Bisleri Turns 50, Had Revenue Of 1500 Crores in 2018
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Bisleri Turns 50, Had Revenue Of 1500 Crores in 2018

Saurav Bhagat
Written by Saurav Bhagat
[email protected] | Delhi | Published on: September-20-2019 05:59 PM
  • Bisleri was initially an Italian Company.
  • Bisleri is the first one to launch the world’s first vertical manufacturing plant for mineral water
  • Bisleri‘s revenue for last year (2019) was Rs. 1500 crores

Bisleri has been a household name for decades -A symbol of goodness, trust and purity. It’s a true leader in its category and the most trusted brand of mineral water in India. 

With 125 operating plants (13 owned) and a powerful distribution network of 3000 Distributors & 5000 Distribution Trucks across India & neighbouring nations, it has a very powerful presence. Bisleri remains true to its commitment over the past 50 years to provide customers with secure, pure and healthy mineral water.

It has its oddity share. Shares Ramesh Chauhan, Bisleri International president and managing director, as well as the person who produced some of the country’s most renowned beverage brands such as Thums Up, Limca, Maaza and Goldspot.

It’s a very weird category, where all bottles sell at the same MRP, whether well-branded, un-branded or even spurious.”


Bisleri gives tough competition to the likes of Aquafina and Kinley.

It’s actually a bit of a weird category in more respects than one. For example, more than 65 percent of the market is a cottage industry with more than 3000 labels that coexist with most consumers who are unaware of what is inside the bottle. A couple of large products like Bisleri, Aquafina from PepsiCo, Kinley from Coca-Cola and Bailley from Parle Agro compete with and spurious regional products. In such a unique ecosystem, it is indeed creditable that a brand gains and ranks so well on something as intangible as confidence.

The Origin of Bisleri:

Bisleri company originally made an anti-malarial drug and had a small set-up on DN Road. While it took over, they still had the property and wanted to use the money to bring something quite revolutionary to India.

Bisleri was concentrated on being healthy with appropriate minerals in the previous brand building attempts. The name of Italy added some sort of class to it. The first print ad campaign captured the global essence and displayed a bow tie butler holding two Bisleri bottles.

The Vision of the Bisleri Team:

Bisleri began with a vision of being the dominant player in the branded water company. It later expanded to be a leader in the category of premium drinks.

The punchline was, Bisleri is veri veri extraordinari (the spelling of the punchline was designed to capture the consumer’s attention). The campaign was effective and we were noticed as who took care of the need for secure, healthy drinking water.

Bisleri in the mid-80s:

However, when we switched to PVC packaging and later to PET bottles, the true boost to mineral water came in the early-to-mid-1980s. Not only did the PET packaging guarantee greater transparency— we were now able to demonstrate customers sparkling clear water. It also implied an improved water life.

The implementation of a comfortable-to-carry 500-ml bottle for just Rs 5 in 1995 not only responded to that need but also meant removing the surplus water or throwing it away if you were to purchase a one-litre bottle.

The concept was a success, giving the company a 400 percent development. In 2000, we also launched the 1.2-litre bottle, directed at those who share their water. This also gave us the benefit of higher margins generated by a crate (12 bottles).

Bisleri Acquiring the Traditional Indian Market:

Things were hotting up with other products entering the fray— the bottled-water market was estimated at Rs 300 crore (Rs 3 billion) and grew at 50% a year. Bisleri captured the market by 40%. Until 2005, there are 1,200 bottled water plants throughout India (of which 600 are in one state— Tamil Nadu) according to the Bureau of Indian Standards. More than 100 brands compete for the Rs 1,000-crore (Rs 10 billion) bottled water market and sell their goods in every manner possible— better margins for retailers, aggressive marketing, catchy taglines.

The Timeline of Bisleri (source):

  • 1969: Buys Bisleri bottled water from an Italian company, Felice Bisleri. It was bottled in glass bottles then.
  • Early-1980s: Shifts to PVC bottles. Sales surge
  • The mid-1980s: Switches to PET bottles, which meant more transparency and life for water.
  • 1993: Sells carbonated drink brands like Thums Up, Gold Spot and Limca to Coca-Cola for Rs 400 crore.
  • 1995: Bisleri launches a 500 ml bottle and sales shoot up by 400 per cent.
  • 2000: Introduces the 20-litre container to bring prices down from Rs 10 a litre to Rs 2 a litre.
  • 1998: Introduces a tamper-proof and tamper-evident seal.
  • 2000: BIS cancels Bisleri’s licence of water bottling in Delhi since some of the bottles did not carry ISI label; the licence is restored one-and-a-half months later.
  • 2002: Kinley overtakes Bisleri. The national retail stores’ audit by ORG-MARG shows Kinley’s market share at 35.1 per cent compared to Bisleri’s 34.4 per cent.
  • 2003: Bisleri says it plans to venture out into Europe and America to sell bottled water
  • 2006: Bisleri changes its design and packaging from blue to green, thus differentiating itself from the competition.
  • 2011: Bisleri launches Club Soda
  • 2012: Vedica Reinvented
  • 2013: Bisleri launches “Kiss to Drink” campaign to promote 500ml bottle and encourage every individual to buy and kiss their own 500ml Bisleri bottle
  • 2016: Bisleri launches four fizzy soft drinks – Spyci, Limonata, Fonzo and Pina Colada
  • 2016: Bisleri launches ‘Rockstar’, 300 ml bottle of mineral water
  • 2018: Bisleri Launches Fonzo, a beverage which has a unique combination of tasty mango juice and refreshing fizz. Bisleri also launches the world’s first vertical manufacturing plant for mineral water

Today the brand stands tall in the packaged water industry. The brand is also the largest player in a category that is pegged at around ₹14,000 crores and is growing in double digits. It produces approximately 15 crore bottles a month.

bisleri ad

Har pani ki bottle Bisleri Ni Hoti” caught major attention!

In an era when most of the companies opt for a celebrity to endorse their big brands – Bisleri, the leading packaged water player, did the unthinkable. It recruited a camel – actually many camels, of course, post all the mandatory approvals from the wildlife authorities we are told – to communicate its message of “Har Pani ki Bottle Bisleri Nahin”

About the author

Saurav Bhagat

Saurav Bhagat

Saurav is inclined towards brands and brand story-telling from the past half a decade. His interest in startups has made him an immense member of the NBB Family from its very early days.
Saurav loves Chai and writes his day to day experiences on Quora too.
He believes in the power of storytelling for a Brand and also in general.
He often says- "Stories are powerful enough to build and erase empires and generations!"

09654178839 | A-73, Hackerspace, Noida sector- 2 Noida UP 201301

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