Veteran industrialist Ramesh Chauhan on Thursday said he is looking for a buyer for his packaged water business. Bisleri International and is in talks with several players including Tata Consumer Products Limited.
In a regulatory filing, the Tata group firm also said that it is in discussion with Bisleri International for growth and expansion of the company’s business. However, the 82-year-old pioneer of the Indian packaged water business denied reports that a deal worth Rs 7,000 crore has been struck with Tata Consumer Products Limited (TCPL).
Asked why he was selling the lucrative business, the eighty-year-old business leader told PTI that he needed someone to look after and handle the business and his daughter Jayanthi was not interested in handling the business.
Jayanthi Chauhan is the only child of the business leader. After completing high school, Chauhan joined the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles to study product development, after which she pursued fashion styling at the Istituto Marangoni Milano. She also studied Fashion Styling and Photography from the London College of Fashion and has a degree in Arabic from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. He is currently the Vice President at Bisleri.
JRC, as she is popularly known, joined the company at the age of 24. He also played a key role in automation of the company’s Delhi plant. It has also restructured departments like HR, sales and marketing to create a stronger team. He took charge of the Mumbai office in 2011.
He is credited with streamlining the operations of Bisleri Mineral Water, Himalaya Se Vedika Natural Mineral Water (luxury segment), fizzy fruit drinks and Bisleri Hand Purifiers.
Ramesh Chauhan also said that the group is in discussion with several potential buyers. Asked about reports that he has agreed to sell his business to a Tata group firm, Bisleri International Chairman Chouhan said, “It is not correct… We are still in discussion.” Meanwhile, TCPL also said that whenever such a requirement arises, it will make appropriate announcements in compliance with the guidelines. Later in a media statement, a Bisleri International spokesperson said: “We are in discussions at this time and cannot disclose further.”
Three decades ago, Chauhan sold the soft drinks business to the American beverage company The Coca-Cola Company. He transferred brands such as Thums Up, Gold Spot, Citra, Maaza and Limca to the Atlanta-headquartered firm in 1993. Of these brands, Thums Up has already become a billion-dollar brand and Coca-Cola expects fruit drinks brand Maza to also become a billion-dollar brand by 2024.
If TCPL’s deal with Bisleri goes through, it is going to turn the Tata group firm into a leader in the fast-growing bottled water sector. TCPL is already present in the bottled water segment with its brand Himalayan, which is selling packaged mineral water. Apart from this, it is also present in the hydration segment with Tata Copper Plus Water and Tata Gluco.
Read also: Bought for Rs 4 lakh, sold for Rs 7,000 crore! Bisleri in 1969 and Bisleri in 2022