RASNA business story: Owing to the vast geographical extent of the nation, it becomes a daunting task to introduce tastes of one area with the rest of the country. But what if, someone properly capitalises the market of Indian flavour. Wouldn’t it be a way to make a fortune? Here is the business and success story of RASNA.
Here I will talk about one such MSME that not only took Indian flavour to every household but also took it to the world.
India’s loss is Foreign MNCs’ gain
After Independence, it was unfortunate that Indians got cut off from their traditional roots. They started developing a distaste for Indian flavours, drinks and delicacies. Very cleverly, the Foreign Multinational Corporations (MNCs) used their money and resources to flood the Indian market with their ‘cuisines’ and soft drinks.
For example the beverage market was captured by carbonated soft drinks like Thumbs up, Gold Spot and Limca. However, there was one family who made a firm resolve to change this scenario. It was the Ahmedabad-based Khambatta family that owned Pioma Industries.
RASNA showed the Exit door to Foreign Soft drink brands
In 1976, Pioma Industries launched a product named ‘Jaffe’ and started selling it regionally in Gujarat. In order to scale up, the family decided to have a familiar and easy name. The product was then renamed as ‘RASNA’ in 1979. For those unversed, Rasna is a Ready-to-serve soft drink concentrate. It was an immediate hit among every household.
Initially, Voltas was the main distributor of Rasna but after two years the Khambhatta family decided to end its ties. For a brief period Rasna had other distributors as well. But in the end, Khambatta family-owned Pioma Industries set up their own distribution infrastructure.
With their positive attitude and quality desi flavours, Rasna created a niche market of ready-to-serve soft drink concentrate and virtually dominated the market.
It has maintained its market dominance ever since. It has been royally kicking foreign brands like Tang (2001) and Coca-Cola’s Sunfill (2011) from the market. These foreign brands with their abundant resources tried to enter the Indian market. But in the end, they had to pack their bags after failing to survive in the market in front of Rasna. Reportedly, Rasna commands 80 per cent market share in the soft drink concentrate market.
Decoding the reasons for success story of RASNA business
Apart from its mouth-watering taste, following are the main reasons for Rasna’s success. First, it had smart, unique and well-planned advertisements. In the 1980s, DD broadcasted Rasna’s original ad campaign. Apparently, Rasna was one of the first brands that successfully saw ‘influencer’ in Children and made them a household name.
Evidently, the famous girl in the original ad was played by Ankita Jhaveri. She is now an actress in South India. Because of kids and colourful, easy made drinks in the ad, kids in the 80s easily related with the brand and soon, its catchy “I love you Rasna” tagline became the mantra for Indians particularly in summers.
Second, it consciously branded itself as a value for money proposition. Its Rs 5 pack would sell with a promise of filling 32 cups. However, it willfully avoided the negative image of being the “cheapest drink”.
Third, it kept adapting with the changing market trend and launched refreshing flavours in which some of its products /got success while others had to be shelved. In 2002, it launched juice products in the market. In 2010, it decided to enter the health drinks segment.
In 2019, Rasna changed its ways and started operating mock tail bars that offer a variety of products like soda-based drinks, milkshakes, Kala Khatta Buzz and sundaes. Now it operates over 40 mocktail bars across India under the brand ‘Rasna Buzz’.
Success or failure, Pioma Industries never refrained from experimenting and rebranding itself with new approaches and newer catchy ads and taglines.
Taking its taste to the World
The company mainly does business from India. It has five manufacturing facilities in Gujarat and one in Himachal Pradesh. It also maintains its presence outside India. Its manufacturing facilities are also located in Bangladesh, Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
With the immense success of Rasna and some other products, Pioma industries is now the world’s largest soft drink concentrate manufacturer. It has spread its business in 60 countries of the world.
It won’t be wrong to say that with Rasna Pioma Industries has set a success template of PM Modi’s Local to Global. If other players too take Indian flavours like Pioma did, it can make a great fortune for themselves. This was the success story of RASNA business.
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