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  • We have created new categories within strong beer - An interview with Soren Lauridsen, MD, Carlsberg India. (Posted on 11/03/2011)

Within five years of setting up domestic operations, Carlsberg India claims to be the third largest beer brand in the country (excluding the Tamilnadu market) with a share of 7% in the January to September 2010 period. Recognising that most Indian beer drinkers prefer the stronger varieties of the brew, Carlsberg has been quick to launch labels like Carlsberg Elephant, Tuborg, Tuborg Strong and Palone 8, in addition to its eponymous brand. The company is aggressively expanding capacity, recently acquired a sixth brewery in Dharuhera, Haryana and laid the foundation of its seventh brewery in Prakhand Bikram (near Patna). Soren Lauridsen, MD, Carlsberg India, spoke about the future plans of the company.

Globally , Carlsberg has products in different segments, but in India you have so far launched mostly strong beers. Is that the only segment you are focussed on for this market?
India is a unique market in which strong beers dominate with 85% of the market share. We are focussed only on this segment and have created the premium strong beer category in this country with the launch of Tuborg Strong in 2010. Later, with the launch of Carlsberg Elephant in 2011, we pioneered the super premium strong beer category.

These new categories are priced above the mainstream strong beers and have become the growth drivers for us. They provide consumers with better quality in the strong beer segment. Our competition too has been bringing in brands in these segments recently.

Which of your brands in India are the fastest growing?
All our brands - Carlsberg Green, Carlsberg Elephant, Tuborg Green, Tuborg Strong, and Palone 8 - have specific roles to play in the different segments they cater to. Tuborg is one of the fastest growing brands in the Indian beer market today with a 70% growth over the previous year. Tuborg Strong, which is a brand extention created specifically for India, has had a growth of over 100%. Apart from high quality, Tuborg has pioneered innovation with the introduction of the pull-off cap in the Indian market.

In terms of promotions, what kind of activities do you do in India?
This year Carlsberg India engaged in football and ran an extensive UEFA Euro campaign for the Indian market. Also, through Tuborg Strong Fungama Nights and Tuborg Zero VH1 Hip Hop Hustle music properties, we have engaged consumers by bringing leading personalities from the Indian and international music scene to perform here.

Which are the regions in India that are high growth?
Delhi, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, UP and Kerala are high growth markets for Carlsberg. We have plans to get into many tier 2 and tier 3 cities, which for us are deep markets. Through our premium and super premium strong beer brands we can provide quality products to consumers in small towns in India. Courtesy Economic Times

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