Packaged Bottled Water in India-Creating a Tsunami of Profits


Water for sale… a never ending market nation wide

Packaged-Bottled-Water-in-India“Water” without an iota of doubt is the lifeline for any living being. There is a requirement of water content of a specific amount for all living things earth and this quantity is a must on a daily basis for their endurance. Availability of water is a serious issue as the atmospheric changes have made it tough for all to avail the required quantity of water, particularly for drinking purpose which is absolutely irreplaceable. India like other countries is a population exploring nation and is starring at a serious water deficiency problem. However, the industry for bottled water selling companies has picked up as even after more than 65 years of achieving independence, availing drinking water is still an uphill task for many.

According to the 2011 records, there is a large chunk of 17% of households which has to carry drinking water from a resource located a minimum of 100 meters away from their living locations. This situation prevails in the urban areas, whereas in the villages the scene is even grimmer. The populations in the rural locations travel 500 meters or even farther from their dwelling locations on a daily basis just to quench their thirst. Talking of the freshwater source availability, in the year 1947 there was a massive quantity of 6042 cubic meters which has drastically come down to 1588 cubic meters by the year 2010. If the experts are to be believed; this tally may go further down below a 1000 cubic meters by the end of this century. Thus, the entire country is likely to face a large scale water scarcity catastrophe sooner or later in time.

It is quite understandable that bottled water companies are making hay out of the dry conditions. The bottled water industry in India is witnessing sky high revenues and is expected to grow beyond as the years go by. The industry is growing with a CAGR of a monstrous 19% and the country has gone up to become the world’s 10th largest bottled water industry. The industry is making heavy profits, as per the reports from 2010 it had a revenue recorded of about US$ 250mn which is predicted to surpass a figure of US$ 1.3bn by the period of 5 to 6 years. Therefore, the industry is eyeing a huge income growth by the year 2020.

Taking in account the global bottled water industry, it is valued at more than US$ 90 bn with a growth rate of more than 45% in a speedy span 5 years. The market at large is dominated by the organized players that cover about 80% of the business, leaving the unorganized (small players) with the remaining 20%.  In India, the market is segmented and shared between three types of bottled water sellers, the national brands which have a PAN INDIA presence. This segment has a market of around Rs.4, 000 crores. The other two segments consist of the local brands and the unorganized sellers who have their selling base in registered areas (stipulated regions) and tiny pockets respectively.  The registered players have a market of about 2,400 crores and the small sellers acquire a notable share of 1,600 crores. These figures are sufficient indicators of the growth potential that is possible for the industry in India.

The non-traditional category or the bulk packs (5 liters and above) are a massive success as they have a higher growth advantage. Its share in the total bottled water industry is already estimated at an enormous 40% and is very soon is prepared to dominate more than half of the total market. This is clearly due to the rise in their use in homes, offices and educational institutions. According to the industrial study, the southern states of India are prominent consumers of the bottled water market due to the hard hitting water scarcity conditions they face for most of the months in a year.