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Dulal er Taal Misri – Bengali entrepreneur’s sweet taste of success

26 August, 2020 21:13:32
Dulal er Taal Misri – Bengali entrepreneur’s sweet taste of success

His product has been catering to both urban and rural crowds of Bengal and their well-being for almost a century now. He never felt the need to recruit any salesman nor did he have any brand ambassador to canvas his creation, yet, even now, in the age of Internet and AI, when the world is progressing  by leaps and bounds, his band of loyal followers still hold on to his trademark product, ‘Taal Misri’ (date palm sugar).  The clean-shaven, bald-headed benign smile of the maker peers through the non-descript, old-fashioned bottle of ‘Taal Misri’ and his signature confirms his registered brand. He is Dulal Chandra Bhar. 

It was during the height of World War II when business was booming, the Bhars were cloth merchants and their business was flourishing. They had many shops at Howrah Haat. Dulal Chandra, who was still in his late teen years, often accompanied his father and uncles to the shops to help them during rush hours. But he felt restless and decided to do something on his own. He began selling white ‘Misri’ (sugar crystals). There was a huge demand for the product in the city at that time and within a short time, his business thrived and he prospered. However, Dulal Chandra was not the man to sit on his laurels. Very soon he became edgy again and wanted to try his hands at something new.

Dulal Chandra Bhar

The Bhars hailed from Rajbalhat in Hooghly district. They had vast landed property there. Their colossal residence sprawled over four bighas. There were many palm trees within the boundary and Dulal Chandra discovered his raw material here. The jaggery extracted from date palm was the raw material for making ‘Misri.’ Date palm syrup is extracted between the months of Chaitra (between March-April) and end of Jaistha (middle of June). It is then processed to make Misri. Dulal Chandra began his new venture and floated his first batch of products in the market in 1934. The response was overwhelming. This was the beginning of another success story. Since then, the 86-year-old company has been reigning the market. The company was registered in 1944. 

Customers who consume Dulal Chandra Bhar’s Taal Misri swear by the goodness and effectiveness of the product to cure ailments like cough and cold. His product has travelled far beyond the borders of Bengal to neighbouring states like Bihar, Odisha, Assam and Gujarat. The Taal Misri has a very good market in Bangladesh as well. Purchasers pay in advance and the product reaches them on time. Many drop in at their city office in Burrabazar to place order for the Misri. 

But what is the reason for such high demand of Dulal’s ‘Taal Misri?’  

The Palm Candy

The reason is simple. Pure date palm jaggery is procured from Tamluk to manufacture the Misri. No cheap or sub-standard material is used as a substitute. Quality control is a priority of the manufacturers. Jaggery has to be made from the solution of Palmyra palm tree. It is boiled in drums till it reaches a certain temperature. Then it is poured in containers and left to dry for roughly a week. Within these seven days, the top and bottom layers begin to dry and crystalize. The crystallized form is Misri which is then cut and packaged. 

The product is manufactured at their factory at Koikhali. As long as Dulal Chandra was alive, every day three truck-full of Misri had to be dispatched to buyers. The demand for the Mishri remains unchanged even to this day but it was not always smooth sailing for Dulal Chandra.  During his lifetime, he got embroiled in legal battle with his sibling, Sanatan. The issue was the brand name of the product that created the confusion. The matter was finally sorted out in the court of law. Dulal Chandra Bhar proved that Bengalis not only have the business acumen but also the will to explore uncharted territories and leave their mark in their inimitable way. 

Story Tag:
  • Business, Bengal

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