The bhujia king: Haldiram’s’ Shiv Kishan Agarwal
Despite my turning up at his office on time, it’s nearly 2 hours before Shiv Kishan Agarwal grants me an audience. It’s 4.30pm on a Saturday but the chairman of the Nagpur-based Haldiram’s is apparently in the thick of things, barely looking up as I walk in. His attention is on his assistant, who is peeling the many boxes of soan papdi lying on a broad wooden table between us. The mild scent of ghee and pistachios of the crisp, flaky confection is starting to take over. Shiv Kishan checks the papdi’s texture, occasionally pressing it with his thumb. Finally, he jots down the names of three of six contractors in charge of manufacturing them.