It all began in 1944 when Satish Chona, a young engineer working at BOAC (now British Airways), decided to set up a pop up ice cream shop in Karachi, Pakistan, called Havmor. What he started as a part-time venture to supplement the family income soon grew into a popular local ice cream brand. But the year 1947 proved to be a tumultuous one with the partition of India and Pakistan. Mr Chona and his family were forced to leave everything behind in Karachi as they migrated to India overnight in search of safety.
ICE CREAM IN HAND, FIRE IN BELLY
After attempting to set up a base in a couple of Indian cities including Dehradun and Indore, Mr Chona eventually decided to start his ice cream business in Ahmedabad. Here, the weather would stay warm for a better part of the year, which meant potentially higher ice cream sales. Mr Chona began Havmor operations with just 200 rupees from a humble handcart that he would take to the Ahmedabad railway station. Everyday, he would sell ice cream from his handcart that he and his wife, Mrs Nirmal Chona, painstakingly churned all night. To increase revenues, Mr Chona would borrow a friend’s cycle and sell ice cream around Ahmedabad while his friend would take care of the handcart.
While Mr Chona worked tirelessly, it was his unwavering focus on 3 values – Acchai (Goodness), Sachhai (Truthfulness) and Safai (Cleanliness) – that helped him lay a solid foundation for the business. These 3 values still remain core to everything that is done at Havmor.