Our journey started way back in the year 1933 with the departure of 2 young Brahmin brothers namely Shri R.S. Narayanasamy Iyer and Shri R.S. Ganapathy Iyer from Ramanathapuram, a small village in Pallakad, Kerala. They had thus begun the journey for their survival backed only by their skill and knowledge of cooking and a passion for food.
Sri Rama Bhavan
In 1933, Hotel Sri Rama Bhavan opened its doors in a modest manner at the commercial heart of old Madras in Thambu Chetty Street, Madras – 600 001 with 4 tables in 16-seater arrangements. Soon the restaurant earned accolades from every nook and corner of Madras. The restaurant continued it’s fame by the frequent visits of several film fraternities and politicians. To name a few the then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Thiru. C.N. Annadurai, the renowned poet Thiru. Kaviarasar Kannadhasan, Thiru. Kalignar M Karunanidhi, Mr. Cho Ramasamy and many more were patrons.
Finest South Indian Vegetarian Restaurant
Being one of the finest South Indian vegetarian restaurants in Madras in those years serving hygienic food both hot and clean with close-to-home taste, the restaurant bagged the rolling shield of Chennai Corporation for the best and hygienic restaurant for 2 years (1950 & 1955). The crowds at the restaurant by then had become uncontrollable especially during weekends and festivals.
The Birth of 777
About this time, the Iyer brothers decided to diversify the business with an intention to reach food to the consumer’s home by offering packaged food and instant food preparations. This was in 1952.
Experiments and R&D commenced and continued for 2 years and the now legendary brand “777” came into being in 1954 with the start of the parent processed food company – “Sri Ganeshram & Company”.
The brand 777 was coined after the FPO license number 777.
The Manufacturing Facility
From the year 1954 the saga of processed food revolution and instant food revolution was initiated with continuous development of instant foods, instant spice mixes, pickles, squash, badam drink and many more.
The first manufacturing facility was setup four buildings away from our restaurant in a small place with the most hygienic and latest infrastructure facilities.
The factory has been visited by many well known distinguished visitors who hold senior ranks in various positions both state as well as central government and various food department in addition to importers and distributors from various countries, all as early as 1960’s and 1970’s.
Mr. S. K. Reddy, Technical Scientist , World Health Organisation, Geneva (1961), Mr. M. Sulaiman Sait, Consul General of India, South Vietnam, Mr. Y. R. Dhawan, Trade commissioner of India, Vancouver, Canada (1964), Mr. P. S. Natraj Sharma, Govt. Analyst, King’s Institute, Guindy (1969), Dr. Pruthi, Director of Laboratories, Central Agmark Laboratory, Nagpur (1971), Mr. N. K. Muralidhara Rao IAS, Agmark, New Delhi (1971), Mr. P. Sabanayagam, IAS, Director of Industries and Commerce , Chepauk, Madras (1962), Mr. P. N. Pandey, Deputy Agriculture Marketing Advisor to the Govt. of India, Faridabad (1983).
A few commercials international visitors Mr. Joet H. Mace, Australia (1969), Mr. Ram Patil, Ajay International Ltd, USA (1971), Mr. Raja, Rajah Restaurant, London(1971), Mr. Krishnakumar L. Soni , House of Spice , USA (1971), Mr. Robert Gluck, Menora Gourmet, Caulfield (1972), Mr. M. S. Khanna, Bazaar of India, USA (1972), Mr. B. Wallace, Australia (1973), Ostindo Trading Company, Australia -Managing Director (1973)
Processed Food Analytics Laboratory
As a support of improving the product stability, scaling up packaging and quality assurance, the company started a full-fledged processed food analysis laboratory namely “Sri Ganeshram’s Analytical Laboratory” in 1970. It was headed by Mr. R. N. Ramani who is qualified food analysis chemist himself. With the opening of the lab there was immense improvement in standardisation, product stability, improvement of shelf life and improvement of packaging. This has helped in taking the “777” brand into international soil with more vigour and confidence. Products like Instant Sambar, Instant Rasam, and Instant Idly mix etc., gained popularity internationally.
Dhideer – The New Brand for Instant Foods
The company being a pioneer in instant food industry went ahead in coining a brand “திடீர்” (meaning instant preparation in Tamil language) “Dhideer” and also registered a trademark for both English and Tamil under class 30 of the TMM Act.
Increasing Production Capacity
In 1994 the manufacturing facilities were shifted to Ayanambakkam a small hamlet near Ambattur on the outskirts of Chennai adding about 9000 sq.ft of production and packaging area. By about 2003 the need for bigger space and multi fold production area became unavoidable. At the same time the company opted for a more professional management. Sri Ganeshram & Co, a partnership firm, was therefore converted into a corporate private limited company – M/s. SGR (777) Foods Pvt Ltd. The standards requirements and specifications in terms of products, quality, packaging, taste, systems and process and many other parameters were showing a robust transformation.
Manufacturing and Packaging Under One Roof
It was in the year 2006 when the next generation promoters identified a full-fledged area to the tune of 2.7 acres of land in Sipcot Industrial complex, Gummidipoondi about 50kms north of Chennai to shift and bring all its manufacturing and packaging facility under one roof. This place currently houses the factory of the company as of today in a state-of-the art plant and machinery and latest technology keeping in mind finest quality and hygienic upkeep. All with a vision of providing the most hygienic, traditional and authentic flavours to homes the world over.