Beer is the second most popular alcoholic beverage in India after whiskey. However, the beer industry faces challenges due to high taxation as well as relatively higher prices compared to other spirits. The distribution of beer across the country’s 28 states is hampered by stringent regulations, import duties, and the ban on its advertising. Nevertheless, beer producers see this as an opportunity.
Avneet Singh, chief executive officer of Medusa Beverages, says that the idea of starting his business was to support the millennial consumers looking for new tastes and flavors in the Indian market. The idea of starting Gurdaspur-based Medusa Beverage brewed in 2017, with its first craft beer successfully launched in Delhi in January 2018.
Since Singh was aware of the Indian beer market, his objective was to create a good quality beer at an affordable price. When Medusa managed to sell three lakh cans in Delhi only in the first year, he proved that craft beer could have a significant demand across the country. The brand posted a revenue of Rs 70 crore in the first year, and to date, it has posted a revenue of Rs 150 crore.
Singh believes that good beer will always be a champion in the Indian market. According to him, Medusa beer is capable of leaving a long-lasting impact on the consumer. “The energy and passion that goes into its making define it as the perfect brew for creating a fun, light-hearted atmosphere. Medusa beer is made from the finest and freshest ingredients. We import the best quality hops from Germany with 5.9% alcohol strength, and our barley malt is processed right here at home.”
Medusa uses brewing house and state-of-the-art technology provided by Ziemann Holvrieka. The brewery at Gurdaspur is spread over 16 acres and approved by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). Understanding the importance of food safety in his operations, Singh says, “We maintain high standards in our factory. We constantly monitor and review the quality of our product as well as processes.”
Medusa beer is available in retail outlets in cities, including Delhi, Punjab, and Chandigarh. Singh believes that the Indian beer market is immense and has excellent potential, “We aim to expand our business in India at first. We have our own logistics company, JS Logitech, for distributing our products, which helps us reach distributors all over the country.”
Although there are many players in this market, Medusa can position itself well in the market because the company has targeted a differentiated segment. “Medusa is a strong premium beer. It’s completely a new segment introduced in the market. The brands available in the market are either strong or mild. Medusa can be compared with Budweiser Magnum. However, the price of Medusa craft beer is meager compared to Budweiser magnum,” asserts Singh.
Present in five states, including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Chandigarh, and Punjab, Medusa plans to have a pan India presence in the coming five years. Its craft beer is available in 500 ml can, and in 330 ml and 650 ml bottles.
Due to the unforeseen Covid-19 pandemic, the plans to launch new products are postponed. “I am utilizing this time of quarantine to strategize the work process in the times to come. Now is the best time for us to do a SWOT analysis of our business and to conduct a comparative study of the market,” Singh concludes.