Stories From Bharat: Popping To Success, How Vikas Suri Took Popcorn & Company To Shark Tank Victory & Beyond

His passion for gourmet popcorn continues to spread happiness.

by Mallika Khurana
Stories From Bharat: Popping To Success, How Vikas Suri Took Popcorn & Company To Shark Tank Victory & Beyond

In the vibrant world of snacks, one name has been making waves and spreading joy with every bite – Popcorn & Company. Known for its handcrafted gourmet popcorn, the brand recently garnered significant attention and investment in Shark Tank 3. We had the unique opportunity to interact with Vikas Suri, the visionary CEO and Founder, affectionately dubbed “The Popcorn Man of India.” Mr. Suri’s journey, filled with passion, innovation, and resilience, offers a captivating narrative of entrepreneurial spirit and culinary delight.

From Kernel To King, The Birth Of Popcorn & Company

When asked about the inspiration behind venturing into the gourmet popcorn industry, Mr. Suri’s reply was a mix of nostalgia and excitement. “We were already in the business of supplying popcorn kernels and seasonings to cinemas,” he began. “Our exposure to the snack industry inspired me to take a step forward and create a unique concept with a global taste and style of gourmet popcorn. Thus, Popcorn & Company was born with the mission to spread happiness through snacks and create moments of joy for our customers.”

This mission translated into two main verticals: gourmet popcorn stores, where fresh popcorn is made and served over the counter, and a ready-to-cook option, providing premium kernels and seasonings for customers to enjoy at home. The dual approach broadened the brand’s reach and set the stage for its upcoming triumph on Shark Tank.

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The Shark Tank Saga

Recounting his Shark Tank experience, Mr. Suri shared the whirlwind of emotions and challenges he faced. “We received a last-minute invitation to present at Shark Tank 3. Adding to the challenge, I was in the US at the time, which meant we had to quickly pull everything together. Despite the rush, the experience was exhilarating,” he said.

Mr. Suri was able to confidently respond to the sharks’ questions because of his extensive knowledge of his industry. He disclosed that the length of the negotiation process was significantly greater than what was depicted on television. They were able to go deeply into the business model, finances, and plans during these long conversations. The process’s complexity and intensity were demonstrated by the unseen moments. These moments included protracted negotiations, careful financial analysis, and numerous offers and counteroffers.

The Impact of Investment, A New Dawn For Popcorn & Company

Securing an investment from Namita Thapar, Executive Director of Emcure Pharmaceuticals, was a pivotal moment for Popcorn & Company. “The investments that came in through Shark Tank have surely impacted our growth. We continue to scale our product line and will soon be launching new variants to offer a wide variety to our customers,” Mr. Suri explained. The funding has allowed the brand to innovate, expand its digital presence. They also enhance the online shopping experience, aiming to reach a broader audience.

In a competitive snack industry, Popcorn & Company has managed to carve out a unique niche. Mr. Suri attributed this success to their unwavering commitment to quality, innovation, and spreading happiness. “From humble beginnings as a supplier of popcorn kernels to the flourishing success of Popcorn & Company, we have not only redefined popcorn as a snack but also reimagined the art of spreading happiness, one kernel at a time,” he stated proudly.

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Flavourful Innovations And Future Endeavours

Some exciting new developments are coming up as Popcorn & Company keeps growing. According to Mr. Suri, in order to keep ahead of market trends, they are constantly coming up with new flavour profiles and limited-edition releases. In order to ensure that more consumers can take advantage of their gourmet offerings, the brand is also concentrating on growing its e-commerce platforms.

When asked about his favourite flavour, Mr. Suri didn’t hesitate. “Sea Salt Caramel Popcorn offers a delightful combination of sweet and salty flavours. The popcorn is coated with a rich, melted caramel that provides a soft, chewy texture, while the sea salt adds a contrasting savoury note to balance the sweetness,” he described with enthusiasm.

Given the chance to pitch to any investor, Mr. Suri’s choice was clear: Richard Branson. “Branson is known for his entrepreneurial mindset and love for disruptive ideas. Popcorn & Company’s unique flavour profiles and sustainable packaging would resonate with his passion for innovation,” he explained.

Vikas Suri’s journey with Popcorn & Company is a testament to the power of passion, innovation, and resilience. From the high-pressure pitch on Shark Tank to the strategic expansions fueled by newfound investment, Mr. Suri’s story is one of unwavering commitment to spreading joy through gourmet popcorn. 

As the brand continues to grow and innovate, it remains a shining example of how a simple idea, executed with dedication and creativity, can captivate an audience and redefine an industry.

Cover Image Courtesy: Press Release