Unforgotten Brands – K C Das


The rosogolla, a beloved sweet, has catalysed both harmony and strife. Odisha and Bengal recently settled a Geographical Indication (GI) tag dispute over the origin of Banglar Rosogolla. Consequently, they certified Odisha and granted Bengal the tag. The origins of the rosogolla remain a mystery; however, a common belief has it that confectioner Nobin Chandra Das of North Calcutta invented it in the nineteenth century.

A Rosogolla is Born!

The 1845-born Nobin Chandra Das was a notorious risk-taker. A nearby confectioner fired Nobin after an unsuccessful attempt, prompting him to open his store. On his path to mastering the rosogolla, he faced several obstacles, the most significant of which was the difficulty of preserving the dessert’s structure. In 1868, he found that the secret to rosogolla was a sugar syrup that was just the right consistency—not too thick. Free distribution of the candies at community events was his original goal, rather than making a profit.

It was a turning point when a Marwari wood trader and his son stopped to sample Nobin’s rosogolla. Their enthusiasm for it spread the rosogolla to other parts of town. Curiously, the rosogolla’s fame started to grow thanks to someone who isn’t Bengali.

Nobin Chandra Das’s Enduring Impact

Nobin Chandra Das, known as the “Columbus of Rosogolla,” was not secretive about his formula. In his pursuit of the sweet’s widespread acclaim, he instructed an army of volunteers. Just by tasting it, experts could tell his rosogolla was different from others. A tale about Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, who could tell Nobin’s rosogollas just by tasting them, demonstrates how special his candies were.

 His other creations include “Abaar Khaabo”, “Dedo Sondesh” and “Baikuntha Bhog”

Nobin left his business to his son Krishna Chandra (KC Das), the company’s namesake, and his grandson Sarada Charan after he died in 1925. KC Das, an interdisciplinary enthusiast, researched a wide range of topics and developed several innovations. Krishna Chandra, a man of many interests and a voracious reader, was an inspiration. He did extensive research into homoeopathy, built an electric loom and soda fountain, and studied Western and Eastern classical music. Because he loved scientific progress, he set up a workshop to update Bengali sweets.

Due to his profound fondness for scientific developments and apparatus, Krishna Chandra first set up a mechanical and scientific workshop in Bagbazar. He set out to improve Bengali sweets by developing new technologies. Regrettably, his mother, Khridmoni Devi, strongly opposed the idea of reinterpreting Nobin Chandra Das’s candy within the framework of scientific inquiry and discovery. In response, Krishna Chandra decided to branch out from his father’s sweets and start his distinct enterprise under his name. He achieved rapid success in both business and technology once he integrated scientific methods. K.C. Das’s groundbreaking effort has undoubtedly contributed to “Rosogolla” becoming widely acknowledged as the national sweet.

Sarada Charan’s curiosity about the world was also motivating. At Rajabazar Science College, Sarada worked as a research assistant to the Nobel laureate in physics, CV Raman. To make sweets last longer without preservatives, KC Das and Sarada Charan came up with the idea of vacuum-packing rosogollas in a tin. 


Another sweetmeat that Krishna Chandra made was rosomalai, which is essentially a chhana ball floating in a sugary milk syrup and often scented with saffron or topped with crushed pistachios. 

Sarada Charan opened the first modern store in the firm in Jorasanko in 1935, one year following Krishna Chandra’s demise. 

In 1965, the company faced difficulties when West Bengal’s Chief Minister Prafulla Chandra Sen banned milk sweets due to a shortage of milk. This forced the majority of stores to close but ultimately led to a change in the law. Sarada Charan, haunted by the ordeal, sought solace in new opportunities. In 1972, while travelling to Mysuru to establish the Central Food Technological Research Institute, he stopped in Bengaluru, a city that piqued his interest due to its pleasant climate and high-quality milk. They still own the original location on St. Marks Road; all the others are franchisees. He then appointed his younger son, Birendra Nath Das, to run the business. Its research and development division, which has been in operation since the early 1980s, is likewise based in Bengaluru.

Revamping and Ongoing Achievement

Before probiotics were cool, KC Das’s Bengaluru R&D team started playing around with them in the 1980s. 

In 1993, when Dhiman Das became a director, he took drastic steps to reinvigorate the company. He improved product quality by ensuring the use of high-quality milk, overhauling staff recruitment methods, and using self-service to decrease client wait times. He brought the stores up to date by installing air conditioning, new uniforms, and beautiful decor, which increased the brand’s attractiveness.

The GI Tango

When West Bengal and Odisha were at odds over GI tags in 2015, the Das family sided with the state administration. By referencing a religious rite involving Lord Jagannath, Odisha asserted that their state was the birthplace of the rosogolla. The Das family and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee battled to establish that West Bengal was the rosogolla’s original home. They were victorious because West Bengal had solid historical evidence and Odisha had none.

Looking Ahead

Rapid expansion into additional metros and tier-2 cities is the Das family’s goal. Additional target cities include Patna and Jaipur. There are other candy chains in Kolkata, but they’re not going down without a fight.

KC Das’s journey reflects the strength, creativity, and commitment to excellence displayed by the Das family. The rosogolla has been a symbol of KC Das’s heritage as the company has grown from its modest origins into a nationally recognised brand in the candy business.





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