"Tell me a story", asked Kartikeya, my grandson, while we were lazing on our terrace under the glorious full-moon sky. I looked intently at him and found a very determined frown over his beautiful eyes.
"Okay", I said, "Let me get there really quick", I said while settling into a comfortable posture. Maitreyi, Shruti and Gargi found it interesting and settled down around me.
Jayaprada is an amazing cook and a serene soul. She not only liked cooking but also loved to see the smile on people's faces when she serves them. Ramakrishna always felt that she is more than just a cook. After a bunch of stints at various things, in the year 2003, Ramakrishna sought Jayaprada's help and they both came up with a very simple plan of making pickles and selling them to people whom they knew. Starting from the ever-fresh Avakaya to some of the not-so-regular pickles like Velaga, Jayaprada slowly began adding to the list of pickles they sold. Some of the recipes were passed on by her mother, some she learnt from her mother-in-law and some she invented herself - all while retaining the traditional flavour. While she managed the kitchen, Ramakrishna used to travel by small motorbike to deliver the pickles to the customers.
Both of them had a few things ironed out very firmly
Customer Satisfaction - They would interact with every customer individually, understand their choices and build a bond before they sell their products.
Quality - That they would never make use of preservatives in their recipes. Everything would and should be natural, just the way pickles are made and preserved traditionally.
Their recipes, coupled with the values, began to click. Customers spread the word voluntarily. The demand began to increase and it gave them the room and scope to expand. Ramakrishna did not leave any stone unturned to keep up the values while expanding the operations and sales. Jayaprada matched him with her own methods to manage the load and keep up the production. More hands joined and they opened their first 'factory' - as they liked to call it.
And then, the second generation came into the foray. Nalini and Mukunda joined the business. They carry the same value system as that of their parents with buzzing ideas to take things forward.
Today, Jandhyala Foods has its production unit in Ghatkesar, Hyderabad. Its workforce has more women than men. With over 20,000 customers, who are more like well-wishers, and exports spread to more than 10 countries, Jandhyala Foods is chugging along with positivity and great culture.
"Hope you liked the story!".