Touted as 'ice cream man of India', Naturals founder Raghunandan Kamath passes away at 70

Today, Naturals Ice Cream has over 160 outlets across 15 states with a Rs 300-crore turnover.
haitanya Kumar Bagwaiya
Last Updated : 19 May 2024, 06:51 IST
Last Updated : 19 May 2024, 06:51 IST

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Raghunandan Srinivas Kamath, the founder of Naturals Ice Cream, died on Friday night at the age of 70 in Mumbai. 

His last rites were performed on Saturday evening in Mumbai’s Andheri West. He is survived by his wife and two sons, including Siddhant Kamath, the director of Naturals.

Kamath is considered as the ice man of India. Born to a mango vendor in a small hamlet in Mangaluru, Kamath acquired knowledge of fruits, including how to check for ripeness, sorting, and preserving from his father. 

At the age of 15, he migrated to Mumbai to join his brother and started working in the latter's South Indian eatery, where they sold homemade ice cream. He wanted to diversify the flavours beyond chocolate and vanilla, but could do little about it as his brother did not agree with the idea. 

Naturals' Raghunandan Srinivas Kamath and Siddhant Kamath.

Naturals' Raghunandan Srinivas Kamath and Siddhant Kamath.

Credit: DH Photo

In 1982, he struck out on his own and Naturals was born in 1984 in a 200-sq-ft space with six tables in Juhu’s ‘Koliwada’, where simply made fruit ice creams were sold as secondary to pav bhaaji.

Today, Naturals Ice Cream has over 160 outlets across 15 states with a Rs 300 crore turnover.

On Saturday, Naturals took to social media platform X to share the news. “Our thoughts on the sad demise of our patron and founder of Naturals Ice Cream, Late (Shri) Raghunandan Kamath. Indeed a very sad and unfortunate day for us.”

Captain Brijesh Chowta, who is the BJP candidates from Dakishna Kannada Lok Sabha seat, wrote on X: “A phenomenal journey comes to an end. Saddened to know of the demise of ‘Icecream Man’ Shri Raghunandan Kamath, the founder & force behind Natural Icecreams. From Mulki to Mumbai with just a dream to creating a brand that became a ‘natural’ choice for every icecream lover, his life is a huge lesson & inspiration for every entrepreneur. Prayers for his sadgati & strength to all his loved ones in this hour of grief.” 

Many people also paid tributes on social media as the news of Kamath’s death spread. “Thank you sir, for giving us the best ice creams that we had!,” one user posted on X.

(With inputs from DHNS)

Published 19 May 2024, 06:51 IST

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