Reinventing Bisleri

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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG020
Case Length : 7 Pages
Period : 1990 -2001
Pub Date : 2002
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : Parle Bisleri Ltd, Coca Cola, Pepsi
Industry : Branded Water
Countries : India

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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"Old cola rivals Coke and Pepsi are discovering there is more money in water than coloured water. Things are warming up in the Rs 10 billion bottled-drinking water market and competitors, including Parle's Ramesh Chauhan, face the threat of a whitewash."

- Business Today, September 16, 2001.


In the early 1990s, Parle Bisleri Ltd's (Parle Bisleri's) Bisleri1 had become synonymous with branded water and had a market share of 70%. In the late 1990s, Bisleri's market share began to erode with new players entering the market. The new players also positioned their products on the purity platform and Bisleri felt the need to differentiate itself from the crowd.

In the late 1990s, Bisleri launched its Pure and Safe ad campaign to convince the consumers that it was the only pure and safe branded water in the market. However, in 2000-01, Bisleri faced another challenge. The Cola majors, Pepsi and Coca-Cola and the confectionery giant, Nestle, also entered the branded water market in India.

Pepsi and Coca-Cola had an established distribution network. Bisleri realized that with the new players also clambering on to the purity plank, it had to reposition itself to arrest its declining market share. In September 2000, Parle Bisleri launched its Play Safe ad campaign. The company tried to add a fun element to Bisleri to rejuvenate the brand. The ultimate aim was to increase Bisleri's turnover from Rs 4 billion2 in 2000 to Rs 10 billion by 2003.

Bisleri Feels The Heat

In the early 1990s, the branded mineral water industry was worth Rs 3 billion, producing around 95 million litres in 1992.

Parle Bisleri's Bisleri brand launched in 1971, was the leader with 70% market share. After 1993, the branded mineral water industry saw some hectic activity.

On an average, every three months, a new brand was launched and another died. In the late 1990s, many international brands were planning to enter the branded mineral water market...

Excerpts >>

1] Bisleri owes its name to founder Felice Bisleri, an Italian entrepreneur. In 1967, Bisleri set up a plant in Mumbai for bottling and marketing mineral water, which failed. In 1969, Bisleri was sold out to Parle Exports which was later renamed as Parle Bisleri Ltd.

2] In September 2002, Rs 48 equalled 1 US $.


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