Cobra Beer: Marketing In India
ORIGIN AND GROWTH
Karan Bilimoria, born in a wealthy professional Indian Family was studying accountancy and law in the UK. Simultaneously he was looking for entrepreneurial opportunities after a short flirtation with selling of polo sticks him found a niche business opportunity in the .UK beer market. India cuisine had started becoming quite popular in the UK around the late 1980s. India curry houses were expanding rapidly and becoming common sight in every nook and corner. Though going under the generic nomenclature of India; most of those were. In fact owned. And run boy Bangladeshis and Pakistanis. However, the genre of food of the subcontinent was broadly the same and the restaurant’s the developed a pen-subcontinental cuisine that satisfied the British taste. Karan when visiting such establishments, found that these restaurants offered the locally available beer to accompany Indian dishes .Karan found that’’ the beers I tasted left you gassy and bloated and with not enough room for food .I saw that the market was dominated by harsh, gassy euro fizz beers, all poor partners to food and so I wanted to produce a premium, high quality larger which would complement rather than fight against the food,’’ The result was cobra, a premium beer, using best quality natural ingredients, a unique blend of barley malt and yeast with maize, hops and rice. Cobra beer is extra smooth and led gassy, retaining a premium strength of 5%.karan set up the cobra beer with the vision; To brew the finest ever Indian beer and to make it a global beer brand Cobra was first brewed in an Indian brewery at Bangalore and was imported in container load to the u.k. Bilimoria had hardly any funds and had managed to get a bank loan of just $300,000.the uk beer market is a highly competitive market with the presence of all the global brands, apart from the locally brewed beer. The market was also stagnant in terms of physical growth in sales morever.1990.the year cobra launched its operations in the UK. Saw the beginning of a recession. The only way to succeed in such a market was to create a strong usp for a niche market segment. ‘Cobra’ strategy was to target the growing number of restaurants serving Indian cuisine. The growing popularity of Indian foods with the mainstream population provided the growth element .the usp was that cobra beer was the ideal accompaniment to spicy Indian food. Bilimoria began by delivering himself the imported cobra beer to the Indian restaurants. in addition to the unknown brand and quality identify .cobra had another problem .restaurant in addition to the unknown brand and quality identily .cobra had another problem .restaurant customers in the uk were accustomed to the small bottle size, suited for individual consumption. Cobra beer was, on the other hand, had a large bottle format, suitable for two persons. Bilimoria had to argue and convince customers of the conviviality benefits of sharing of one bottle and two glasses. it worked and in five years. Cobra beer hit a one million mark in sales. Beer is essentially allowing price. high volume product and logistic is a major key to profitability. Despite the gradual acceptance of his beer, bilimoria found that shipping the beer from Bangalore was swallowing up to 50%of management time in organization and management. The solution worked out was to brew the beer in Britain that was in 1997. Charles wells are a 125-year old family –run brewery. also the largest independent brewery in the uk .it had been brewing leading international beer brands including Kirin from Japan and red stripe from jamaica. Bilimoria asked Charles wells to brew cobra beer under licence. It took six attempts for the brewery to get it right .since then, it is also producing a draft form of the beer which is currently available in about 1,000 outlets. Creative advertising and premium quality helped achieve cobra very successful penetration of the Indian...
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