A Brand That Made A Splash: Bisleri
Bisleri is synonymous with water in India. Customers ask for Bisleri when they refer to packaged drinking water.
S Vejay Anand
On November 20, 1851, in Verolanuova, Italy, an Italian entrepreneur, inventor, and scientist named Signor Felice Bisleri established the Bisleri company. To begin with, Felice Bisleri created Bisleri as an alcohol remedy with cinchona, herbs, and iron salts.
Felice Bisleri’s family doctor was Dr Rossi, and the two families were great friends. When Signor Felice passed away in 1921, Dr Rossi, assumed control of the business.
In India, Dr Rossi had a close acquaintance who doubled as a lawyer and a trusted adviser to the Bisleri. Khushroo Suntook, a lawyer and close friend of Rossi’s, was instrumental in launching Bisleri in India.
Rossi thought up the notion to market water in India. There was plenty of water overall, but not enough potable water. Together with Suntook, he created a business strategy.
In 1965, Rossi’s theory began to gain traction. Khushroo Suntook established the first Bisleri Water Plant in Thane, Mumbai, that year. Water sales in India were thought ridiculous at the time, but Rossi and Suntook persisted in their efforts to bottle water for sale.
Bisleri soda and mineral water first debuted in India. It was exclusively served in five-star hotels (which catered mostly to international guests) and high-priced eateries/ restaurants
However, the brand required more exposure to succeed. Both Rossi and Santook understood that if they restricted their product offerings, they would fail to reach their goal.
Purchase by Parle
Khushroo Suntook put Bisleri up for sale, and the brothers Chauhan, founders of the Parle Company, paid him four lakhs of rupees for it. The thought of bottled water never even crossed their minds as they were looking for a branded soda to round out their offerings.
After 1969, when both Parle and Bisleri were producing various products for the market at the same time, Bisleri grew substantially. They advocated for the brand’s global expansion. Bisleri developed a novel method to create carbonated and non-carbonated mineral water in India.
Shift in focus
In 1993, Ramesh Chauhan sold his cold drinks portfolio to Coca-Cola for Rs 186 crore. By 1995, he had shifted his attention to the bottled water market to reach the common man.
The goal of Parle’s work was to influence the common man.
Because of its low value and high weight, water was not a popular commodity among transportation companies. Thus, Chauhan concluded that the business should handle water delivery internally. Today, 5,000 Bisleri trucks distribute the water bottles to 4,500 wholesalers throughout the country.
Advertisements for Bisleri began with a butler wearing a bow tie and the slogan “Bisleri is veri veri extraordinari.” The commercial was successful in attracting customers because it conveyed a sense of internationalization.
It also debuted a new, inexpensive 500-ml bottle at Rs 5.
Bisleri’s plan was successful, and his message spread far. As a bonus, it also addressed the problem of mobility and made the product cheaper. The firm expanded by 400% and had a 40% share of the bottled water bottle industry.
The colour change
Bisleri’s growth and expansion throughout the years may be directly attributed to the many new products it has produced. The corporation made the move from blue to green bottle labels in 2006 to set itself apart from rivals.
Development of new products — 2010 to 2020
Both Bisleri and its wares gained popularity. It introduced the world the carbonated soft drinks such as Spyci, Limonata, Fonzo, and Pina Colada, as well as the first Club Soda and Vedica- Himalayan water.
How Bisleri got where it is today
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S Vejay Anand
CXO, mentor, consultant, entrepreneur, executive, columnist, husband, father, son, politically aware and neutral, herbivore, pro animal life