righttop2018SUVODIP SEN SANYOG DUBEY PINAK MITRAType the company name5/24/201801000002018SUVODIP SEN SANYOG DUBEY PINAK MITRAType the company name5/24/2018left250002672715PaperBoat900007300PaperBoatPaperBoatIt was March 2012 and Neeraj Kakkar and his Hector Beverages co-founders, Neeraj Biyani, James Nuttall and Suhas Misra, were gathered around a large roundtable in their Gurgaon (now Gurugram) office. After one failed and another sub-optimal venture, they knew they needed a major overhaul of strategy.Worldwide, carbonated beverages had not been growing as significantly as those in the functional space (beverages—energy, vitamin or health—that do more for your body than simply quench your thirst or provide taste). Accordingly, when they had founded Hector Beverages in 2010, their first drink was a protein-water drink called Frissia. It didn’t do well and it was phased out in a few months. Within a year, in March 2011, they launched an energy drink, Tzinga. Nevertheless, the category was already dominated by existing players like Cloud-9 and Red Bull.
Now it’s time for another rethink. Their office was small, there was no air-conditioner and power cuts were frequent. During lunch, it was common practice to reach out for the aam panna that Misra brought in a steel flask every day.
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That day, something clicked. In March 2013, they began test-marketing the product and have not looked back since. Paper Boat’s well-recognised aam panna, aamras, jaljeera and kokum packages adorn the shelves of retail stores and local kiranas in several key metros and small towns; they are offered as a beverage option on flights and trains too. There are currently 935 people, with an average age of 25, employed by the startup that has offices in the country’s major metro cities.
Paper Boat constitutes 95 percent of Hector Beverages’ revenues while Tzinga makes up the rest. (The company refused to share revenue figures.)The founders too were surprised at their success initially. “When we launched, if somebody had told us that one day you will be selling 95 percent Paper Boat and 5 percent Tzinga, we would have laughed,” says Kakkar, 40, who is also the CEO, as he settles down in his office in a quaint bungalow in one of the bylanes of Bengaluru’s Whitefield area—their office since 2014. “When we started out, we didn’t know the product would do so well. Every single day we see the brand growing and we are quite happy,” says COO Biyani, 36, on the phone from Delhi.The awareness of ethnic stuff was not there and that’s where you create the differentiator.
They created the awareness and it has reached. Innovation was the key when they got into beverages, when they came up with Paper Boat, and it has continued to be at the heart of whatever they do: Be it discovering unique flavours or finding ways to ensure that these are as authentic as possible.Valuable Resource – ProcessThe motto was “authentic” and alive which means taste should be as close as possible. Hence the valuable resource will be the process.
For natural process, mango cannot be ripened thru chemical process. Instead, they keep the mangoes in a shed with hay on top, turn it every two days and wait for the reaction to complete on its own. This takes 10-15 days more than if they were to be ripened artificially. They also don’t add any preservatives to the drinks—this means a shorter shelf life and limited scope of catering to global demand. Also packaging was innovative – soft curvy bottle can remind you like sucking mango pulp and softening with hand.RareThis is basically the marketing effort of the marketing team – like storytelling approach, social media marketing strategy etc.
What worked very well for Paper Boat on social media was in getting their fans and customers to share their childhood stories and moments on social media. It helped PaperBoat in brand building. The concepts are innovative and rare but needs to be coupled with other resources to have results. To get connected with the lives of the people, the brand collected heart touching and thoughtful childhood memories and beautifully joined some other stuff from old childhood memories. An advertisement narrated by Gulzar and moving around “Maigudi Days” is in sync with the brand’s philosophy of “Drinks and Memories”.
Imperfectly ImitablePaperBoat primarily focused on their products rather than focusing on the brand philosophy. Working on this strategy, the company was able to develop a more customer centric product. Doing this, the brand got connected with its customers and their lives as it made their lives meaningful with childhood stories.Non-SubstitutableThe distribution network comes into this sector. To tackle the distribution challenge, Hector Beverages entered into strategic tie-ups with airlines and outlets to ensure their drinks were available everywhere.
Today, they are sold across 120,000 outlets of which 30,000 are catered to directly by the company; the remaining are taken care of by Japanese food giant Indo Nissin Foods through a partnership that helps the firm increase its pan-India presence, especially in tier II towns and cities, leveraging their partner’s robust distribution network, courtesy brands like Top Ramen and Cup Noodles.REFERENCEhttps://www.wittysparks.com/refresh-yourself-with-a-sip-of-the-paper-boat-drink/http://www.forbesindia.com/article/special/paper-boat-sails-in-to-the-food-category/45455/1http://www.forbesindia.com/article/work-in-progress/ethnic-drinks-how-paper-boat-plans-to-keep-its-lead/44219/1http://dsim.in/blog/2016/07/27/case-study-how-paperboat-is-building-its-brand-story-with-superb-marketing-strategy/