Samosa savvy
THE WEEK|November 29, 2020
From producing logo-embossed samosas to those made with advanced Scandinavian rollers, an eclectic cast of executives has audacious dreams for the snack
SNEHA BHURA

What is common among samosas stuffed with mac and cheese, kadai paneer and manchurian or chilli chicken? One might balk from taking a bite or feel overwhelmed, but they represent the vaunted ambitions of a few newly minted entrepreneurs who would like to see the ancient stuffed triangle become as playful, adventurous and slick as a hard-charging startup.

“You know we could have done a pasta samosa, but why have white flour again inside fried maida? It does not work for an Indian palate,” asserts Nidhi Singh, who co-founded Samosa Singh with her husband Shikhar Veer Singh. The Bengaluru-based couple’s bid to “standardise” one of India’s favourite street snacks got validation with a series A funding of $2.7 million (about ₹19 crore) earlier this year. Corporates and airlines rely on their quick and consistent samosas. “Normally, the shape, size and taste of the samosa depends on the mood of the halwai (confectioner). But we have special rollers. Everything has science involved in it. Our samosas are crispier than the regular ones. We do not have to call our samosas healthy, but they are proven to have 57 per cent less fat. And we have the proprietary infrastructure to make our samosas,” says Nidhi, who was working in a US health care company until 2016. Her husband was a scientist at Biocon. Their samosas come with their brand logo embossed on them. “It is like a mark of responsibility for us,” she says proudly. “We are the largest manufacturers of samosas in south India. We have the capability to roll out one lakh samosas a day.” Her company recently won a standalone slot at the Bengaluru international airport, beating 180 other bidders. The business is also expanding to Hyderabad.

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