Alcohol Industry in India

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Alcohol Industry in India

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Alcohol Industry in India

  1. 1. Alcohol Industry in India 1. Introduction Alcohol industry looks after the manufacturing, distribution and sale of alcoholic drinks and beverages. It is one of the most criticized industries in the world since 1990s because of the harmful effects of the products manufactured by it and the policy of marketing deployed by it by using pharmaceutical industry and personnel to emphasize upon the health benefits of alcohol. The Indian alcohol industry is amongst the fastest growing industry in the world and occupies the 3rd position in comparison to the same industry in other countries. This industry has seen a major shift of consumption from the indigenous country liquor to Indian Manufactured Foreign Liquor because of the rising per capita income of Indian people and a change in their lifestyle. 2. Type of Market The alcohol industry in India is a quintessential example of oligopoly market (refer Fig. 2.1) witnessing presence of giant MNCs like Diageo, Pernord Ricard, Heineken, SAB Miller, et cetera. The products manufactured can be divided into the following categories: IMFL (Indian Manufactured foreign liquor) Foreign liquor bottled in India (BII) Foreign liquor bottled in Origin (BIO) Beer Wine Country liquor which includes cheap and spiced indigenous liquor Although Beer, Country liquor and IMFL occupies almost the same market share in volume but due to high price of IMFL it occupies almost 65% of market share in terms of value. Total market size of this industry in India is about $35 billion and is also showing a growth trend of 8% per annum. Another feature of oligopoly that is quite evident in Indian liquor industry is a unique form of elasticity. IMFL and beer is showing an almost constant growth of around 8% CAGR per annum but the growth isn’t divided uniformly over the products of different prices. For instance the growth is considerably higher in cheap to medium category of IMFL but the growth of high end products is comparatively negligible. The uniqueness in this type of elasticity lies in the fact that
  2. 2. if the prices are made higher, the demand doesn’t fall proportionately but the consumers shift to cheaper products leading to a mass abandonment of the recently price hiked one. This form of high elasticity results in the market giants locking horns with each other as each one of them try continuously to drop their prices for retaining and increasing their market shares. Fig. 2.1 (Pictorial depiction of how the number of firms and influence of each firm vary across different types of market structures) (www.freeconhelp.com, 2011) Table 2.1 (Comparison between Perfect market structureand Indian Alcohol industry) Characterstic Perfect Competitive Market Indian Alcohol Industry Market Buyers and Sellers This type of market includes Infinite number of buyers and sellers. Entry and Exit barriers In perfect markets there are no entry or exit barriers. Information Both the manufacturers and buyers have full information Although there are many players in the market, yet they are not infinite in any sense and neither are buyers. In Indian alcohol industry there are many barriers to both entry and exit of new players ranging from government policies to the presence of giants in the market already. Although manufacturers do have some of the information
  3. 3. regarding the manufacturing, quality, pricing and utility of the product. Homogeneity Rational buyers Impact of a single player regarding manufacturing, quality, pricing and utility even to the fullest but the buyers are not that much aware of the same. The quality and other The variation is quality and characterstics of the products characterstics of the product do not vary from one is substantial between manufacturer to the other. different manufacturers and even acts as the driving force in luring customers to buy the products. Buyers are completely This holds true in this rational in making decision as industry. The buyers are what to buy based on the rational and make almost the information available to them. best decision in buying of the product In perfect competition a single In Indian alcohol industry, due player cannot make any to the presence of giant substantial impact on the players, even a single player is market owing to the infinite capable of making huge number of the players impact to the market available. structure and even its size. (www.investopedia, 2013) In India the presence of alcohol industry is having a characterstic of an organized market but illicit activities are dominant especially in the case of country liquor. From the method of production to the distribution and even pricing are majorly done outside the spectrum of government laws and owing to its large market value of around Rs 2350 Crores it impacts the economy substantially. Black marketing and hidden marketing is highly prevalent in this industry because of the presence of several regional mafias in the distribution and manufacturing of country liquor. (www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com, 2012) 3. Government regulations The Indian liquor industry is characterized by heavy government regulations, may they be legal or economical.
  4. 4. 3.1. Legal -This industry is a State affair and hence every manufacturer needs to get licenses in every state they need to operate in and therefore there are few players which are literally national. -Separate licenses are required for production, bottling and distribution of the product, making it a herculean task for a not so well connected and impatient player. -FDI in this industry is 100% and when the case arises in which the owner is a foreign company but the investor is Indian, then the investment will require a prior approval of Foreign Investment Promotion Board and it will be for a given licensed capacity. To increase the investment, the investor will need a completely new approval -The licensing is done under the Industrial (Development and Regulation) Act, 1956. (www.economictimes.indiatimes.com, 2013) 3.2. Economical - Excise duty, Sales tax, Value Added Tax and various other duties impacts the pricing of the products to a great extent. Retail and distribution is strictly controlled by the government. Even the marketing of the products is banned, leading to surrogate marketing. Table 3.1 below shows the surrogate marketing tactics used by different liquor producers. (www.economictimes.indiatimes.com, 2013) Table 3.1 (Different alcoholic beverages companies and the surrogate marketing done by them)
