You are on page 1of 2

Introduction

Water is the most important necessity for life. The drinking-water needs for individuals vary
depending on the climate, physical activity and the body culture. But for average consumers it is
estimated to be about two to four litres per day. The growing number of cases of water borne
diseases, increasing water pollution, increasing urbanization, increasing scarcity of pure and safe
water etc. have made the bottled water business just like other consumer items. Scarcity of
potable and wholesome water at railway stations, tourist’s spots, and role of tourism corp. etc.
has also added to the growth.
Almost all the major international and national brands water bottles are available in Indian
market right from the malls to railway stations, bus stations, grocery stores and even at panwala's
shop. Before few years bottle water was considered as the rich people's choice, but now it is
penetrated even in rural areas. The growth and status of Indian Bottled Industry in
comparison with Western or Asian market, India is far behind in terms of quantum, infrastructure,
professionalism and standards implementation. The per capita consumption of mineral water in
India is a mere 0.5-liter compared to 111 liter in Europe and 45-liter in USA. Also As per UN
study conducted in 122 countries, in connection with water quality, India's number was dismal
120. In comparison to global standards India's bottled water segment is largely unregulated.
Former President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam has urged youngsters on July 17, 2010 to be aware of
water conservation techniques to avoid grave water crisis in future. “It is so sad that today, people
are forced to buy water in plastic bottles. I am told that bottled water industry is worth nearly
10000 core rupees and even big companies like the Coke and Pepsi are involved in this bottling
of water and making money. So, it is imperative that we ought to save water," he added.
Do not be surprise if today's bottles water industry becomes next Oil industry by 2025.

History of bottled water in india

Mineral bottled water in India under the name 'Bisleri' was first introduced in Mumbai by Bisleri
Ltd., a company of Italian origin in 1965. Mineral bottled water were in glass bottles in two
varieties - bubbly and still in 1965 This company was started by Signor Felice who first brought
the idea of selling bottled water in India.
Parle bought over Bisleri (India) Ltd. In 1969 and started bottling Mineral water in glass bottles
under the brand name 'Bisleri'. Later Parle switched over to PVC non- returnable bottles and
finally advanced to PET containers. Since 1995 Mr.Ramesh J. Chauhan has started expanding
Bisleri operations substantially and the turn over has multiplied more than 20 times over a period
of 10 years and the average growth rate has been around 40% over this period. Presently it have
8 plants and 11 franchisees all over India. Bisler command a 60% market share of the organized
market.
Currently, Bailley has a national presence in 5 lakh retail outlets across the country. “We plan to
increase manufacturing plants for Bailley from 29 to 60, presently 40 plants are operational and
few more will be ready for operations over the next few months,” informed Nadia Chauhan, joint
managing director of Parle Agro.

Why Bottled water?
Millions of people, both in rural and urban India, suffer from inadequate or no tap water supply.
Even some parts of Mumbai, the country's financial capital, get a mere two hours of daily water
supply. The city's Virar suburb gets 45 minutes. So bottled water is much in demand by residents
- even though the businesses profiting from the sales are thriving from access to public water
sources.
Bottled water fills a void created by government failure to address basic services, Peter Gleick
of the Pacific Institute writes in its World Water report. "In many parts of the world, tap water is
not available or safe to drink," writes . "In these regions, the failure of governments to
provide basic water services has opened the door to private companies and vendors filling a
critical need, albeit at a very high cost to consumers." The institute reasons that governments
should tap into spending on commercial water by consumers to secure funds to provide safe
water at fraction of the cost.
Gigi Kellett, US national director of the Think Outside the Bottle campaign, argues that demand
for bottled water is due to industry creating "a market by casting doubt on the quality of tap water,
when in fact bottled water is subject to far less scrutiny and often comes from the same source".

Bottled water how safe?

The bottled water industry has spent billions over the past decade to sell you on the idea that
bottled water is better than tap water. Well the short answer is they are both unhealthy. One of
the most ironic parts of the bottled water tragedy is that the water bottling industry gets the water
free, filters it, bottles it and sells it back to us at 1,900% profit. The ironic part is that tap water is
legislated to be 7.0 pH neutral. They first dump a TON of cholrine in the water to kill off all the bad
bacteria, this makes it highly acidic.
In India around 100 companies sell an estimated 424 million litres of bottled water valued at
around Rs 200 crore in the country annually . Most bottlers claim that their water is 100 per cent
bacteria-free and contains minerals that make it tastier and healthier. But is the water in these
bottles really safe to drink? Do they conform to international or national standards?
To find out, the Ahmedabad-based Consumer Education and Research Society (CERS), an
independent non-profit institution with a sophisticated product-testing laboratory, recently carried
out a detailed study on 13 major brands of bottled water available in the country. The national
brands -- Bisleri (separate samples were taken from their units in Bangalore, Ghaziabad, Calcutta
and Baroda) and Bailley (Mumbai and Surat) -- were selected on the basis of their dominant
position in the overall market. Bisil (Mehsana), Golden Eagle (Chennai), Aquaspa
(Mumbai),Saiganga (Ahmednagar), Nirantar (Thane), Trupthi (Chennai) and Yes (Nadiad) were
included because of their regional popularity. To conform to international standards for such
testing, 21 bottles of each brand were tested in the CERS laboratory against "analytical" and
"sensory" parameters as well as for "microbiological" contamination. To ensure fairness, the
results were sent to the individual companies for their comments.
So how safe is bottled water? Not that safe, says the CERS survey. As many as 10 of the 13
brands had foreign floating objects in clear violation of norms. None of the brands tested was free
from bacteria although the consolation is that they were not of the harmful kind. Two of the big
brands contained toxic heavy metals much higher than permitted levels. The term "mineral water"
is misleading because our laws do not stipulate the minimum mineral content level required for
water to be labelled as such. All this from a sector that is flourishing because of the public fear
that water supplied by civic bodies is impure