How this 100+ year old Cola brand from India survived Pepsi and Coke attack

There are high chances that you might not have heard or seen this brand. But anyone who has either lived or been to Tamil Nadu will know about its popularity

Its a less fizzy cola with a grape fruit flavour which separates it from the crowd

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He named the company as Kalimark which meant colour in Tamil.

The drink gained popularity and shopkeepers started asking for more bottles. To keep up with the demand, he opened a small factory in Virudh Nagar.

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The business kept growing as they added a new factory every 4 years on an average with 7 factories in different parts of TN by 1940

1959 – The brand Bovonto is introduced for the main grape flavoured cola product. And company started getting recognised by this name later

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The new generations kept taking the company forward. Bovonto never relied on heavy advertising and didn’t rope in any celebrity for endorsements

The product was always in demand due to the great word of mouth with millions preferring it over other drinks

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1993 – Due to family issues, the company was split 8 ways among different cousins. That was the time when Coke and Pepsi were also making a come back in India

2000 – Having understood the challenge they were facing from Coke & Pepsi, the family members reunited to fight back

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Coke and Pepsi adopted very aggressive policies to push products like offering products on credit to retailers, giving free refrigerators & offering discounts

Bovonto didn’t try to match them & continued to sell its products on upfront cash & didn’t offer any extra incentives
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Instead of pushing the product, they relied on the popularity and demand for their product without compromising on their profitability

Even when Pepsi and Coke reduced the price of 300 ml bottle to 5 Rs, Bovonto continued selling at 8 Rs per bottle

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The sales stagnated during the late 90s and early 2000s because of competition but were able to hold on to their market share. All thanks to brand loyal customers

But in last decade, the company has grown its topline by 20% on avg & has hit 200 crores in revenues last year

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It has close to 14% market share in Tamil Nadu and sells close to 10000 cases with 24 bottles each daily

Bovonto has invested close to 150 crores to set up new plants & looks to expand in neighbouring states aggressively. Hopefully would see Bovonto soon on national stage

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