Old Mumbai Ice Cream Company is an iconic brand today. With a turnover of over Rs 6 crore year-on-year, it churns out more than 5 tonnes of ice cream every day.
With a tiny investment of Rs 2,000, the company was started by Rajasthan’s Rambabu Sharma, when he moved to Mumbai in 1980.
The idea of selling ice creams occurred to Rambabu when he watched the crowds one evening at a junction called Janta Chowk.
He started waking up at 6 am and would spend two hours making the ice cream, which he would let set and cool while he went to work.
After working at a photo studio until 5 pm, he would take a small mini-van on rent for Rs 5 to sell
every evening from 6 pm to midnight.
“He started by selling 50 kulfis a day and slowly reached more than 300 a day,” says son Netrapal, who now runs the business.
In 1981, Rambabu formalised the entire business and named it Old Mumbai Ice Cream.
To his menu, he added mixed ice cream, made from rose petals, pistachio, cashew, and
Up until then, ice cream would only be served at big weddings and in well-to-do families. With the introduction of these ice creams, there was a slight shift in that dynamic.
“Our price point was a huge plus for our ice creams. One could buy kulfi from us for Re 1,” shares Netrapal. The signature kulfi is today sold at Rs 30.
In 1997, they took a land on lease in Ichalkaranji to expand work. When they found the shop was always filled with customers, they bought a 100 sq-ft shop nearby in 2007.
Today, Old Mumbai Ice Cream is spread across Maharashtra, Telangana, and Karnataka in over 50 outlets.