Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Baba Ramdev's Patanjali to launch bottled water called 'Divya Jal' this Diwali

Yoga-guru-turned-businessman Baba Ramdev has now set his eyes on the packaged drinking water market. His company, Patanjali Ayurved Ltd, is preparing to launch Divya Jal packaged drinking water—sourced from the foothills of the Himalayas—across north India this Diwali.

The company will make Divya Jal available nationwide over the next three to six months, said Ramdev’s spokesperson, S.K. Tijarawala. The sales target for 2018-19 is Rs1,000 crore.

The company will start the bottling of drinking water at its factories in Haridwar and Lucknow, said Tijarawala. Patanjali may look at other options, such as a third-party contract with bottling companies and joint ventures, and may also look at reviving stressed bottling plants as volume grows, he added.

While this will be a commercial launch of packaged drinking water, Patanjali has been bottling drinking water at a factory in Lucknow managed by Patanjali Gramodyog, a sister concern of Patanjali Ayurved. This was not sold in the market, said a senior executive of a beverage company, who asked not to be named.

The Lucknow plant is capable of bottling 100,000 litres of water every day. Tijarawala, however, declined to comment on the pricing of Divya Jal.

Patanjali is not be the first company to market drinking water that has been sourced from the foothills of the Himalayas.

NourishCo, a joint venture between Tata group firm Tata Global Beverages Ltd and PepsiCo India Holdings Pvt. Ltd, sells Himalayan branded packaged drinking water that the company claims to have sourced from the foothills of the Himalayas.

The packaged drinking water market in India was estimated at Rs7,040 crore in 2016 and is projected to reach Rs15,080 crore in 2021, according to research firm Euromonitor International.

Bisleri, a brand owned by Mumbai-based businessman Ramesh Chauhan’s Bisleri International Pvt. Ltd, leads the bottled water market with an estimated 24% value share. Other key brands include Aquafina, marketed by American food and beverages company PepsiCo Inc, and Kinley, sold by American beverages maker Coca-Cola Co.

In June 2016, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) raised concerns about quality and safety of packaged drinking water sold in the country as a majority of the bottling units did not have clearance from the regulator.

According to FSSAI findings in June 2016, there were 5,842 registered water packaging units, of which only 1,495 units had licences from both Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and FSSAI, while the remaining 4,347 units were operating only with BIS certification. FSSAI had, on 23 June 2016, said all bottling units will have to secure clearance from it.

Patanjali has been in diversification mode in the recent past. After food, Ayurvedic medicines and cosmetics, the company earlier this month announced its foray into the private security business and the branded apparel market.

Patanjali will start selling branded apparel for men, women and kids under the brand name Paridhan starting April 2018, with a target to generate sales of Rs5,000 crore in the first year, Mint reported on 3 August.

Patanjali Ayurved reported sales of Rs10,561 crore in the year to 31 March, almost five times its 2014-15 sales of Rs2,006 crore. It aims to cross Rs20,000-25,000 crore in sales by 31 March 2018, Ramdev said on 4 May.

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