India has a rich and diversified culture. You will find unique foods, languages, clothes, and religions when you visit different parts of India. The same is true about beverages. In North India, Jal Zeera is a traditional drink people love to have. Kokum sherbet is a specialty of Maharashtra.
Currently, International beverage companies like Coca-Cola, Pepsi have taken over the traditional beverage market of India. Traditional drinks are lost somewhere.
Paper Boat has come as a savior for traditional drinks. The startup beverage products are based on traditional recipes. Paper Boar is also bringing other innovative ideas to customized those drinks as per the local market requirement.
The Beginning of Paper Boat
In 2009, Neeraj Kakkar started a beverage firm named Hector Beverages. Tzinga and Frissia were the two known energy drinks launched by Hector in 2011. The company did not get much success through the energy drinks launch. Later, Kakkar co-founded Paper Boat under his parent company Hector in 2013. Under Paper Boat, Kakkar mainly focused on traditional drinks. Currently, The startup produces and sells 11 different traditional drinks including Jal Zeera, Aam Panna, and much more.
Neeraj Kakkar is the co-founder and CEO of Hector Beverages. He earlier worked with Coca-Cola for 8 years before starting his own venture. Neeraj Biyani, the co-founder and COO of Hector Beverages, also worked in firms like Hindustan Coca Cola and Agro Tech Foods Ltd before joining Kakkar in Hector.
James Nutall was another co-founder and CFO of Hector Beverages. He left the firm in 2015. Suhas Misra, an IIM alumnus, and ex Coca Cola employee, is the co-founder and director of Hector Beverages. He also worked with Nokia.
The founders got an idea of traditional juices from Suhas Misra’s mother recipe of Aam Panna. She used to send Aam Panna to Suhas regularly. So, finally, they planned to commercialize the local beverage recipes.
Currently, Gurugram based Paper Boat has around 550 employees working in different locations. The company has two production plants: one in Manesar and another in Mysore, Karnataka, to fulfill the products’ rising demands.
Paper Boat Growth
Currently, Paper Boat has a strong distributor network all over India. The company’s unique packaging also got a lot of popularity. It uses Doypack to deliver its products. Doypack makes Paper Boat a unique beverage firm among the competitors. NASA also uses the same packaging to send products and other items to astronauts. In 2019, the beverage firm collaborated with Tetra Pak and also introduced holographic packaging for some items. The company is also targeting other countries to target Indians with its traditional and seasonal juice recipes.
As per the Technopak 2021 report, the Indian juice market has a net worth of $200 million. And it will grow 15% over the coming two years.
Paper Boat provides more than 11 types of ethnic drinks and juices: Jal jeera, aam Panna, aam ras, Alphonso aam, Jamun Kala khatta, chilli guava, nimbu pani, kokum, neer more, kanji, sugarcane juice, lychee ras, apple, and orange.
The firm also launched milk-based products like buttermilk, badam milk, and thandai. The brand also launched coconut water in 2018. Apart from these, Paper Boat produces two seasonal drinks associated with Indian festivals—Panakam (available during Ram Navami) and Sherbet-e-Khas (available during Eid).
The firm modifies the recipes based on customers’ demands. An extensive survey is done to know what customers like and don’t like among all rhe Paper Boat products.
Talking about their recipe and product, Neeraj Biyani, Co-founder and COO said:
“Our intellectual property is the recipe. A small decimal change in pressure or temperature can alter the taste of our product and the unique differentiation can be lost.”
The startup has raised over $100 million in fourteen financing rounds. Paper Boat has grown rapidly in the last few years.
In FY2020, the company recorded a revenue of $32.3 million that is approximately $6 million more than its revenue of FY19. Currently, the firm has a valuation of around $150 million. Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune, and Chennai, contribute the maximum in Paper Boat’s total sales.