Thursday, January 11, 2007

Glaceau and the TATAs

The most popular brand in India is probably TATA. A household name TATA is taking confident steps to have a bigger global presence. TATA group consists of 96 (yes 96!) companies in seven business sectors: information systems and communications; engineering; materials; services; energy; consumer products; and chemicals. The TATA group of companies with it’s ‘let’s globalize’ agenda is in tune with the opportunities offered by the globalization trend.

The Tata Group is one of India's largest and most respected business conglomerates, with revenues in 2005-06 of $21.9 billion (Rs 967,229 million), the equivalent of about 2.8 per cent of the country's GDP, and a market capitalisation of $51.3 billion. Tata companies together employ some 202,712 people. The Group has 28 publicly listed enterprises.

A great website for any netizen is On this web spot is the announcement of a path breaking global move of purchase of 30% controlling stake of Glaceau. This has been a low profile; noiseless and very successful take over of Glaceau a US company concentrating on innovating, manufacturing and marketing of value added waters.

The web site of Glaceau is great and the writings on the site can’t be copied – it is written in a witty inimitable style too. What comes across is that the company founder J Darius Bikoff is a very shrewd person. There are tongue-in-cheek & very humorous repartees to mouse clicks on the web site.

The company Glaceau was formed in 1996 (the year dolly was cloned(!) says the website!!) The company claims to have invented the enhanced water category and produces include vitaminwater®, which is nutrient-enhanced, smartwater® which is electrolyte-enhanced, and fruitwater®, which is flavour-enhanced. There is an explosive demand for these products due to the revolutionary wellness and health trend in the American market. Glaceau has addressed this trend and capitalized on the trend for great financial success.

In fact Mr. KrishnaKumar Tata Tea Managing Director and Mr. Ratan Tata Chairman of Tata Sons had made it abundantly clear that they would be constantly titrating to the questions: in which business are we in & who are our customers? It is in light of these statements that the purchase of 30% shares in Glaceau makes sense. The Tata management had decided on hiving off the tea plantations of Munnar to a separate worker managed company as the plantations were financially haemorrhaging. Today Tata Tea is redefining itself as the beverages company. The purchase of Glaceau will give powers to the Tata’s to nominate its Chairman. Glaceau is a great fit and contributes vitally, an emerging business to the Tata global business portfolio.

Now this is being innovative. This is responding to the dynamic market challenges positively and not being inured to change. Today Business is @ the speed of thought. One has to be fleet footed and quicksilver in responding to market changes. Tata is the Indian fleet footed elephant.


No comments: