The Bira Story
Ankur Jain, founder of Bira 91 returned to India in 2007
after working in a Health care in US. He started with importing a few beers to
get the hold of this sector as he had no prior experience in this business. Soon
after in 2014, Ankur realised that it is the time for them in introduce their
brand for the young urban Indias meanwhile focussing on taste, quality and
For him getting into this craft beer business was like going
on a blind date, since you don’t know whether you will find the right one or
not. The story of Bira is a simple but brilliant one and will leave us inspired.
The Decision of Craft
The wise decision of entering into beer sector was based on
facts. In 2014-15, Indians consumed 270 million cases of beer, where just 1%
was craft beer. Ankur saw an opportunity in this and formally launched Bira in
The Branding and
The team took almost 9 months to decide the product name,
design, colours used and the packaging etc. Biru is common name of beer in
Japan, so they changed it to Bira due to registration issues. Ankur claimed
that they did not want to be an ethnic brand and wanted to be a part of modern
With no deep logic, 91 was country code of India, B written
in reverse form is just a revolution to other beers available in the market.
Also according to the Bira team, the Monkey mascot plays a major role in early
success of the product. Again the logic is that most of us have a monkey inside
Bira91 was selling beers that we unique in design, colour
and most importantly taste. They aimed to provide a product which is unusual
and unconventional. Clear with their target market, they reached the young
Indian customer. The team played an intelligent role in the distribution of the
beer since direct ads of alcohol are banned. Initially they target Delhi and
Bangalore, and specifically the area where footfall of young urban Indian to
party is more than anywhere else.
“There was no marketing, no campaign. We made it available
in a few pubs like Beer café, Monkey bar, Raasta, pint room. People tasted it,
liked it and it went viral” said Ankur.
So the idea to not to do the campaigns and all and leaving
all the response to people worked. They gained a 30% share in a very short span
of time and that too without even spending a penny on traditional marketing.
They claimed Bira as a healthy drink, carrying 90 calories
in a 330ml bottle which was lower than a glass of Champagne, Breezers,
cocktails or wines. “Heck its lower than a glass of milk or orange juice”, said
their CEO. Branding their product as a healthy one to the young urban customer
(whom they know is conscious for his health and diet) is the smartest way to
position their product in healthy beers.
Outcome of its
“Beera has a phenomenal feedback from the customer and
people are really liking it” said the Beer café founder and CEO Rahul Singh.
All the strategy and hard worked responded well and soon
they managed to start a manufacturing unit each in Rajasthan and Maharashtra.
Meanwhile the growth reached to 10,000 cases only in Delhi-NCR area.
In 2016, they expanded their distribution to Mumbai,
Bangalore, Kolkata, Goa, Chandigarh and where not. Their penetration rate was
70% in their markets and growth rate was 30%.
Bira has some international business dreams as well:
“we want to become India’s first consumer brand to have
global footprints and aimed to sell it as a leading brand” said Ankur