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Editor's Choice

India : The Biggest Water Market In The World

Hi ! Investors !!

India certainly beckons you at least for one reason -because this is one of the biggest water markets in the world.The overall water market is growing at 15-20 percent per annum. A $ 287 billion global water market into India is projected to expand and even if this target is reached within a decade, according to a report recently published by the Delhi office of the international NGO, WaterAid,, "29% of the rural population, or 244 million people, and 23% of the urban population, or 90 million people, would still lack access to adequate safe, sustainable water".

As per William Brennan, Portfolio Manager of the Praetor Global Water Equities Fund and Managing Director of Equities at Boenning and Scattergood - "India right now, especially with the technology centers that are being built, will have a real driving force in the global water business as far as infrastructure, water delivery, membrane filtration and chemical use. China, on the other hand, has really emerged as a significant player in the water market over the last two years. As China goes through its industrialization, they will become more and more dependent on fresh water and will become a significant consumer of water and related products and services".

Dr. Uday Lal Pai, a well known financial writer based in India, says - "Packaged drinking water, which is nothing but treated water, is the biggest segment and includes brands such as Parle Bisleri, Coca-Cola's Kinley and PepsiCo's Aquafina. While the single largest share in the mineral water market might still belong to an Indian brand -- Parle's $52 million Bisleri brand has a 40 percent share -- multi-national corporations are not far behind. Nestle and Danone are vying to purchase Bisleri, and Pepsi's Aquafina and Coke's Kinley brands have been extremely successful in edging out many of the small and medium players to buy-outs and exclusive licensing deals.Kinley and Aquafina are fast catching up, with Kinley holding 20-25 per cent of the market and Aquafina approximately 11 per cent. The rest, including the smaller players, have 20-25 per cent of the market share. News reports indicate that other MNCs like Unilever are also eying the market.
Currently, Kinley is being manufactured in 15 bottling plants across the country and according to Coca-Cola India President Alex von Behr, Coke had invested nearly $1 billion in India between entering the market in 1993 and December 2001. Behr says that Coke expects a significant portion of our turnover to be accounted by pure water business.
Almost all major national and international brands have taken a plunge. Parle's Bisleri that virtually monopolized the bottled water market is now vying with Nestle, Coca Cola, PepsiCo, Manikchand, UB and Britannia. According to a national-level study, there are close to 200 bottled water brands in India. Nearly 80 per cent of these are local brands.Premium natural mineral water includes brands such as Evian, San Pelligrino and Perrier, which are imported and priced between $2 - 2.5 a litre. Natural mineral water, with brands such as Himalayan and Catch, is priced around 40 cents a liter.
The Indian bottled water market, which has more than 250 brands, is expected to undergo a major consolidation phase, and the need for standards and regulations is of great importance, according to Ita Thaher, Secretary General of the Asian Bottle Water Association (ABWA).
She said that the Indian bottled water market is valued at more than $250 million and is growing at a rate of 60 per cent.
The major growth in packaged water, however, was in the bulk water segment. According to estimates, bulk water packs of 20 liters, targeted at the institutional and home segments, grew at a rate of 30-40% in 2002 alone. Bisleri re-invented its 20-litre jumbo home pack, fitted with a spout, to acquire a more 'consumer-friendly' image.According to industry estimates, the main consumers of packaged water are no longer restricted to the upper class but include middle class and lower-middle class families as well. The 'rural' market is currently dominated by tourists and travelers; packaged water is now beginning to be seen as an essential appendage to any form of travel."

So, no doubt it's a wake up call for Indian Investors too and investing in Water & Waste Water Management will certainly be very very worthfull.


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