When the Spirits Cast their Spell

‘When Mohanlal Dayal was born, he was placed on the lid of a huge ceremonial cooking pot or Tapela and was called Chhibabhai. The logic was that bad spirits would not be attracted to a baby with such an ugly name’ says Ramesh Chauhan on the patriarch of one of India’s oldest business family.

Mohanlal sent one of his 5 sons to Germany to learn confectionery making. And got them started off in a cow shed with loans raised from neighbors & family. And just before World War 2, they bought home a biscuit making machinery from London to set up a one-oven factory in 1938.

They got so busy working on the first biscuit and forgot to think of a name. They just called it Parle Gluco after the area in Mumbai where they began – Vile Parle.

Perhaps the toughest time in the 82 year journey of Parle G came in Aug 2019 when news of 10,000 workers getting laid off was seen by many as another dark harbinger of economic crisis.

And then Covid happened! Yesterday, Parle G announced best ever sales in 8 decades riding on consumption during lockdown.

Too early to call it a turnaround but one could say spirits did cast their spell!

It is a story you can use when making a point on being ready when opportunity knocks. And resilience.

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