JUST THINK FOR A MOMENT... WHICH IS THE LARGEST ORALLY CONSUMED SUBSTANCE? IS IT SUGAR, COFFEE, TEA, RICE, BEER, ... IT IS OF COURSE - WATER - EITHER DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY THROUGH OTHER FOODS AND BEVERAGES.
WATER IS ORALLY, THE MOST CONSUMED SUBSTANCE. SO LOGIC DICTATES THAT THIS BASIC SUBSTANCE OF LIFE SHOULD BE THE LARGEST BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY!! IT ONLY REQUIRES SOME IDEAS AND CONCEPTS TO BRING FORTH A NEW MOMENTUM IN THE DRINKING WATER BUSINESS.
THE DRINKING WATER BUSINESS IS AN EVERGREEN BUSINESS. AS LONG AS THE HUMAN BEING LIVES, THERE WILL BE A NEED FOR WATER, AS PLAIN WATER, COLD WATER, FORTIFIED WATER, WATER-IN-BEER, WATER-IN-TEA, WATER-IN-COFFEE, WATER-WITH-SODA ETC.
Momentum is an important word in business. Momentum implies change, it indicates a sequence of events. And the right momentum in businesses leads to increased profits and customer delight – the two important end points of every business activity. Creating momentum in business activities makes exceptional growth of business possible. So the concept is 'momentum leadership'.
Packaged and Drinking Water Business in India
Water is at an exciting phase of business activity in India. Earlier the emphasis in India was provision of clean and potable water through the drinking water taps. Then came the packaged drinking water concept to the masses. And along with it the water purifier equipment market grew. Today, this emphasis continues – however, parts of the drinking water market in India are ready for a momentum – something new to take it forwards. To create the buzz and expand the market further.
The packaged water drinking market is slated to shoot to Rs. 10000 crores by 2010. Bisleri and Bailey dominate. However, this market is commoditized with lots of regional players. The market is set to expand further, given the fact that prosperity levels are increasing, health consciousness is ever increasing, and along with it aspiration levels in India are also on the rise. The confidence on the growth of the packaged drinking water is also because comparatively, South East Asian countries with a similar climate profile and a smaller population have a larger market for packaged drinking water!
Water purification systems like Aquagard, Kent RO, and Pure It are creating waves and the market is increasing fast. In fact, Pure It has targeted doctor clinics. Pure It is kept in patient waiting rooms, where the product serves to fulfil the thirst needs of patients and is a great advertisement for the product too, since the opinion builders of Indian society on healthcare products, ie., doctors themselves use the product.
Modern lifestyle is characterized by a sedentary lifestyle, increased creature comforts - conveniences, comforts and luxuries; and increased consumption of fatty foods, sugar, salt, and meat. And this has led to the so called lifestyle diseases – cancer, diabetes, atherosclerosis, and endothelial dysfunction (which are vascular diseases – in the former blood vessels become inflamed, hardened, thick, with loss of elasticity; the latter is the first stage of atherosclerosis, where in the inner most layer of blood vessels become dysfunctional). In fact, obesity particularly abdominal obesity too is a disease of the modern society.
The modern era has redefined the consumption of water. Water with caffeine and kola nut ext., ie., the cola drinks sell in large volumes. The energy drinks market too is promising. Thus, the need for water in various forms or avatars is universal. Water is indeed great business, and a very profitable one provided it undergoes value addition. Today, packaged drinking water and the mineral water business is ever expanding. Besides, water purification systems like Pure It and Aquagard have created a water business segment in the home segment. Today, the drinking water business is mature enough to evolve further value added segments.
Fortification of food and water
Fortification of food is a well established approach. Fortification creates talking points for the brand and consumer pull. For instance, folic acid fortification in bread is an approach that has contributed to avoiding neural tube defects.
The Indian packaged drinking water market and the water purifier market is ready for WATER FORTIFICATION.
Water fortification is the addition of micronutrients to packaged water or through water purifiers to create additional value in the water for the customer, so that the products can command premium pricing and ensure higher customer delight.
The most common concept is water fortification with vitamins. These vitaminized waters have a health attribute. Flavor is an important tool to increase water consumption, satisfy thirst, and enhance 'water brand loyalty'. Flavor comes through natural and artificial sources. Flavor, salts (including common salt), minerals, vitamins, and other micronutrients can create a product to ensure brand differentiation and strengthen brand markets. In fact, the category of electrolyte energy drinks is an avatar of the basic need of humanity - water. After all, which mother wouldn't like to give her children vitaminized waters, or which wife wouldn't want her husband to drink healthy waters?!
Water fortification has gone to a new high in USA. There are special branded waters for menopausal women, for heart patients, and even special waters for enhancing sex activity!
An open for all market in India: the Eldorado is waiting to be tapped!
The demand by the market to use water as a medium to deliver micronutrients and functional ingredients will only increase in India, as prosperity and health consciousness rises. Today, this enhanced waters market is an open field in India. There is an opportunity of first-mover advantage available for the bold and entrepreneurial pioneers. The trick is to enter through opinion builders and the OTX format. So you look to healthcare professionals to indirectly or directly endorse and recommend the product, and look for over-the-counter sales and 'through prescription' (a-la-Revital) sales. This will create the demand and the market pull. The market is there for cherry picking!!
India is the home to the largest diabetic population. And these people are health conscious. Many of them are obese. This segment is susceptible to diabetic complications like kidney damage, and eye damage. These patients are already primed to receive healthcare concepts - so products like antioxidant waters, vitaminized waters, or waters with extracts that help reduce blood sugar (eg., Gurmar or Gymnema sylvestra extracts in water) or waters with extracts to help slim (eg., Malabar tamarind or Garcinia cambogia extracts in water)... will find takers in the diabetic segment.
India is also a home for cardiovascular diseases. And here is the Magnesium in water concept. The advantage is a fund of good benefits of magnesium (along with calcium) in atherosclerosis. Or one can consider heart friendly herbal extracts in water.
Can water purification systems use water fortification strategies? The answer is YES! The concept is to have a system to have a dispenser put in contact with the water in the purifier, that will slowly diffuse out water soluble vitamins like Vitamin C and low levels of folic acid or vitamin B complex (provided taste is not unpalatable). The blessing is that water soluble vitamins will not cause toxicity. Particularly Vitamin C is required in high amounts and can even slow down aging through antioxidant action. There! You have antiaging water through a water purifier!! The technology is already available. Consider Flushkleen, this product is a system that has a dispenser which is put in to the flush tank. The dispenser slowly releases the antiseptic substance and pigment through diffusion out of the dispenser. The same system can be applied to permit diffusion of water soluble vitamins from the dispenser in to the water purifier's water tank. This is a concept I am elucidating. This addition to Aquagard, or Kent will only increase its importance in a home. So one can expect this water purifier home appliance to be as ubiquitous as the iron box, TV, washing machine or refrigerator, when the health benefits are appreciated by the target buyers.
Value addition in water has, as we see above, a vast scope. WATER FOR LIFE AND WATER FOR A GOOD BUSINESS!!
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