From New York to India: Ankur Jain’s Brewing Success with Bira 91

Ankur Jain‘s journey from a healthcare startup in New York to founding Bira 91 in 2015 is a testament to entrepreneurial excellence. As the craft beer brand rapidly gained popularity, it revolutionized India’s beer market, captivating the taste buds of millennial consumers and disrupting the mainstream beer segment.

1. A Visionary Start

  • Ankur Jain returned to India in 2007 after his successful stint in the healthcare industry.
  • With no prior experience in the liquor business, he began by importing a few beers to explore the sector’s potential.
  • By 2014, Jain realized the need for a brand that could appeal to India’s young urban population, focusing on taste, flavor, and quality.
story behind bira 91 1

2. Refreshing the Beer Scene: Bira 91’s Captivating Debut in 2015

  • In February 2015, Bira 91 made a captivating debut, introducing a refreshing alternative to the dominant players like Kingfisher Strong and Haywards.
  • Embracing quirky and contemporary packaging, Bira 91 offered millennial consumers the distinctive beer they were seeking.

3. Sparkling Success

  • Bira 91 quickly struck a chord with the urban crowd, witnessing a phenomenal surge in sales from 150,000 cases in its launch year to an impressive 700,000 cases in 2016.
  • Despite India’s alcohol taxation system, Bira managed to offer its product at an affordable price of Rs 90 for a 330 ml bottle.

4. A Beer Like No Other

  • Bira 91’s innovation extended beyond taste to health-conscious offerings.
  • The brand launched one of India’s first low-calorie beers, boasting just 90 calories in a 330 ml bottle.
  • Ankur Jain proudly claims that Bira 91 Light is the lowest-calorie option among alcoholic beverages, even surpassing champagne, Breezers, wine, or cocktails, and being lighter than milk or orange juice.
Bira 91 by Ankur Jain is India's First Low Calorie Beer
Bira 91 by Ankur Jain is India’s First Low Calorie Beer

5. The Battle of Light vs. Strong

  • Bira 91 Strong, a “High Intensity Wheat beer,” marked the first strong beer based on wheat in India.
  • Top-fermented ale provided a unique and rich taste, low on bitterness, and abundant in honey and caramel notes.
  • With about 7% alcohol by volume, Bira 91 Strong aimed to revolutionize the mass market and challenge the norms.

6. Scaling New Heights

  • Bira 91 aims to achieve sales of Rs 150 crore this fiscal year.
  • The brand is finalizing a $25-million fundraise led by private equity major TPG Growth, attracting a total of $22 million in funding so far.
  • Bira 91’s ambition and vision have made it a formidable player in the craft beer industry.

7. Tapping Into New Territories

  • Presently available in 15 cities, Bira 91’s presence in the premium beer space is continually expanding.
  • The brand is gearing up to establish itself in 8 more cities this quarter, further broadening its reach.

8. Brewing the Future**

  • Bira 91’s brewing units have transitioned from Belgium to Indore, showcasing Jain’s commitment to expanding domestic operations.
  • Jain’s belief in the power of outsiders to challenge norms has led to a team of talented individuals with diverse backgrounds and fresh perspectives.

In conclusion, Bira 91’s success story is one of vision, innovation, and boldness. With its unique offerings, consumer appeal, and determination to disrupt the market, the craft beer brand has redefined India’s beer landscape, setting the stage for a spirited future.

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