Mr. Abhishek Singh, Director, Manpasand Beverages Ltd

GST is India’s biggest tax reform since Independence, which aims to synchronise existing central and state levies into a single national sales tax.

May 26, 2017 10:05 IST India Infoline News Service

Mr. Abhishek Singh, the next-gen entrepreneur of Manpasand Beverages joined the business after completing his degree in engineering in food technology from Sardar Patel University, Vallabh Vidhyanagar.  Even after being associated with food and beverage industry for more than five years, Mr. Singh still believes in learning through first-hand experiences.  Since his foray, he has focused aggressively on making ‘Fruits Up’ as a healthier brand and has taken the company’s products into urban markets.
Manpasand Beverages Limited is a fruit drink manufacturing company with a primary focus on mango fruit, which is the leading flavour for juice drinks in India. The company’s mango based fruit drink, ‘Mango Sip’, is its flagship brand, which is strategically focused towards customers primarily based in semi urban and rural markets. With a view to expand its product portfolio, the company have launched two new brands, ‘Fruits Up’ and ‘Manpasand ORS’. Under the ‘Fruits Up’ brand, it offers fruit drinks and carbonated fruit drinks in different flavours, and under the ‘Manpasand ORS’ brand, it offer fruit drinks with energy replenishing qualities with a primary focus on North East India. The company currently offer fruit drinks in mango and other flavours and carbonated fruit drinks, in different packaging types and sizes.
Replying to IIFL, Mr. Abhishek Singh said, “GST is India’s biggest tax reform since Independence, which aims to synchronise existing central and state levies into a single national sales tax.”

What will be the probable implications of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on FMCG and beverages sector?
GST is India’s biggest tax reform since Independence, which aims to synchronise existing central and state levies into a single national sales tax. This will definitely ease the cost of doing business and rationalise a lot of logistical details concerning the transport of consumer goods. While companies may feel some short-term pinch, there won’t be any longer-term effects due to an implementation of GST. The immediate impact of GST might be in terms of getting infra ready and cutting down dependencies on the wholesale stock model. However, for companies like Manpasand Beverages Ltd., who have a strong network of distributors and deal directly with retailers, the initial GST hiccups are unlikely to impact the business.
The Indian beverages market is flooded with many brands. How  your company plans to stand out from the crowd?
Our aim is to offer a variety of flavourful and healthy products to the consumers and beat our own records. In order to achieve that we will put in all necessary effort, manpower, and strategy in place. Also, from our experience we have observed that managing the supply chain and building a strong network of distributors are crucial to the success of a business.  When we started in 1997, the major players (mostly MNCs) were present only in the big cities of India, leaving a gap for tier II and III cities (rural and semi-rural areas). We sensed an opportunity there and experimented with our products in these areas. Also, we made our products available in Indian Railways which is the lifeline of India in terms of transportation. These moves paid off in terms of establishing Mango Sip (flagship brand) and in turn Manpasand as a credible name in the Indian beverage market (which mostly consists of bottled water, carbonated /aerated drinks, Fruit Juices, and others). In addition, we offered our products at a lower price point and in a wider range of packs (PET and Tetra packs) and focused on building a strong relationship with distributors and providing them with incentives.
The recent stringent rules laid by the government (FSSAI) to ensure the quality of food products, is it a boon or bane for the industry?

When rules are brought forth on a national level, they help in levelling the playing field.  Thus, in the long run, it benefits the sector and creates trust among consumers. It also compels companies to be accountable and fosters healthy competition in the market.
How do you plan to tap the rural or emerging markets of India?
From day one, rural and semi-urban markets have been the foundation of Manpasand Beverages. We were strategic in terms of not launching our products in major cities and instead focused on rural and semi-urban markets, which we were more familiar with. To our advantage, the big beverage companies had minimal presence in those places. Today, Manpasand’s brands are present in over 20 states through more than 200,000 retailers, over 2000 distributors and 200 plus super stockists.

What future growth prospects do you see for the non-alcoholic beverages business?
Non-alcoholic Beverage industry in India is still at a nascent stage when compared to other major markets globally. The market size of the beverage industry in India, which consists of juices, carbonated drinks and bottled water is estimated to be worth around Rs. 65,000 Crores and this market is estimated to grow at CAGR of more than 20%. The Indian packaged juice industry size is about Rs. 8,000 Crores and it has been growing at more than 30 % per annum in last few years and will maintain that pace in future as well.
Do you think rise in public awareness about healthy food products is a propeller or a hindrance for the FMCG industry?
It is a ‘propeller’ as it opens up new segments within in the market. In any case, a business needs to keep evolving and innovate to stay afloat and beverage business isn’t any different.

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