Nilesh Patel, Managing Director of Carlsberg in India, sees great potential for increased beer sales in India.

22.08.18 DIB News

Carlsberg uses elephant to open up doors in India

Brewing giant Carlsberg has launched an Indian version of its classic Danish elephant while the company’s Tuborg brand has a solid hold on India’s younger generations.

A growing Indian middle class and a boom of young consumers with money to spend makes the Indian market so appealing to Carlsberg that India is central to the company’s growth strategy.

“The Indian market is extremely promising. Beer consumption is low, but as is the case with other consumer goods, a rapidly growing economy means that there is great potential for increased sales in coming years,” says Nilesh Patel, Managing Director of Carlsberg India.

Carlsberg has launched an Indian version of its Danish elephant, and the Tuborg brand has a solid hold on younger generations. Both beers are brewed at the eight breweries the well-established Danish company owns in India. But the Indian market is full of challenges.

“You simply have to view India as an entire continent of its own with 29 different markets in 29 different states. Consumers have vastly different regional needs, local politicians set alternative rules and the culture varies greatly. It’s a big challenge, but also an important parameter for competitiveness if you’re able to adapt locally,” notes Nilesh Patel.

Over the past six years, Carlsberg has become one of the preferred brands in several regions and is now aiming to achieve an equally strong position across the entire country, where the company’s market share in the first quarter of 2018 was 17%.  Investments have been scaled up, and Carlsberg recently opened yet another brewery. Carlsberg has 1,100 employees in India.

See also: Arla: New markets require more – and more professional – employee security


Doing business in India

From Kunal Singla, Head of Department for DI India:

India is an enormous and diverse market spanning across 29 states. It’s therefore important to be very selective when choosing where in the country to focus and which customers to go after. 

Patience and risk management are necessary, and Danish companies must work with long-term plans that analyse thoroughly how to tackle the Indian market.

Danish products and solutions are highly regarded among Indian companies and consumers, but Indian businesspeople are skilled specialists and retailers, so it’s important to clarify the particular qualities of one’s products and how they will work in an Indian context.

Good relationships are absolutely crucial in the Indian business world. Cultural insight is an obvious necessity, and it is customary to talk about family and personal subjects.

Contact: Kunal Singla, Head of Department, DI India, +45 3377 4525,

Jeppe Bo Rasmussen
Written by:

Jeppe Bo Rasmussen

Kunal Singla

Kunal Singla

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