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Quenching India’s Thirst: Nadia Chauhan

Parle Agro achieves impressive growth through innovation and creation of unique products under the leadership of Joint Managing Director Nadia Chauhan.

Established in 1984, Parle Agro is a pioneer in the Indian beverage industry, celebrated by consumers nationwide for its innovative and iconic range of products.

Over the last four decades, the beverage giant has revolutionized India’s beverage market with several firsts. It has launched a range of unique and disruptive products, presented in innovative and convenient packaging formats such as cartons, polyethylene terephthlalate plastic bottles and the historic US$0.30 packs, a first for the nation, particularly in the fruit-based beverage category.

The first revolutionary product launched by Parle Agro came in 1985, when Frooti, a mango juice drink, single-handedly redefined the category and now commands almost a third of the entire market in India. Today, it stands as the undisputed leader in the smaller pack segment.


Its appealing balance of tart mango pulp and subtle sweetness has played a significant role in building the Indian fruit-based beverage market. The brand also gained immense popularity in other countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Nigeria, Australia and Canada.

Known as the king of fruits, the mango is vitally important to India, which grows half of the world’s total supply. While Frooti remains a tentpole product for Parle Agro, the company diversified into a range of other highly successful and innovative brands.

They include Appy Fizz, B Fizz and more recently, Smoodh, all of which have helped make it the country’s biggest drinks firm, with 5,500 employees and 95 state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities (owned and franchised) serving two million domestic outlets and thousands of others in more than 45 countries.

Its most recent international launches were in Angola, Bahrain and Nepal, and there are plans for other territories in the pipeline.

Dreaming Big

"We’re a young, ambitious company with a long-term goal to hold the number one position in every category we compete in," says Joint Managing Director Nadia Chauhan.

"We’ve always had an aggressive vision and dared to dream big. We’re trendsetters with a mandate that every new product should be original and never a copycat."

The strategy means Parle Agro punches above its weight in terms of pioneering new beverages and innovative manufacturing techniques.

"Embracing technology is integral to our future-oriented approach," Chauhan reveals. "We’ve invested significantly in cutting-edge manufacturing infrastructure and in digitizing processes with a data-driven focus. This has not only enhanced customer satisfaction but also propelled revenue growth."

"We brought on board some very talented people from different parts of the world to build brands through the power of design."

Chauhan also points out that in the past, the brand didn’t always have budgets as big as its competitors, so it was important to have marketing strategies that really stood out.

"That’s why we brought on board some very talented people from different parts of the world to build brands through the power of design," she explains. "It allowed us to talk to consumers across a very diverse country, speak to every language and culture, and stand out in cluttered market spaces. Most importantly, we connected with consumers on a deeper, richer level."

Diversifying into Dairy

The determination to diversify and innovate also facilitated Chauhan’s highly successful recent venture into the dairy-based beverage category with the brand Smoodh, a product backed by years of in-depth research and investment in a modern and robust dairy infrastructure.

By pricing a 65-milliliter package at just US$0.12, Parle Agro positioned the tasty drink as an industry disrupter. The strategy worked, winning Parle Agro significant penetration in both urban and rural areas.

"That’s been one of our biggest milestones, and we have a big vision to continue diversifying in that sector over the next decade," Chauhan says. "Dairy is a very sophisticated space in the market, as it involves much larger system upgrades to handle the sensitivities involved."

In doing so, Chauhan wants Parle Agro to build leadership across multiple existing and new categories to create the level of dynamic segmentation evident in most food and beverage markets.

"Driving an organization involves constantly evolving and upgrading every aspect to realize the larger vision," she says. "We’ve always stood apart by launching unique products and that will remain core to who we are."

She views empowering people and nurturing their passion as a critical component of the corporate culture she has developed. The same goes for her corporate partners, including Sri Devaraja Agro Industries, Rathna Packaging India, Siddhi Vinayak Associates and The South India Paper Mills, which has done much to support the company’s continued success.

"We’ve always stood apart by launching unique products and that will remain core to who we are."

"We establish a joint vision with them to allow seamless collaboration to achieve our goals," Chauhan notes. "That way we can understand the exciting opportunities to build on that vision together to change the dynamics and drive the business forward."

Chauhan’s vision to make Parle Agro the number one beverage company in India through technology, innovation and customer focus paves the way for enduring success. With this strategic approach, Parle Agro is poised to achieve new levels of growth while continuing to make a substantial impact on the Indian beverage industry.

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