A Chat With Pune’s Very Own Chitale Bandhu, Indraneel Chitale


Chitale Bandhu, one of the largest Maharashtra-based manufacturers and sellers of sweets, savories, milk and milk products, need no introduction. A chat with the 4th generation entrepreneur of the super innovative Chitale family Indraneel Chitale.

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The New Chitale Bandhu Factory, Shivapur

Indraneel studied E&TC Engineering from VIT Pune. After graduating he took a small training stint at Gea Food Systems Netherlands and later joined the family business. He handles the manufacturing part of the business and is responsible for all manufacturing units in and around Pune.

Indraneel possesses deep knowledge about everything remotely related to his field from biochemistry, product placement, marketing, sales and distribution to quality management. His keen interest in recycling and using waste is very impressive and he has definitely gone out of his way to apply the waste water treatment plant at the Shivapur factory.

Indraneel showcases brilliant entrepreneurial skills; continuous learning, improvisation and optimisation.“Only dislike I have is people not honouring time. Punctuality and time commitment are something I really appreciate.” says Indraneel. He is sure a visionary like every other member of the Chitale family

Indraneel gives fitness tremendous importance and maintains a perfect work life balance. “I love working out. I am at the gym at 515 am 5 days a week, apart from that I swim and love other such outdoor activities. My passion is automobiles and I love biking as well. I like listening to Hindustani Classical Music the most.” 

I was very fortunate to have had an comprehensive factory visit followed by an engaging conversation and with him over a plate of garma garam Bakarwadis….


What was the most crucial thing that Chitale Bandhu followed which made Chitale Bandhu what it is today?

Quality, Honesty & Focus on Innovation and Technology to improve manufacturing and hygiene capability and an intent to provide products at an affordable rate have been the most crucial elements in us having such a nice customer base.

 What is your secret? Your bakarwadi consistently tastes the same over decades.  How do u keep up with the quality?

Automation, Focus on standardising all processes and minimum human interference has led to such consistency. Also a strict Quality Control regime for Raw Material as well as finished goods ensured we keep meeting our benchmarks.

How are you trying to innovate your strategy as a business man? 

The markets are changing. With the advent of E commerce, even more so. I think it is important for us to be present actively in this modern retail sector  as this is what will expand in the time to come. Keeping such sectors in mind, we are focusing on improving manufacturing capacities, packaging, shelf life and increasing the reach of our distribution network.

How has the business evolved in the last few years?

The last few years have been fast paced. We have grown steadily at around 12% in this time frame and hope to continue such steady organic growth pattern. I think a chunk of our turnover now has been contributed from the distribution and modern trade network as opposed to 5 years ago. This sector will only increase in the time to come.

Do you have any branches abroad? Where all do you ship to? Does the Bakarwadi have a fan following in any part of the globe? 

We do not have branches abroad. We operate through a series of distributors and importers outside India. We are currently exporting our products to major US cities, The UK, Middle East, Singapore and Malaysia & Australia- New Zealand.

Bakarwadi has a good following globally and demands are ever increasing. It is always a good sign.

What was the craziest order you’ve received so far? Have you ever declined an order for any reason?

Mostly the crazy orders come at the Retail outlet level. The kind of innovative requirements we get to see interacting with customers is amazing. Especially with the increasing demands for special and customised gifting patterns during weddings or special occasions. We do sometimes decline certain orders as the feasibility of sending certain milk products with less shelf life becomes difficult. Instead of taking risks with such products and the customers health, we prefer declining certain orders.

Did you always want to get into your family business? How did you merge your career passion and the family business?

Growing up in a joint family and family managed business, our dining table often resembled a board room. At an early age, I got to hear a lot about our businesses from these discussions occurring between my grandfather, father and uncles. This all seemed interesting and I had an inclination that I did want to join the family business.

Initially I always felt I wanted a role more on the marketing side. But my engineering background ensured I was given the responsibility of handling the manufacturing end of the business by my father. I was a bit skeptical getting this responsibility but over time I have come to enjoy this role. Especially the focus on innovating processes and creating new things runs in the family and I enjoy being at this pivotal point of the business.

How was it growing up in a family with such an amazing legacy?

It was amazing growing up in such a large family. You get to study and learn a lot simply seeing the elders in the business as they each carry their significant expertise and points of view over problems. This leads to a very democratic yet efficient decision making process and it an experience in itself. Especially dealing with crisis situations.

Any advice or words of wisdom for everyone who is reading this blog?

My great grandfather told my grandfather once “ Stop the business the day you feel like adding Water to the Milk” This firm adherence to quality and honesty is something that we even in our 4th generation follow. This focus on Honesty has been a big contributor in our business flourishing for over 75 years now. This is something all of us should follow in our respective scope of work.

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Bakarwadi and the makers

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