From Rabri Faluda to the million-dollar Giani ice creams
Summer means one thing- ice creams and loads of ice creams. But don’t know where to start from? How about Giani ice creams? India’s very first homegrown brand that serves fresh milk ice creams instead of a frozen dessert right at your doorstep. Today the ice cream market is hugely dominated by sweetened frozen desserts and not the ice creams we are traditionally attached to. Ice cream is made from milk fats while a frozen dessert is made from vegetable oil fats.
The Giani ice cream is a multi-generational family business that today has created its own brand name with a million-dollar empire! Impressive enough? Here at Giani, they don’t only serve refreshing ice creams but also shakes, waffles, and a lot more to satisfy your sweet cravings. But do you know this journey started by selling Rabri Faluda on the streets? Let’s take a look at Giani Gurcharan Singh’s inspirational journey.
The journey from Rabri Faluda to Giani Ice Creams
Their journey started in 1956 when Giani Ji migrated from Lyallpur Pakistan to India and opened a small store in the busy lanes of Fatehpuri, Chandni Chowk Delhi. He used to sell traditional Rabri Faluda and mango shakes at the store with zero assistance. He used to make the desserts on his own every morning and would sell them in the market for the rest of the day in order to meet the end needs. His shop soon became a local hotspot for several passersby and businessmen. Delivering the best quality products- stars like Raj Kapoor and Mohammad Rafi would visit the shop to taste Giani dessert. He made a name for himself just because of his love and dedication towards the shop. Giani Ji also experimented with new recipes and included few more products to create his small menu including ‘gajar and moong dal halwa’.
Soon Giani’s eldest son Gurbachan Singh entered the business. Together they bought a small shop in Chandni Chowk. They also purchased their first second-hand ice cream batch freezer to meet the increasing demands. They would traditionally sell Rabri Faluda earning enough money to live a comfortable life. Famous as Giani-di-Hatti, they operated the shop for more than 30 years.
When Gurbachan Singh’s son Taranjit entered the family business, he included modern ideologies to expand the business and provide premium quality products at an affordable price. He soon opened another shop in the residential area of Rajouri Garden. This expansion proved to be a successful step in making Giani a household name. They bought modern machines from the US and Italy in the 90s and hired more staff to make new flavors of ice creams. Today, they serve more than 100 flavors of ice creams.
“My training was done in Fatehpuri. My father taught me the art of procuring quality raw materials, mixing, and making ice cream. After I stepped into the business in the 1990s, the foremost step I took was opening outlets in the residential areas,” says Taranjit in an interview with YourStory.
Opening a shop in Rajouri Garden helped Giani making loyal customers. They were surprised that other than just passersby, families were coming in and trying their products. Taranjit now expanded the business across Delhi opening almost 40 shops in the city and NCR. He also opened up in Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Maharashtra, West Bengal, etc and set up more than 400 shops in total. Giani was now a multi-dollar industry, but this journey halted with the covid-19 pandemic. Just like every market, Giani too suffered a huge loss.
But the pandemic also gave him enough time to figure out how he can benefit from the situation. Taranjit decided to digitalize the business by selling its products online. They also leveraged their menu to bring in more choices for customers and brought in sealed glass jar packagings. Now they serve ice cream cakes, gelato ice creams, shakes, stoned ice creams, waffle ice cream, and many more products rather than just ice creams.
Giani- The Multi Dollar Industry
The online business proved to be a turning point in their lives. The sales of Giani ice creams boomed with receiving more orders online than from the local stores. Today, the total revenue of the company stands at Rs 18 crore for FY 19-20. Taranjit is now planning to expand the business in Karnataka and Kerala as well. Despite the inclusion of modern machines and techniques, Giani recipe remains traditionally unchanged created by Taranjit’s grandfather. According to Taranjit, the legacy of Giani ice cream is built on honesty and he wishes to continue the same.
The credit of Giani massive success goes to three generations of sheer hard work and dedication to making ice creams. Starting the journey by selling Rabri Faluda to creating a multi-dollar empire, the story of this family remains inspirational.