India is eyed as one of the biggest opportunity grounds by many multinational brands. This is because, we are a huge 1.2 Billion population country with 60% of them under 30 years of age.
This is a potent demographic dividend as the sheer scale of consumption and aspiration of India is 3 times more than some of the developed countries such as US or UK.
Given these statistics, many multinational brands fight a fierce battle to win over the consumers; one such technique is to spend huge amounts of money in advertising and communication to develop their brands.
What is truly inspiring is, there still are many home grown indigenous brands, some of them from a humble rural beginnings, who still give a tough fight to keep these MNCs at bay. We had covered one such inspiring story in our blog post – David Vs Goliath
This time we thought of writing about another equally inspiring story of a cola brand that stood the test of time for a good 100 years, against the giants such as Coca Cola and Pepsi.
Kalimark is a south-Indian company, which manufactures and supplies carbonated and no carbonated drinks. A more than a hundred-year-old company, it was established in the year 1916 with the founders being a married couple, Mr. PVSK Palaniappa Nadar and Mrs. Unnamalai Ammal.
Kalimark 100 Years Of Success-History
The history and the background is an interesting story. Although Palaniappa Nadar was a son of a wealthy businessman, he decided to leave the house and make it on his own. And that fact alone makes this story a perfect rags to riches story.
Mr. Nadar was used to make ends meet by selling buttermilk and sometimes even cow dung on the streets. After a point, he began lending out money to people. One such time, a shop owner who had borrowed money from Mr. Nadar was not able to pay the money back. So instead of paying the money back, the man gave him a soda machine.
Mr. Nadar brought it back but left to rust. It was his wife, Mrs. Ammal, who learned how to use the machine. With that, they began to manufacture soda with food colors. In those times, such drinks were called color, but people were not willing to try it. Mr. Nadar used to travel on his bullock cart from village to village to market the soda.
The founder of Kalimark began selling his products by going to a shop and buying a different drink. Then he would say that it tasted terrible and these people should try Kalimark’s products. And so, the next day he would go there and sell his products to an obviously curious crowd.
Kalimark had always been quite popular. But with the entry of big brands, namely Coca-Cola and Pepsi, Kalimark’s products began to disappear from the market. Bit by bit the company began to lose to cola giants and their products.
However, with the recent development of the case of the ban being applied to Coca-Cola and others, the company thinks about coming back into the market. Only recently the company, which is managed by the third and the fourth generation, released a plan for one thousand crore revenue plan by 2020.
The company plans to branch into other areas of the country and regain its position.
Here is a list of products manufactured by Kalimark:
- Bovonto: Available in various variants of 200ml, 250ml, 300ml, 500ml and 1.5L. This product is famous for its tangy grape taste. Although carbonated, the drink does not taste that
- Clear Lemon: This drink is available in 300ml and 500ml variants. This drink has incorporated the taste of fresh lemon with soda.
- Frutang: Available in three variants such as 250 ml, 300 ml, and5L. This non-alcoholic drink is made with freshest mangoes.
- Ginger Beer: Available in 200ml, 300ml, and The drink uses a strong ginger essence with a carbonated drink, which makes the game an impressive drink.
- Club Soda: This drink is available in two variants of 200ml and 300ml. This drink is made with fresh water and water soda.
- Cloudy Lemon: Three variants- 200ml, 300ml, and 500ml, this drink makes use of the bittersweet taste of lemon.
- Orange: Available in 200ml, 300ml, 500ml, and 1.5L. The drink is made with fresh oranges and water soda.
- Paneer: Available in 200ml, 250ml, 300ml and 1.5L variants, this drink is made with the essence of real rose petals.
In these many decades of struggle, Kalimark still managed to invent products by researching consumer needs and satisfying their thirst with indigenous products.
It’s that spirit, which has kept Kalimark in the race even when they can’t match the big budget advertising muscle of the global brands.
How many of you have tried Bovonto or Frutang or Paneer Soda? Please reply with your comments.