afaqs! news bureau

Bisleri owner Ramesh Chauhan clarifies the deal with Tata is still being negotiated

Owner Ramesh Chauhan is selling the leading packaged water brand for about Rs 6,000-7,000 crore reports The Economic Times.

That Tata Consumer Products Ltd (TCPL) will acquire Bisleri for a sum of Rs 6,000-7,000 crore is not a done deal. “Negotiations are still on with the Tatas and no binding agreement has been signed yet,” clarifies chairman Ramesh Chauhan to The Economic Times which reported the acquisition on October 24, 2022.

Ramesh Chauhan, 82, is selling Bisleri because he has no successor who can work on expanding the brand further. His daughter Jayanti is not keen.

Bisleri is the only brand the original owners held onto until now. In 1993 Coca-Cola bought Thums Up, Maaza, Citra, Gold Spot and Limca from Chauhan when it re-entered the India market.

As per ET, Bisleri brand's turnover is estimated at Rs 2,500 crore with profit at Rs 220 crore for FY23.

Bisleri International owns a premium packaged water brand - Vedica and four fizzy drinks - Spyci, Limonata, Fonzo, and Bisleri Soda.

Earlier this year Anjana Ghosh, Bisleri's director-marketing, decided to leave after spending 16 years with the company.

In 2018, the brand set out to fight counterfeiting in the packaged water category with its campaign - Samajhdaar Jaante Hain Har Paani Ki Bottle Bisleri Nahin.

It also launched labels in regional languages to help consumers identify the brand and its products.

As a brand that is synonymous to the packaged water category, Bisleri is often a placeholder for mineral water. As a result, shopkeepers hand consumers a bottle of any brand when they ask 'ek Bisleri dena'.

In an interview to afaqs!, Ghosh had said, "It is a problem of retailers depriving consumers of their brand of choice because they want a higher profit margin. Earlier, we thought that we'd be able to solve it via awareness and loyalty programs, but we soon realised that it's the profit margins that influence retailer behaviour."

"While some consumers specifically want Bisleri, most just want a bottle of water when asking for Bisleri. With this campaign, we are closer to the latter and are asking them to get a Bisleri bottle when they ask for it. That way, the retailer will also have to sell Bisleri instead of pushing another brand. Moreover, the consumer is paying equally for all brands in the category," she said.

Tata Consumer Products is an active player in the packaged water business with - Himalayan, Tata Copper Plus Water. Its liquid beverage portfolio also houses Tata Gluco+ - an energy drink, and Tata Fruski - refreshing drinks inspired by beverages sold on Indian streets.

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