Brand & Lifestyle People 

#MotivationalMonday: The diverse journey of the culinary king – Sanjeev Kapoor

Sanjeev Kapoor – India’s 1990’s matinee idol, shot into the limelight in 1992 (after he quit his job as a chef) with his TV show Khana Khazana, which became the longest-running cookery show in Asia. The culinary show ran for 18 years, with more than 500 million viewers.

Renowned Indian chef Sanjeev Kapoor is known for his eternal smile, his sense of humor and his lip-smacking food.

He now lords over a business empire that is valued at over Rs 1,000 crore and includes a 24-hour cooking channel, a chain of restaurants, a range of premium cookware and bottled gourmet goodies, and about 150 cookbooks.

Kapoor was honoured with the Padma Shri in 2017 for his gastronomic exploits, putting him in the league of culinary elites such as Tarla Dalal and Imtiaz Qureshi.

Kapoor is also ranked at number 34 on the 2017 Forbes India Celebrity 100 list.

Recent Initiatives:

The celebrity chef launched his new restaurant, The Yellow Chilli in California on June 18 this year. Located at the Monticello Apartment Homes complex off Lawrence Expressway, the restaurant is the latest addition to Kapoor’s growing chain of restaurants.

So far, Kapoor had established 59 restaurants in India and the Middle East. He is also planning to open 31 restaurants in Saudi Arabia over the next five years.

According to the celebrity chef, he wanted to open the restaurant in places where the Indian diaspora is significant, including Europe, primarily the UK, and North America, Australia, New Zealand, and Africa among others.

They have plans to open premium restaurants in London and New York. Sanjeev Kapoor also opened his first restaurant in Kerala in partnership with Aslam Abdul Rahman, who owns Rinz International Food Private Ltd.

The group currently has 65 outlets under different brands in nine countries. “In India, we have a mix of own and franchisee outlets,” Kapoor was quoted as saying from the Economic Times.

In UAE, the company has signed to open 11 restaurants of which seven have already become operational. In North America, the company is planning to open 11 in the Greater Toronto Area, according to a report in the Economic Times.

In India, SKRPL has entered into tier 2 and 3 towns and have opened restaurants in Kohlapur, Siliguri etc.

How it all started?

The son of a banker, born in Ambala had been fond of cooking right from the beginning. Despite the option of becoming an architect after gaining admission at Delhi’s School of Planning and Architecture in 1981, he decided to pursue a degree at the Institute of Hotel Management (Pusa) instead.

Kapoor began to give cooking lessons while working as a chef in a Varanasi hotel in the mid-1980s, and later when he worked in New Zealand and at Mumbai’s Centaur Hotel.

He launched his first restaurant, Khazana, in Dubai in 1998. In the following 10 years, he opened 18 restaurants in India and the Middle East, regions with a strong market for his brand of Indian cuisine.

The Business Game:

Kapoor continued his association with the world of television by launching his 24-hour food channel FoodFood in 2011, as a joint venture between Malaysia-based Astro Overseas Limited and Mogae Consultants.

In 2016, Kapoor sold a majority stake in the channel to Discovery Communications, while retaining its brand ambassador.

What brands come under the ‘Sanjeev Kapoor’ umbrella:

Under the Khana Khazana Group of Companies, it has the following:

  • Wonderchef Home Appliances Pvt Ltd
  • Turmeric Vision Pvt Ltd
  • SK Restaurants Pvt Ltd
  • SK Brands Pvt Ltd
  • Khana Khazana India Pvt Ltd
  • Khana Khazana Productions
  • Kars Food Pvt Ltd

Wonderchef was launched in 2009 and through four main channels—retail and general trade, television sales, online sales and direct-to-home sales via a network of over 40,000 all-women workforce.

Wonderchef is run along with Ravi Saxena, co-founder and former CEO of Sodexo India. The enterprise is backed by Zurich-headquartered investment firm Capvent.

Social Media Presence:

In 2009, the chef launched ‘Sanjeev Kapoor Khazana’, his YouTube channel. Till now, the channel has more than 2.5 million subscribers and 617 million views. Whereas, on the other hand, his website,, claims to have 10 million page views per month. Kapoor’s Facebook page started in 2009, has 5.3 million followers, as per a Forbes India article.

The Number Game:

Wonderchef — Rs 225 crore

Restaurants (India and Middle-East) — Rs 175 crore

FoodFood and Cookery Books — Rs 80 crore

Brand Endorsements and Shows – Rs 50 crore

(The data has been taken as of 2017, from a Forbes India Article dated June 10)

With a delightful smile and extraordinary cooking skills, the soft-spoken chef Sanjeev Kapoor has been ruling the hearts of Indian households for decades.

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