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Contents

SUMMARY ............................................................................................................................................... 2
WHAT IS A CRAFT BEER? ......................................................................................................................... 3
ABOUT BIRA ............................................................................................................................................ 3
BIRAS GROWTH ...................................................................................................................................... 3
INDIAN MARKET ...................................................................................................................................... 5
CONCLUSION........................................................................................................................................... 6
SUMMARY
The article is about the inception of Bira 91; how a New Delhi-based entrepreneur Ankur Jain
(36), CEO of B9 beverages (owns Bira 91) came across the idea of successfully mass producing
a craft beer. He believed that the unique lemony/tangy taste of Bira will be a tremendous hit
among all the Indian beer enthusiast. And he was right, because since the inception, Biras
volume sales have doubled every quarter. Being the first mover in Indian market to mass
produce craft beer Jain had very less difficulty in finding investors.

The article starts by highlighting the current status of the brand and then goes on to describe as
of how Bira is able to reach where it is now.
WHAT IS A CRAFT BEER?

Craft beer is produced at a small scale (in microbreweries), using traditional methods and
innovative ingredients; often they are sold at the brewery itself.

ABOUT BIRA

Bira 91Bira does not really mean anything, while 91 is Indias international telephone code.
Not happy with the standard of breweries he came across in India, Jain decided to lease one in
the Flanders region of Belgium, and import the brew into India, till he found a suitable brewery
in this country. The beer is available in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune, Goa and Kolkata,
and was launched in New York in Summer 2016, where Jain has set up an office with a small
team.

For the Indian market the company has leased a brewery in Indore and is planning to come up
with a dedicated brewery in Mysuru. The Belgium brewery will continue to supply to the US
market where the beer is sold on-tap, and in bottles and cans.

BIRAS GROWTH
The idea of Bira 91, lies in the US craft beer movement that Jain witnessed while working.
(The Boston Beer Companys report says that the US, at present, has more than 4,000
independent breweries, with 700 new craft breweries opening in 2015.) Jain moved to Chicago
in 1998 to study computer science at the Illinois Institute of Technology. After getting his
degree, he moved to New York in 2002 to work with Motorola. He left Motorola after a year
to co-found a health care management startup, Reliant MD, which he sold in 2007. Jain, visited
the brewery every Saturday afternoon. His liking for craft beer grew so much, that he was soon
converted from an avid vodka drinker to a beer enthusiast.

When Jain moved back to India in 2007, the first thing that struck him was that there was no
beer worth drinking in the country. That is when he got thinking about a craft beer brand for
the Indian market. It was in 2009-10 that Jain founded Cerana Beverages, a company that
imported and distributed craft beer brands from Belgium, Germany and the US. The beer was
available in 330 ml bottles and sold in Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru; most of them were
priced between Rs 300 and Rs 600. The attempt was to figure out what the Indian consumer
really liked.
In 2013, he started making one of these imported beers available on-tap across 10 bars and
restaurants in Delhi. Sales increased by 25%. The higher demand for beer on-tap, was because
consumers at bars and restaurants perceived it to be a fresher, and a more authentic way to
drink beer.

By May 2014, Jain transformed from being an importer and distributor to a manufacturer. He,
however, chose to import his brew from Belgium, a country well-known for its craft beers. By
October that year, Akhil Dhawan and his brother Ashish Dhawan made an angel investment of
an undisclosed amount in their personal capacities in Jains beer business.

We were a little biased here, because we are beer drinkers ourselves and, selfishly, we liked
the product, says Akhil (40). The Dhawan bothers have invested an additional undisclosed
amount of capital into B9 Beverages (name changed from Cerana Beverages), during its Series
A funding.
INDIAN MARKET
In India, craft beer is associated with the indigenous beers produced at various microbreweries
that have flourished in metros across the country in the last five to six years. Taste apart, the
other difference between Bira 91 and an indigenous microbrewery brewed beer is in the scale
of production.

Bira 91 has been able to sell at retail stores since they do not own any microbrewery, and hence
the laws that apply to microbreweries selling their own brew do not apply to them. Bira 91 is
the first mover to sell at liquor retail stores.

United Breweries, maker of Kingfisher beer, dominates the market with a 51.5 percent share,
followed by global giants SABMiller (21 percent) and Carlsberg (12.5 percent).
According to Ankur Jain, Bira 91 has been effectively doubling its volumes every quarter,
since its debut in 2015, and believes the Indian market is ripe for disruption.

For now, even as Bira 91 transitions itself from being brewed in Belgium to being brewed in
India, which comes with its own risks, Jain is chasing two goals: By 2020 he wants Bira 91 to
emerge as a leading brand in the premium beer category as well as an established Indian
consumer beer brand with a global footprint.
CONCLUSION
Ankur Jain was very quick to create the market or rather expand the market of craft beers in
India. He saw an opportunity and grabbed it. Being a beer enthusiast himself he could think
from the consumers perspective and this helped him in devising strategies and growth plan.

United Breweries believes that craft beer appeals to only a lesser segment of the Indian beer
market but according to Sanjay Jain, director at Taj Capital, a boutique investment advisory
firm based in New Delhi states that craft beers are disrupting the beer market place and some
of the bigger established players, who are constrained with their traditional business models,
may eventually acquire a craft beer brand.