Hide this You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
Today's Most Read

"When I Started, There Were No Guidebooks For Me"

"When I Started, There Were No Guidebooks For Me"
Image credit: Entrepreneur India
  • ---Shares
You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Conceptualizing a business idea by connecting the dots from the past is an art in itself. Dhirendra Singh, founder of Manpasand Beverages, seems to have performed well in developing the India’s only company listed on the Bourse.

A true entrepreneur in nature, he dared to travel on the road less travelled and marketed his products in the rural areas first instead of in metro cities. Singh has carved his niche in the over-populated Rs 8000 crore Indian packaged juice industry with introducing an exclusive portfolio of a well marketed fruit juice brand. Now, he wishes that his son, Abhishek Singh, to take hold of the business, which he built from the scratch. Manpasand Beverages Ltd is a living example of how business ideas can be borrowed just with having a good sense of observation. Dhirendra Singh’s grandfather offered fresh drinking water drawn from the well to friends and even unknown travelers whenever they crossed his house. This gesture had left a lasting impression on him and he came up with Mango Sip, a revitalizing refreshment, for customers across the country.

Born in 1962, in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, Dhirendra Singh graduated from a Sports College and later joined a sports company at Vadodara in Gujarat. A few years later, he ventured into real estate business but soon realized food and beverages sector will never be out of season. He launched Mango Sip in 1997. “We started our venture in 1997 as Manpasand Agro Food and we launched Mango Sip, which is our first product. Today, we have grown as Manpasand Beverages Limited. We are the only listed company in the Indian beverages sector. The company primarily focuses on mango-based drinks,” said Dhirendra Singh, Chairman and MD, Manpasand Beverages Ltd.

Swimming against the tide, this man of passion and conviction chose to launch Mango Sip in rural and semi-urban markets, like in tier II and III cities. He realized these markets were un-penetrated by leading beverage brands and wanted to fill the gap. The company also made its products available in Indian Railways, the lifeline of India.

These moves paid off in terms of establishing Mango Sip and Manpasand as a credible name in the Indian beverage market, which consists of bottled water, carbonated or aerated drinks, fruit juices, and others.

“We adapted early and started providing our products at a lower price point and in a wider range of PET and tetra packs. To establish ourselves in theBorn in 1962, in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, Dhirendra Singh graduated from a Sports College and later joined a sports company at Vadodara in Gujarat. A few years later, he ventured into real estate business but soon realized food and beverages sector will never be out of season. He launched Mango Sip in 1997. “We started our venture in 1997 as Manpasand Agro Food and we launched Mango Sip, which is our first product. Today, we have grown as Manpasand Beverages Limited. We are the only listed company in the Indian beverages sector. The company primarily focuses on mango-based drinks,” said Dhirendra Singh, Chairman and MD, Manpasand Beverages Ltd.

Swimming against the tide, this man of passion and conviction chose to launch Mango Sip in rural and semi-urban markets, like in tier II and III cities. He realized these markets were un-penetrated by leading beverage brands and wanted to fill the gap. The company also made its products available in Indian Railways, the lifeline of India.

These moves paid off in terms of establishing Mango Sip and Manpasand as a credible name in the Indian beverage market, which consists of bottled water, carbonated or aerated drinks, fruit juices, and others.

“We adapted early and started providing our products at a lower price point and in a wider range of PET and tetra packs. To establish ourselves in the market, which was dominated by the major mango drink players, we are also focused on building a strong relationship with distributors and provided them with incentives,” added Dhirendra Singh.

Therefore, while steadily marking its presence across rural landscape, amid growing demand, the company launched its first manufacturing unit in Vadodara in 2005, along with setting up an additional line to produce tetra pack fruit packs in 2007. Henceforth, it launched one more manufacturing unit in Vadodara and one each in Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, Dehradun in Uttaranchal and Ambala in Haryana over the years.

Presently, Mango Sip is the fourth largest mango drink selling in India with having 22 per cent market share in the segment. It has also contributed 80 per cent to revenues in the Financial Year 2016. To further diversify the portfolio, the company launched Fruits Up and Manpasand ORS as well as commenced the marketing of Pure Sip bottled water in July 2014. Currently, Manpasand’s beverage brands are present in 24 states through more than 200,000 retailers, over 2,000 distributors and 200 plus super stockists.

Learning the business hard way, Singh wishes his son, Abhishek, to learn from his struggle. While speaking about laying the special ground for the new generation to join the business, 56-years-old Dhirendra Singh says, “I come from a farmer’s family and no one in my family had ventured into business. So, when I started, there were no rules or guidebooks for me. I followed my instinct and worked hard to establish Manpasand, as a proud Indian brand. So for me, there are no specific ground rules for the new generation; they should think creatively and turn ideas into action.”

Further he wants to focus on R&D with the belief that innovation is the only way to succeed in today’s world.market, which was dominated by the major mango drink players, we are also focused on building a strong relationship with distributors and provided them with incentives,” added Dhirendra Singh.

Roping in Next Generation

Following the ideal of his father to pursue a passion and be creative in approach, Abhishek Singh joined the family business as a director on board in 2013, when the company was prepping-up for the issuance of Rs 400 crore IPO, which received 1.4 times the subscription in 2015. “It was a great experience for me as I learnt about each and every aspect of the company starting from sourcing of raw materials to dealing with retailers,” said Abhishek.

After joining the business he hardly changed anything in the company, apart from adding new technology, product innovation, and marketing ideas. Under his execution, in 2013, the company signed Sunny Deol as brand ambassador for Mango Sip and Mary Kom for Manpasand ORS in 2014. In the same year, he launched a new brand called Fruits Up. Under the brand, the company offers premium fruit juices and carbonated drinks in various flavors. It is currently available in mango, guava, litchi, orange and mixed fruit flavors. Without any synthetic base, Fruits Up contains fruits content of about 5 to 10 per cent in the carbonated form and 16 to 17 per cent in the premium juice range. In the healthy drink segment, the Manpasand ORS comes in apple and orange flavors with energy-replenishing qualities and is available across northeast India at present. Also in May 2016, the company launched Coco Sip, packaged 100 per cent tender coconut water drink.

Post listing on BSE and NSE in 2015, the company has adopted an aggressive expansion strategy with the focus on the urban market. It is forming key alliances with leading food and restaurant chains Havmor, Barista, Baskin & Robbins, Metro Cash & Carry, SPAR, etc along with 2,000 modern retail format stores. “While we continue to increase our presence in rural and semi-urban markets, we have also started aggressively tapping into the urban markets, where our presence was minimal until recently. We want to keep on investing in R&D to develop healthier variants of fruit juices,” added Abhishek.

(This article was first published in the January issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)

 
Edition: April 2017

Get the Magazine

Get the monthly dose of Entrepreneur delivered to you.
Subscribe Now