Friday, July 19, 2024

Natural Ice Cream founder Raghunandan Kamath passes away

Naturals Ice Cream founder Raghunandan Kamath has passed away, the company informed on social media on May 18.

“Our thoughts on the sad demise of our patron and founder of Naturals Ice Cream, Late (Shri) Raghunandan Kamath. Indeed a very sad and unfortunate day for us.Regards, The Naturals Family. Date: 18th May, 2024,” it said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Kamath, 75, passed away on May 17 after being admitted to the hospital following reportedly “brief illness”, as per a CNBC-TV18 report. The businessman is survived by his wife and sons.

Condolences

Condoling Kamath’s death, Karnataka BJP chief Captain Brijesh Chowta wrote on X: “A phenomenal journey comes to an end. Saddened to know of the demise of ‘Icecream Man’ Shri Raghunandan Kamath, the founder & force behind Natural Icecreams.”

“From Mulki to Mumbai with just a dream to creating a brand that became a ‘natural’ choice for every ice cream lover, his life is a huge lesson & inspiration for every entrepreneur. Prayers for his sadgati & strength to all his loved ones in this hour of grief. Om Shanti,” Chowta added.

Kamath and the Rise of Natural Ice Cream

A known figure in the ice cream industry, Kamath began his journey in Mulki, a town in the Mangalore taluk of Dakshina Kannada district in Karnataka, the report added.

Born to a fruit vendor, Kamath helped his father in the fruit business during his early years. At the age of 14, Kamath left his village and moved to Mumbai, where he found a job at his brother’s restaurant.

According to a report by Udayavani, Kamath entered the ice cream business in February 1984 with just four workers. Initially, his company offered only 12 flavours of ice cream. To attract more customers, Kamath served Pav Bhaji alongside his ice cream. This strategy drew many customers and helped boost his business.

As Naturals Ice Cream gained popularity, Kamath decided to concentrate solely on the ice cream business and refine his products. Naturals is today valued at around 400 crore and, as of 2020, had 135 outlets across India.

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Published: 19 May 2024, 10:02 AM IST

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