New Delhi. When it comes to bottled water in India, Bisleri’s name comes at the top. Country’s largest industrialist Ratan Tata’s company Tata Group has offered to buy stake in Ramesh Chauhan-led Bisleri International. According to the information received, the Tata group has made an offer to the company for acquisition of Bisleri’s stake. It is being told that if this deal goes through, then Tata Group will get a golden opportunity to try its hand in the entry-level, mid-segment and premium packaged water categories. The deal will give Tata Group a ready-to-go-to-market network of retail stores, chemist channels, institutional channels, hotels, among others. The Tata consumer business of Tata Group, apart from operating Starbucks Cafe, also sells Tetley tea, Eight O’ Clock coffee, soulful cereals, salt and pulses. Apart from this, Tata Consumer also has its own bottled water business under NourishCo. It is worth noting that Bisleri has more than 122 operational plants as well as its distributor network of more than 4,500 with 5,000 trucks in the country. Whereas, the packaged water market in the country is more than Rs 20,000 crore, of which 60 percent is unorganized. At the same time, Bisleri’s organized share in the market is around 32 per cent. Not only this, apart from mineral water, Bisleri International also offers premium Himalayan spring water in the markets. If we talk about why it is being acquired, then it is reported that the successor plan of Bisleri owner Ramesh Chauhan is reducing stake in the company, however, this has not been confirmed yet. Bisleri owner Ramesh Chauhan has already said that if he decides to sell his stake in Bisleri, he will sell it to an Indian.
This is how Bisleri started
Bisleri started with a pharmaceutical company that sold malaria drugs. It was founded by Italian businessman Felice Bisleri. After Felice’s death, her family doctor, Rossi, took on the responsibility of taking Bisleri forward. Dr Rossi then planned to launch Bisleri bottled water in collaboration with Indian lawyer Khushru Santaku. However, at that time the talk of selling water in bottles was ridiculous and his act was called nothing more than madness. But he determined and established the country’s first ‘Bisleri Water Plant’ in Thane, Mumbai in the year 1965.
Initially it was entered only in the glasses of the rich with soda. But in the year 1969, Indian company Parle bought Bisleri. This deal was done for only Rs 4 lakh. After this Ramesh Chauhan Bisleri first made it available at railway stations. Slowly it reached every house.