several failures, his hard work paid off. He always put his customers first. Secondly, we should always try to learn from our mistakes. Finally, never stop believing in yourself. Kamath took a big risk but he believed in himself and his dreams.
When did Kamath open his first store?
He opened his first shop in Juhu in 1984.