An aai and two college dropouts’ home snacks biz sends Shark Tank judges into a bidding war

An aai and two college dropouts’ home snacks biz sends Shark Tank judges into a bidding war
  • 47-year-old Geeta Patil runs a homemade snacks business in Mumbai in partnership with her son, Vinit, and his friend, Darshil Savla.
  • Patil Kaki received offers from four of the five sharks on Shark Tank India S2 - Vineeta Singh, Peyush Bansal, Anupam Mittal, and Aman Gupta.
  • Patil Kaki accepted the offer by Bansal and Mittal who invested ₹40 lakh for 4% equity.
In its second season, Shark Tank India has seen all kinds of pitches but that of Patil Kaki, a homemade snacks business, sent four of the five judges into a bidding war.

This six-year-old business that started in a 200 square feet kitchen in Mumbai is run by 47-year-old Geeta Patil with two 21-year-old partners – her son Vinit Patil, and his friend Darshil Savla.

While Geeta Patil, who runs the eponymous business, has been making and selling snacks ever since her husband lost his job in 2016, it’s the younger partners who gave it a digital spin. Vineet Patil and Savla are college dropouts, who at one point, set up and ran a small IT services business. They set up a website for Patil Kaki helping scale up the business from 15-20 orders a day to around 3,000 orders monthly, as per reports.

Her chaklis, modaks, chivdas, puran poli, and even healthy snacks like makhanas which are now well-packaged well, branded, and available online – generated sales to the tune of ₹1 crore in the first five months of FY23 – as of August 2022 when the Shark Tank episodes were recorded.

They hope to end the financial year with sales to the tune of ₹3 crore. “They are the emerging faces of New India. Even two years haven’t passed (since the young partners joined the business), they’ve helped you to make a business worth ₹3 crore,” commented shark and’s founder Anupam Mittal after hearing their pitch on the show.


The bidding begins

Patil Kaki’s products and business impressed the judges so much that the sharks were fighting for a piece of its pie. It culminated in a bidding war that saw the startup’s valuations more than double within a matter of minutes.

Sugar Cosmetics CEO Vineeta Singh was the first to offer ₹40 lakh for 10% equity that valued Patil Kaki at ₹4 crore. Soon after, Aman Gupta, the co-founder of boAt, trumped it by doubling his offer — ₹40 lakh for 5% equity, valuing it at ₹8 crore.

Lenskart’s co-founder Peyush Bansal and’s founder Anupam Mittal then made an offer that Kaki couldn’t refuse — ₹40 lakh for 4% equity that valued it at ₹10 crore. Gupta too matched their offer and wanted to be a solo investor in the company but the Patil Kaki founders accepted the Bansal and Mittal’s joint offer.

Inspired by her ‘aai’

Geeta Patil started selling homemade food after she was inspired by her own aai or mother who whipped up tiffins for 20 people every day, reports The Better India. She had been making and selling food out of passion before 2016. But afterwards, she converted it into a proper business as she had to shoulder the responsibility of running the household.

“I couldn’t afford to take it easy any longer. The first order came from a family in Khar. The best part is that even today, we get orders from them regularly,” shared Geeta with The Better India.

Slowly, she started getting orders from offices too. However, it was the pandemic that pushed her to prepare and sell dry snacks too.

“We started by serving breakfast at the BMC office. Impressed by our cooking, the employees got a letter from the ward office, allowing us to serve them at the office. However, when the lockdown started, the problems started again. That’s when I started with snacks like chakli, chivda, etc,” said Patil on the show.

To cater to the growing business, the team took up a 1,200 sq ft space in Santacruz. Patil Kaki hired its first employee in 2019 and now has a team of 25 people. It claims that 75% of its workforce consists of women who’re working for the first time.


Investors bite into snacks businesses

Foodtech industry has been one of the fastest-growing businesses amongst startups. Even public market investors have taken a shine to two snacks companies that listed on the stock markets late last year.

Both the companies – Bikaji Foods and Annapurna Swadisht raised ₹881 crore and ₹30 crore respectively via public offers. They also received strong investor response for the offers in the form of subscriptions, and also provided listing gains to their investors.

Uniquely both these snack companies are skewed heavily towards Indian snacks. Bikaji, that’s endorsed by Amitabh Bacchan, is known for its namkeens like Bhujiya, Jalmuri and sweets like Kaju Katli and more. Kolkata-based Annapurna Swadisht is known for sweets like Gohona Bori in addition to chivdas, chips, and more.

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