Explosive growth in the bottled water industry has now placed bottled water in every supermarket where dozens of brands are competing. The bottled water industry has become extremely prosperous, involving companies with different histories and approaches to water quenching consumer’s thirst even when the taps run dry.
In the 1970s and 80s, bottled drinking water in India was unheard of. Now, almost everyone in the country, it seems, is drinking water from disposable plastic bottles. Providing clean drinking water to all has emerged as a major challenge before all committed Indians, holding any position of influence – policy makers, NGOs and corporates. With water bodies being increasingly contaminated and government unable to provide clean water, private players have stepped in.
The corporate control of water and water distribution in India increased, as globalisation opened opportunities for private players investing in water, or for manipulating the scarcity of water, making for increasingly good business sense for corporations.
Today the bottled water industry is one of the most thriving grocery sectors in the country. To take the advantage of the new branded bottled water consciousness, more and more elite and premium brands have been entering or getting set to enter the Indian market.
In the pursuit of commitment to the consumers and with around 1,800 ‘me too’ bottled water brands in existence, Manikchand Group pioneered the revolutionary idea of offering ‘Oxyrich’ clear, smooth, pure water carrying a refreshing boost of extra oxygen. Today Oxyrich is among the top players in the packaged water business, with a claim to offer something ‘different’ from the rest.
Pune-based Manikchand Group is one of India’s leading business conglomerates catering to diversified industries and operating under the name of Dhariwal Industries Limited. The foundation stone of the empire was laid by Rasiklal Manikchand Dhariwal, Group Chairman in 1990 with the launch of Pan Masala and Gutka.
With an ambitious intention of reaching out to a larger customer base, Manikchand Group ventured into diverse businesses and product categories including packaged water, tea, printing & lamination packaging, flour mill, electrical, paper products, and construction and real estate.
In May 1996 Manikchand ventured into laminated packaging business. As a part of backward integration, the group had started its activities towards establishment of highly advanced and ultra-modern lamination printing unit fully imported from Italy and Germany.
Currently, this business arm not just caters to in-house requirements but also is a major suppliers to scores of MNCs and major corporates in the FMCG sector. Manikachand Packaging Ltd. has its production unit near Shirur (Pune).
The next area of focus for the group was staples. In September 1996 the group entered into food industry by acquiring an 150-ton-per-day capacity roller flour mill at Hyderabad. The company – Manikchand Roller Flour Mills – has since introduced various wheat products such as whole wheat atta, maida, rawa, chakki atta and bansi.It was in August 1999 that the group further extended to start blending, packing and marketing of packed tea under Dhariwal & Doshi industries Limited. While the initial market focus was limited to Gujarat, the company subsequently spread its network to Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra. In order to provide quality and consistent blends the group sources the green leaves from self-owned tea gardens in Assam. They also have a state-of-the-art facility for processing and packaging at Tinsukia in Assam and Baroda in Gujarat. They have brands including, Urmi, Parimal, Nirali and Manali – catering to varying tastes and preferences.
It was only in 2002 that the Group launched its flagship brand Oxyrich bottled water. Witnessing the growth potential in the bottled water sector, of which Bisleri was the undisputable leader, followed by Kinley and few other brands, Manikchand Oxyrich mineral water aggressively marketed its USP as a 300 percent oxygenated mineral water.