  5. 5. (compiled by the author) 4. Market scenario The Indian alcohol industry is an industry involving high risks.This risk originates from high level of duties and taxation imposed on the industry by the government. This has a major impact on price flexibility leading to not so strong financial profiles and below par margins. The key factor in making a liquor manufacturer a successful player in the market is the ability to govern and control its operations in various states across the country when the duties governing the liquor industry varies from state to state. Further, molasses, an ingredient used to manufacture Indian spirits, is another highly sensitive issue in the country and as state governments generate major revenues from this industry therefore the taxes and duties imposed on alcohol manufactures are unlikely to reduce. Although various commitments are made to the WTO recently and new multinational brands are emerging in the market but thanks to the heavy duty and taxation, the market isn’t flooded with inferior quality imports owing to its fears of high risks in the market. Although as discussed above, there are a lot of hurdles if one wants to come out with flying colors in Indian alcohol industry but certain key features are also there which could help the players gaining an edge over each other: Brand A strong brand name doesn’t only help manufacturers to maintain their market share but also allows them to charge premium rates. Their stronghold acts as a barrier for new brands which could threaten them and is also a major factor in their expansion and growth. The strength of their brand name is measured according to the “millionaire brands” they own (it refers to the brands which sells in the magnitude of a million cases every year) and the actual volume sold. Geographical diversity As this industry is marred by umpteen number of laws which varies from state to state, so a player having market share and stronghold in many states holds greater advantage. The advantage is that the change of the policy of a single state doesn’t effects the company to a great extent. And moreover the sale of products to the Canteen Stores Depot of the defense services adds up their market share as CSDs are a major role player in increasing the market share of alcohol companies.
  6. 6. Product diversity The diversity of the products manufactured also plays a major role in defining a company’s standpoint in the market. The presence of the company in various alcoholic products gives the company an advantage of withstanding the change of preference by customers, moreover the presence of the company owned products in different price segments also helps the company in maintaining its market share even when price hikes are in effect and further the company needs to have a huge share in whiskey market as it is the fastest growing sector in liquor industry and also holds the biggest market share. (www.businesswire.com, 2011) 5. International Impact Indian alcohol industry attracts a lot of foreign attention. The demand of whiskey is declining around the world while the demand of beer is increasing, but as seen in Fig. 5.1, the scenario in India is quite opposite, hence, India has become a cynosure for giant manufacturers with strong whiskey brands. This factor of the rise in demand experiences a synergistic effect by the large amount of disposable income in the subcontinent. Further the sale of beer in India is expected to grow in the near future, reason being the liberalization of beer products (de-linking with IMFL), which has already been implemented in some Indian states like U.P., Himachal Pradesh and Maharashtra. Wine industry is also looking forward to follow the lead of beer products in the upcoming years. Fig. 5.1 (The year wise growth in consumption of Whiskey in comparison to that of beer in India)
  7. 7. Year (www.npr.org, 2010) Big multinational players like Diageo and Allied Domecq have already made a place in the Indian market. They have also started to introduce their promising scotch brands by entering the market as joint ventures following the BII route. However, their leading and elsewhere highly successful brands are made available through the BOI route whose sales returns can only rise if the duties and taxes imposed on them are reduced substantially. Joint ventures with powerful parent MNCs have advantages in many areas: -they have a big brand name to relate to -advance technology for blending is easily accessible -they have the potential of worldwide campaigning -they enjoy top of the class managerial leadership Regardless of all these advantages, however, foreign players haven’t been able to make a substantial difference in the business of domestic players, reasons being: - Concentration on high end customers Myopic focus on niche Relatively recent arrival in the market (www.businesswire.com, 2011)
  8. 8. 6. Consumer trends: -The IMFL category is mostly dominated by whiskey. India is the largest market of whiskey in the world and 6 out of 7 top selling brands worldwide (by volume) are Indian. -In case of the beer category,strong beer is more preferred by the Indians,almost 80% of beer sold belongs to the strong section. -Indian alcohol industry has also shown a unique market feature, statistically it appears that the market is attracted more towards better quality and high costs.This key feature is termed as Premiumization, towards which major players are working indefatigably. -White spirits have shown the fastest growth in the past few years, with vodka showing a growth rate of more than 25% per annum. -Wine is the slowest growing category in India with Maharashtra and Karnataka as the leading manufacturer as well as consumer of the same owing to the taxation laws in these states. (www.npr.org, 2013)
  9. 9. Reference: 1. Businesswire (2011) ‘Research and Markets: Alcohol Market in India 2011 - With a SWOT, PEST & Key Player Analysis for the Alcohol Market in India 2011’ (online) (cited 30 August 2011) . Available from <URL: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20110829005102/en/ResearchMarkets-Alcohol-Market-India-2011--> 2. Investopedia (2013) ‘Economics Basics: Monopolies, Oligopolies and Perfect Competition’ (online) (cited 2013).Available from <URL: http://www.investopedia.com/university/economics/economics6.asp> 3. NPR (2013) ‘That's The Spirit: Why Indians Prefer Strong Beer, Liquor’ (online) (cited 25 September 2013). Available from <URL: http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2013/09/25/226065877/thats-the-spirit-whyindians-prefer-strong-beer-liquor> 4. The Economic Times (2013) ‘Inflation, slowdown and rise in taxes make liquor consumption in India a costly affair’ (online) (cited 17 September 2013). Available from <URL: http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2013-0917/news/42148766_1_liquor-prices-liquor-sales-imfl> 5. The Economic Times (2013) ‘Whisky: Single malts replace traditional blended Scotch as tipple of choice’ (online) (cited 9 June 2013).Available from <URL:http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/features/sunday-magazine/whisky-singlemalts-replace-traditional-blended-scotch-as-tipple-ofchoice/articleshow/20495994.cms> 6. The Times of India (2012) ‘Alcoholic beverage market’ (online) (cited 2012). Available from <URL: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/topic/alcoholic-beveragemarket/news/>

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