By Our Staff Reporter
Dehradun, 18 Aug: Dehradun’s legendary brand, Anandam, completed its 120 years of legacy, recently. To mark the occasion, the owner of the premier outlet, Sumit Khandelwal, came up with a visual delight in the form of a video depicting the enriching tale over the years by the generations of maestros in the Gupta family.
On this occasion, we spoke to Sumit Khandelwal and got to know each detail about the brand.
Can you give us an insight into the 120 year legacy of Anandam?
The legacy of Anandam started with my great-grandfather Gadarmal Ganeshi Lal who made his name, followed by my grandfather Lala Prahlad Swaroop Gupta, known by the name of Prahlad Rewariwala, who was famous for making delicious Rewaris. Today, my father, Anand Swaroop Gupta, who is 68 years old, works like an 18-year-old kid and is one of the biggest sources of inspiration.
Tell us about your journey of emerging with Anandam, a brand known amongst everyone in Dehradun today?
I joined my family business after finishing my schooling. During my learning phase, I realised that our work had been going on for ages without any innovation. That’s when I thought of opening an outlet one day which could boast of great ambiance and cleanliness. An outlet where one walks in and gets to eat not only delectable sweets but full-fledged cuisine, ultimately finding happiness. That’s how we gave shape to Anandam in 2009.
How did you come up with the name ‘Anandam’?
The name ‘Anandam’ is comprised of two words – Anand and am. Anand is my father’s name, and I always wanted to come up with a brand name that could honour all the hard work done by him in all these years. Anandam collectively means happiness.
Like any business, you might’ve come across numerous struggles? Can you name some? What made you keep going towards the path of success?
Ups and downs are part of life. What kept me going was that I always knew what my aim was, and I never tended to distract from it. There came numerous struggles in the path, but I always took them as a challenge and ultimately overcame them. I never got disheartened and took it as a life lesson.
One of the biggest struggles that I faced during the journey was the transition of Gupta Sweets to Anandam. Many people, including my family members, had disagreed with my decision to change the brand name and start from scratch. One of my closest friends told me that I was making the biggest mistake of my life by renaming such an established brand. This was the reason I worked very hard as I had to prove everybody wrong by establishing Anandam as the premier outlet of Dehradun.
There’s a famous saying that goes, “halwai kabhi apni dukaan ki mithai nahi khaata”. Do you follow this saying and refrain from eating your products?
Of course not! Mai wo halwai hun jo apni dukaan ki mithai zaroor khaata hai. You see, the biggest reason is that by eating sweets from my brand, I tend to do timely quality checks, ensuring the good quality of my products. If I don’t eat my products, how would someone expect me to deliver quality to my customers? That’s one of the essences of our family’s legacy.
Do you have an aim to achieve for Anandam in the years to come?
I feel that all that we’ve achieved to date is just a start. I aim to achieve a level for Anandam that, if a person carrying a bag of Anandam is travelling anywhere in India via flight, train, or bus, then merely looking at the name people will get to know that the person is coming from Dehradun.