Neeraj Kakkar, James Nuttall, Suhas Misra, and Neeraj Biyani teamed to start Hector Beverages that produces Tzinga a natural energy drink priced at Rs.20 with a contemporary packaging (spout pouch) to compete with products by global beverage companies that are positioned at high price points.
Hector beverages has raised Rs.16 crore as part of initial investments by Catamaran Venture Fund, Footprint Ventures and other angel investors.
The company is also planning to expand to all major cities in India and aims to reach the top 35 in three years.
Talking about the fizzy drink market, Neeraj Kakkar, CEO, said, the countercultural movement is quite nascent in India. The average consumer is still quite susceptible to high voltage advertising. The makers of fizzy drinks rely heavily on emotional messages delivered by celebrities from Bollywood and cricket rather than on the functional value of the products themselves.
There has been a movement of young consumers away from such products to more meaningful beverages but in India we have not seen that yet. However, such a movement happening in India is only a matter of time- with increasing global exposure and education.
“Our strategy is to put the best possible product out there consistently and sooner where consumers will see the value. We also have a direct connect with consumers which enabled our Facebook page with 3,65,000+ followers and have a conversation with our consumers on all the time. A simple test would be to write to Tzinga (on Facebook) and to any of the other major beverage brands — our answer will be invariably faster, and more importantly, will be more honest,” he said.
The 150-employee company is growing its volumes by more than 10 per cent month on month. It is also starting up a second manufacturing plant in Hosur, Tamil Nadu. The first plant was set up in Manesar industrial area in Gurgaon last year. The company is differentiating from its competitors with its natural ingredients and is also mainly targeting 18-25 age groups.