An opportunity to think back, think deep and think ahead: Prabhtej Singh Bhatia
There are several lessons and takeaways from 2020, a momentous year of major disruptions, global shutdowns, and an economic rollercoaster due to COVID-19. Adgully brings its annual review of the year gone by, wherein industry experts analyse the most significant developments and trends of the year and their implications on the coming year as well.
Prabhtej Singh Bhatia, CEO, Simba Craft Beer, looks back at the performance of the alco-bev industry, the massive challenges that it faced in 2020, as well as the encouraging road to recovery.
Developments & disruptions
As we end the year, things have been moving in a positive direction and Simba Craft Beer is already back to last year’s numbers. With consumer confidence slowly making a return, we are seeing a national surge in sales because of which we are optimistic about the future. A major development this year has been that now more than ever people are paying attention to quality and premium products. This has, in fact, benefited Simba’s premium products such as Simba WIT and Lager gain ground. The current health crisis has impacted consumers across industries and the alco-bev industry is no exception to the impact. However, these tough times have given each of us an opportunity to think back, think deep and think ahead. By brainstorming a little everyday over our previous performance, we were able to focus on smaller things that may have been ignored earlier, such as research allocation, people allocation, internal and external channels, etc. We are building on strategies for the near future with the aim of yielding more successful results.
With this, we were able to expand our offerings. Ahead of the festive season Simba collaborated with likeminded home-grown artisanal brands to diversify its offerings by introducing new playing cards along with first-of-its-kind limited edition beer-infused chocolates, candles, and gourmet dips and sauces.
Changes in consumer behaviour
Over the years, Simba has been able to instill immense trust among its consumers, because of which Simba’s demand is back even before the competitors. The company’s ability to consistently deliver good quality product over the years has already led to a surge in a genuine consumer base. Customers today indulge in intensive research before consuming a particular product and Simba has done well on that front. The limited outdoor movement has driven people to explore and try new things to break the monotony. Given the current scenario, as people explore new avenues, slowly and steadily there has been an increased growth in lower alcohol level and healthy products segment in the alco-bev industry, aimed towards the health-conscious consumers. These trends will be major drivers in the upcoming years in the alco-bev industry.
Outlook for 2021
We should expect a double-digit growth next year for the Indian economy. If all goes well, then the next year is probably going to be one of the best years for the liquor industry in India. The Government plays a huge role when it comes to recovery. We are hopeful that the upcoming months will bring some relief for the beer industry as currently the beer industry is taxed more heavily even though they are selling lower content alcohol goods.
Given the current circumstances, we will be focusing on expanding our digital footprint by making our limited edition products available to our consumers online. We are also optimistic about foraying into new segments in the coming years. The company is looking to tap newer markets, especially in South India. We will also add new variants to its current portfolio.
Moreover, we will continue to focus on music, supporting and providing a platform to upcoming talent. Consumers can expect a series of cool and insightful podcasts and webinars to connect with audiences digitally. We will also continue our ‘Roar from Home’ series – a set of cool virtual gigs with independent music artistes. However, winters are still ahead of us and if the alco-bev industry can meet last year’s numbers by the end of this year, then that is a great place to be.