How A Calculated Risk Made This Pav Bhaji Vendor An Ice Cream Mogul

In the bustling lanes of 1984 Mumbai, Raghunandan Srinivas Kamath had an epiphany. Why not pair the spicy allure of ‘pav bhaji with the sweet chill of fruit-flavoured ice creams?

Having seen the sweet-toothed tendencies of Indians at his brother’s South Indian diner, Kamath was onto something. His modest 200-sq-ft Juhu shop, initially serving Pav Bhaji alongside ice creams, raked in a cool ₹5,00,000 in its debut year. Soon, the Pav Bhaji was ditched, and the spotlight was solely on ice creams.

What to know? Zoom to 2023, and what began as a humble parlour in Juhu has mushroomed into 135 outlets, each boasting an array of over 20 flavours. Natural Ice Cream, Kamath’s brainchild, notched up a ₹300 crore turnover in 2020 and even clinched a spot in KPMG’s Top 10 brands for customer experience.

Kamath’s mantra? “Start small, dream big.” In an era where ice creams were a luxury, Kamath’s genius lay in pairing them with Pav Bhaji. His brand’s commitment to natural ingredients, and shunning artificial additives, set it apart. Drawing from his childhood, Kamath infused ‘Naturals’ with the essence of quality fruits, traditional preparation methods, and a dash of innovation.

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Today, the Kamath clan, including his wife Annapurna and sons Siddhant and Srinivas, steer the brand, producing a staggering 20 tonnes of ice cream daily. From his father, Kamath inherited the knack for selecting the finest fruits, a skill that’s now the brand’s hallmark.

Kamath’s journey, from a young boy in Mangalore learning the nuances of fruit quality to the ice cream mogul of Mumbai, is a testament to his vision. His brand, Naturals, isn’t just about ice creams; it’s a celebration of authentic flavours, quality ingredients, and the spirit of innovation.

Read next: Madurai’s 21-Year-Old That Turned A Kitchen Experiment Into A ₹10 Crore Business

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