Representational image
Representational image

The owner of the Kolkata-based Haldiram Bhujiawala, otherwise known as Pratik Food Products passed away on Friday night in Singapore. Mahesh Agarwal had been suffering from liver problems and was being treated for the same.

According to a report in a leading daily, since he had passed away from an infection, to avoid risk, he was cremated at the earliest, and the bereaved family could not perform the last rites before he was taken to an electric incinerator.

The family however is also concerned about their business in Kolkata. With Singapore announcing a month-long lockdown that will go into effect from April 7th, family members have now written to Indian authorities requesting evacuation.

There however does not seem to be any update on the same from the Indian Embassy in Singapore. Even as many took to social media to ask the embassy about whether they cold return to the country, the embassy has remained non-committal.

"The government is aware of new measures in Singapore and we will convey your concerns. Please stay connected with us," it told one individual.

"Current guidelines are for international flights to be used exclusively for evacuation from India. We await further instructions from Gov of Indian on movement of Indian nationals, in view of total lockdown in India. Please stay connected with us for an update," it had explained to another on Friday.

Mahesh Agarwal, who according to his LinkedIn profile was also the Managing Director of Hotel Monotel, was part of the same family that ran the Haldiram's (India) brand. As an article by Business Standard explains, while under the same trademark, over the years, different members of the family had ventured out to forge their own sub-brands, at times owing to legal issues.

It might interest you to know that Kolkata's Prabhuji, Bikaner's Bikaji, Nagpur's Mopleez etc, all originated from the same family that founded a small shop in 1937 and grew it into an empire of sorts. The store was set up by Gangabhisan Agarwal in Bikaner. The Kolkata chapter began when his youngest son, Rameshwarlal Agarwal set up Haldiram Bhujiawala in the Burrabazaar part of the city. Today, the family's Kolkata operations has further expanded into three separate brands.

Rameshwarlal Agarwal's son Prabhu Shankar ran HBL, while his brother Mahesh Kumar had run Pratik Food Products. A third company, Haldiram & Sons Bhujiawala is run by Prayagdas and Mahendra Kumar, who are the children of Satyanarayan, another son of Gangabhisan.

There are also sub-brands in Delhi that are run by other members of the family.

There have been disputes over the usage of the Haldiram trademark amongst members of the family. In 2013, the Intellectual Property Appelate Board had ordered that the trademark registration against the Kolkata's Haldiram Bhujiawala be removed.

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