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These dry fruits once tickled the palate of Nizams & nawabs

Set Up In 1931, Peshawari Bros Enjoyed Monopoly In Fruit Biz
Swati.Rathor@timesgroup.com
Hyderabad:
The noise outside the well-furnished shop in Moazzam Jahi market is deafening. At the peak of noon, the traffic is in knots. Amid this chaos, a handful of fruit sellers laze around their carts as there are barely any customers around.

Vijay Grover, dressed in casual tees and denims, reminisces that when he was a kid, this place used to be a beehive of activity as it used to be buzzing with buyers and sellers, especially fruit vendors. Vijay, along with his cousins, would often come to their family shop at Moazzam Jahi market to devour seasonal fruits.

Their family shop, known as Shivram Peshawari & Bros, was the first one to sell the choicest of fruits and dry fruits in that area and used to cater to the Nizams and nawabs of the city.

Shivram Peshawari & Bros was set up in 1931 by Vijay’s grandfather Shivram, who migrated from Peshawar in Pakistan to Hyderabad in 1920s in search of a better livelihood. He opened the shop at Moazzam Jahi market along with his two brothers – Jagganath and Gokulchand, who later joined him in Hyderabad.

His brothers would send supplies of exotic fruits and dry fruits from Pakistan and Shivram would sell them in Hyderabad. This arrangement worked well. After Shivram passed away in 1942, the shop was run by his brother Gokulchand and later on by his two sons – Naresh and Ravi.

“We were a monopoly till about the 1960’s. Apart from nawabs and Nizams, we even supplied to Jagirdar’s College (now known as Hyderabad Public School) and later on to Bhaskara Palace, which was the first five-star hotel in the city. Even today, we supply to Taj Falaknuma Palace and Ohri’s,” he says, adding that wealthy Marwari families would make it a point to buy fruits and dry fruits for Diwali Puja from the shop.
As business at Shivram Peshawari & Bros grew slowly and steadily, many other fruits and dry fruits vendors too started cropping up in Hyderabad. The changing nature of the retail business also took its toll on the old establishments.

The early 2000s proved to be a tough but Shivram Peshawari & Bros sailed through under the stewardshipof Naresh Grover (Vijay’s father). Things weren’t hunky dory anymore but they weren’t glum either.

While this state of affairs continued for some years, Vijay, who was an investment banker, decided to take the plunge.

Being an investment banker, Vijay would advise other businesses on scaling up. After a decade of consulting and helping others businesspersons take the big leap, Vijay felt it was time to take his family business to new heights.

Seeing an opportunity in the booming e-commerce space, he started tapping this space to expand business. Today, after ruling the offline market for decades, the brand has started taking on biggies online on platforms like Paytm and Amazon.

“Today, we sell only dry fruits. When I joined the business in 2013-14, I decided it was better to focus on one thing and stopped selling fruits. But you will still see some mango boxes in our shop. These mangoes are handpicked by my father on request of some of our customers, who still insist on buying mangoes from us,” Vijay says.

While the Nizams and nawabs are long gone, the old timers still prefer thronging the shop, especially during Diwali and Raksha Bandhan to buy meva. As they say, old habits die hard.

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