Are Kellogg and Haldiram strange bedfellows?

With the possibility of an alliance between Kelloggs and Haldirams which of course did not have any official confirmation from either companies, Kellogg and Halidram’s is an interesting combination for a merger. If you look at the history of Kellogg it was the first company to place a dietician and nutritionist in their company, so passionate were they about people’s health. It was also one of the first companies to give RDA’s ( recommended dietary allowance ) on all their products. So Kellogg has always been seen as an ultra healthy product with variants for every age. And it has always been seen as a breakfast food.
On the other hand Haldiram’s has always been seen as a tasty but unhealthy snack? Although when I went to their website, they too have RDA’s for all their products and on the surface it would be difficult to find anything that was objectionable in the RDA itself. But then there are several other incongruent factors. Haldiram’s is about 4 times the turnover of Kellogg? While Kellogg boasts of double digit growth since it started 20 years ago, it is still a small company. The fact that Haldiram’s is a snack and Kellogg is into breakfast foods however is not a conflict. When Kellogg entered Japan it was difficult for them to penetrate the traditional breakfast market so it was used more like a healthy snack. In fact in 1930 Kellogg became the first company to print nutrition messages, recipes and other product information on their product packs. Other factors where there might not be a fit is the company culture. Kellogg at the end of the day is a global company. Haldirams is a family run company while Kellogg has been a professionally run company after being established by its founders. Indian family businesses normally have a way of doing business that is often in conflict with multinational company cultures. Kellogg at the end of the day is a global company accepted by countries and their respective food administrations worldwide, while Haldirams on the other hand has been constantly rejected by US Food Security as unfit for human consumption.
Source : https://www.linkedin.com/redir/general-malware-page?url=https%3A%2F%2Ffood%2endtv%2ecom%2Ffood-drinks%2Fus-food-security-rejects-indian-snacks-deem-most-of-them-unfit-for-consumption-771773 In contrast nutrition has been an essential part of the Kellogg story ever since they were first established.
For Kellogg, values is an essential part of their DNA and came from their founder WK Kellogg. Their global website has an entire section on Ethics and Culture which says ” W.K. Kellogg has given us a rich legacy of integrity, and honoring that legacy has been a significant part of Kellogg Company’s success story.” In the case of Haldirams, business objectives seem more important than anything else. In fact it was reported that one founding family member (Kolkata based )was tried and even convicted in court. (https://scroll.in/article/813145/meet-the-most-notorious-member-of-the-haldiram-bhujiawala-family). Although according to the newspaper reports Kellogg is interested only in the Delhi and Nagpur businesses and not the Kolkatta business or the restaurant business. A different part of the family looks after each of the these businesses.  While what is being touted as a mega alliance in the media might make business sense there are a lot of questions that a partnership like this on poses, on business, culture, ethics, healthy products, professional management and other softer factors. Connect with me on twitter.com
Prabhakar Mundkur has spent 40 years in advertising and worked in India, Africa and Asia. He is currently Chief Mentor with HGS Interactive a part of HGS in the Hinduja Group. He is on the advisory board of Sol 's Arc (solsarc.org ) an NGO dedicated to special education for intellectually challenged children. He is also a member of Whiteboard ( whiteboardindia.org ) which supports senior management of NGOs in financial management, PR, Communication and HR through pro bono expertise.

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