The Tata group’s beverages business is rapidly expanding the distribution of its natural mineral water brand ‘Himalayan’. It aims to make the predominantly institutional-focused brand into a retail brand of choice.
“From being just restricted to premier hotel chains such as Taj and Oberoi in big cities including Mumbai and Delhi, we have now expanded distribution to the top six metros and cities such as Pune, Goa and Kochi, which attract a fair bit of international tourist traffic. Our aim is to make this a more retail-focused brand with a predominant portion of revenues coming from the retail sales channel,” said Abanti Sankaranarayanan, deputy chief executive officer, Mount Everest Mineral Water.
Since the re-branding of `Himalayan’ to ‘natural mineral water’ and change in design, the Tatas have had some initial success in getting sales from end consumers. It’s estimated that almost 15 per cent of revenues now come from retail sales. The Tatas are now working aggressively to increase retail sales aggressively so that in about three years, the brand becomes synonymous in the minds of retail consumers with the natural mineral water category in India.
Once the brand is well-established in India, the Tatas, who bought over the company from its former promoters, plan to take it global. The other three global focus brands of the Tata beverages group include Tetley, Tata Tea and Good Earth.
“In cities such as Mumbai, we have increased our distribution in relevant areas by almost four times,” said Sankaranarayanan. The increased retail distribution is part of the move to make the brand more retail focused than institutional focused. “We want to be in a situation where our target consumer picks us up in a scenario of choice,” he said.
“We are trying to introduce brand Himalayan to our target customers through a variety of on ground events in key markets at upmarket bars, restaurants and upmarket malls,” said Sankaranarayanan.
Source: Financial Chronicle