By Rishabh Naudiyal Last Updated:
Ching's Secret is among the biggest companies in the FMCG sector, and in the last 27 years, it has also become one of the most profitable brands in this particular industry. The company's founder, Ajay Gupta is the man behind the idea of 'Desi Chinese', which is the soul of Ching's Secret.
Currently, he is working as the Managing Director of the company and has made a name for himself in the industry with his vision and belief in his ideas. Despite Ching's Secret's inspirational success as a brand in the FMCG sector, its story still needs to be discovered by many young entrepreneurs nationwide.
As a result, we are going to bring Ajay Gupta's entrepreneurial journey in front of everyone as it is highly inspirational and sends out the message of 'believing in your product' out loud. From his educational background to how he cracked Rs. 5500 crores with Tata, here's everything you need to know about Ajay's entrepreneurial journey!
Famous entrepreneur, Ajay Gupta is the founder of Ching's Secret back in 1995. The entrepreneur launched Capital Foods Private Limited back in the same year. The parent company, Capital Foods Private Limited has become a significant name in the FMCG sector, courtesy of the brand's exponential success. At a time when Ajay's entrepreneur colleagues or friends were minting money in renowned sectors, the former decided to take on the challenging FMCG sector. As per reports, Ajay graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from CCS University, Meerut. With all the knowledge and belief in his vision, Ajay founded his company, Capital Foods Private Limited, 27 years ago with the idea of 'Desi Chinese'.
Time and again, in his many interviews, Ajay Gupta admitted that only a few people believed in his vision. For the unversed, Ajay sent his team of food tasters to travel the country to identify the ingredients used in making Chinese food. Unfortunately, they could not highlight one specific ingredient despite tasting Chinese food from different stalls. The young entrepreneur saw the opportunity to put a brand in the local food so that people could see it and take it home to get the same taste in their homely-cooked food. As a result, Ajay Gupta introduced the concept of 'Desi Chinese' in the Indian food market as he introduced it as a fusion of India's desiness and China's authentic Chinese food. From soy sauce, red chilli sauce, chilli vinegar, and many more.
However, when Ajay Gupta went to the distributors, most of them said 'no', as no one believed in his idea of 'Desi Chinese'. When no investor accepted his proposal, Ajay started giving his products for free to street food vendors so that people could notice his products. Well, the trick worked, and soon, people demanded the same products in stores, and hence, within a short period of time, Ching's Secret became a household name across India.
It was around 2010 when Ajay Gupta decided to bring Bollywood actor, Ranveer Singh as his company's brand ambassador. The marketing team of Ching's Secret did an excellent job as they presented the actor as 'Chef Ranveer', and it instantly became a hit. The catchy slogan, "Ching Khao Baaki Bhul Jao", also worked brilliantly on social media, which brought 100K followers and 70-plus million page views on Ching's Secret's social media handle.
The idea of introducing Ranveer Singh as Ching's Secret's brand ambassador turned out to be the last missing piece in the product's inspirational success. The product achieved impressive growth, as it was around 2015, when Ajay Gupta's company went from Rs. 110 crore business to Rs. 350 crore. With a robust presence in 150,000 stores across 11 Indian states, the company's fortune took a massive jump when it attracted an investment of 27% from General Atlantic that took the company's value over Rs. 1500 crores.
In 2023, after acquiring a valuation of Rs. 1500 crores, Ajay Gupta finally started getting the attention of big sharks in the FMCG industry. As expected, several big companies approached Ajay Gupta to strike a deal to acquire Ching's Secret. However, it was Tata Consumer Products that cracked a mammoth deal with Ajay, leaving major companies like Nestle and others behind.
For the unversed, Tata Consumer Product secured the deal with Ajay by paying the hefty sum of Rs. 5500 crores. It's incredible how Ajay Gupta's entrepreneurial journey has turned so far, as he used to sell his products to street vendors, and now Tata paid a sum of Rs. 5500 crores to acquire the same products. It's strange how Ajay Gupta's journey with Ching's Secret is still one of the most underrated entrepreneurial success stories in India.
What are your thoughts on Ajay Gupta's success story? Let us know.