Never Give Up! Amit Kumat, Billionaire CEO Of Yellow Diamond Chips: Once Rejected For Jobs, Failed His First Online Venture And Went Bankrupt.


Great miseries are the cornerstones of great risings.

This phrase was translated into a real-life success story when 48 years old Amit Kumat returned from the United States after doing his masters in science from Louisiana State University.

Like every other young lad stepping into the potholes of the Indian subcontinent, he was also ascertained to make a distinction in India.

But soon those potholes showed him the mud he was so unaware of when in his hometown of Indore, he could not even find a job.

The Indian economy which was in shambles turned him back and helped him return empty-handed only to assist his father in his wholesale cloth shop. The shop was in a busy mandi of Indore which used to sell a wholesale lot of nylon, cotton and linen textiles.

Those were the best two years of my life which taught me how to sell to an Indian customer who is extremely price conscious.

says Amit, who is now the proud CEO of an INR 900-crore company Prataap Snacks, which owns Yellow Diamond brand of chips, namkeens and snacks.

But despite the fact that the cloth business did well which led Kumat to start expanding in various areas, the stigma of being unemployed masters in science held him within. So, to find something relevant to his desires he took the reins of his fortune into his own hands and started an SAP training institute, a chemical dye business and even a website called Dealinchem around 1996-1999.

But then happened the dot-com bust and all businesses started collapsing like a pile of cards. This settled the Kumats in neck beneath of debt which amounted over Rs 18 crore.

There were days where I had to think twice about whether I should take a bus or simply walk. There were days where I used to wake up and wonder what to do all day as our offices had shut down.

says Kumat.

But as they say, a friend in need is a friend indeed. Enters one family friend and a classmate of his elder brother Apurva Kumat, Arvind Mehta who (upon being approached) readily invested Rs 15 lakh in setting up a snacks business out of Indore.

The snacks business clicked. They unaware of the fact the this was the bull’s eye they were hunting for, for so long, attained on the goal of getting profit on a regular basis.

The trio set up a chips making unit in Indore and started making potato chips by the thousands every day giving opponent to market authorities such as Frito Lays, in certain hollows.

In 2006-07, they launched Chulbule, a rival to Kurkure, a popular snack made for the Indian palette by Pepsico India.

Seeing the success of Yellow Diamond, Sequoia Capital, a globally renowned venture fund approached them for investments in 2009.

However, the Kumat brothers and Mehta were in no rush as profits were coming in so they waited almost 18 months before giving a green signal to a USD 30 million investment in the company.

With the money, they installed a chips making unit, a potato rings making plant and a namkeen production unit.

As they later noticed that the kids are the biggest consumers of Rings, the assembly machine now inserts a toy in each packet with each packet costing just Rs 5 for the purchaser.

The company later expanded and went on to export products to all neighbour countries and regions. What started out of nothing but a striving action to refuse lifetime bankruptcy is now a 900 company and employs Salman Khan as its brand ambassador.

The nomenclature of the company also has an interesting turnout:

The company’s name was earlier proposed to be Diamond. However, the trademark was found to be registered thus forcing us to suffix Yellow.

says Kumat.

The company now employs about 750 on-roll staff and about 3,000 people on the payroll. The company’s average market capitalisation today is about Rs 2,737 crore.

My next milestone is achieving a market cap of a billion dollars (Rs 6500 crore) in next two years.

says Kumat.

Kumat’s story of establishing a gold-empire of wafers out of nothing but reaching poverty is not only a corporate success but also an embodiment of hard work and labour over fallen destiny and hardships in life that could scare even the toughest of people. So, it only is justified to conclude that-

Winners are those who never quit, despite the number of challenges they might face.

…and Kumat is one such winner indeed!