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Kimaya Himalayan Beverages is harvesting a community of beer drinkers in India by sourcing premium ingredients and keeping up with the innovative styles of brewing methods that constantly push boundaries. One of its top-selling products is BeeYoung, India’s first strong craft beer that celebrates the story of youth. This bootstrapped brand witnessed a solid 287% growth rate in just 2 years with to date turnover being around INR 128 Cr.
StartupTalky interviewed Mr. Abhinav Jindal (Founder & CEO, Kimaya Himalayan Beverages) to get insights into the startup story and roadmap of the organization.
Kimaya Himalayan - Company Highlights
|Startup Name||Kimaya Himalayan Beverages|
|Founder & CEO||Abhinav Jindal|
Kimaya Himalayan - About, Vision & Mission
Product by Kimaya Himalayan -
BeeYoung (story of youth): India’s first strong craft beer - The story of Bee Young is the story of youth. It started with an idea to create a brew that could deliver a crisp and clean yet punchy sip, every time, no matter the social setting. The idea was to find the choicest of ingredients and merge them into a brew that would find instant appeal with the drinker, be it a seasoned imbiber or a first-timer. The product evokes a sense of adventure and curiosity in the drinker, promoting the idea of trying something new, something that is different and yet remains familiar.
BeeYoung Starts with a crisp attack delivering a perfect malty taste. Then it translates to ripe fruitiness on the midpalate, while the invigorating flavors & taste make each sip EVENTFUL.
BeeYoung is Kimaya's star product and bestseller across markets.
Vision: To create beverages that set benchmarks and define categories ahead of the curve.
Mission: To create honest drinks, crafted & enjoyed with passion
Kimaya Himalayan - Industry Details
The beer industry in India is in its growth stage, evolved from manufacturing standard beers such as strong and lager beer to flavored and variety, housing more than 140 beer brands in the country.
The total beer market in India as per volume was 2,047.8 m liters in 2019, with a dip of - 2.4% in CAGR in the period 2015-2019. The strongest growth for Beer in India was witnessed in 2015 with a rate of 4.1%.
It is forecasted for the beer industry to reach 2,025.9 m liters in 2024 representing a volume CAGR of 0.8% since 2020.
(Data Source: Mintel Beer Report for India 2020)
The strong beer category (alcohol content between 6% to 8%) holds the 82% market share vis a vis Standard/Light/Low/Extra Strong/ No Alcohol Category.
India is following in China’s footsteps where consumption has grown from 2 liters to 36 liters over the last 25 years. Also, high growth has been witnessed in the Craft beer industry in India and internationally, with a CAGR of 304% (2014-18) in India.
Beer Industry has a lot of growth potential in India, however being hit twice in a row with a pandemic at its peak during the main beer season, certainly will hamper the growth vis a vis as projected before.
Kimaya Himalayan - Idea and Inspiration
"Being a beer enthusiast, I (Abhinav) love to try newer variants and styles of beer from across the globe. And being from the Alco-Bev industry for over a decade now I’ve closely observed the beer landscape and consumption patterns in India"
While observing the market he analyzed the gap in the beer industry, there were not many players manufacturing quality products especially in the strong beer segment, something that would appeal to all sorts of customers cutting across preferences. Hence, he created a product that is crafted and artisanal, considering that the strong beer segment makes up for the largest percentage of the market share yet underserved in terms of quality products. Abhinav spoke to a few company heads and stakeholders, the suggestion was unilateral - to stay out of the space due to the masses being acquired by two giants of the industry.
Small businesses being bought over by larger companies, margin, and cost are under pressure all the time given that it is the lowest margin product in the world, everyone persuaded him to not foray into this space and take up this challenge. They suggested that he should rather try creating something for the IMFL segment as it demands lesser investment, it’s easier, and much better margins gameplay.
Yet he and the team decided to stick to the plan and create more talk points around the same. With extensive research of more than a year at hand, they started their journey in 2019. Despite the phases of lockdowns, they were able to build a market and name for the brand and lead the way ahead. Kimaya has more variants coming up very soon, experimenting with different ingredients and flavors to provide the best likable offerings. Patrons have poured in an immense amount of love and support, regardless of the lockdown situation. The brand has been communicating with people through various marketing strategies as it was the only key to remaining relevant in such situations and keeping the audiences hooked.
Having traveled to a few different parts of the world, Abhinav also witnessed that beer is not just alcohol but a culture, a kick-starter for celebrations, adventure, and leisure, and that is how he feels. The beer consumption was perceived wrongly which he wanted to change by educating people about the right pack size and temperature.
Kimaya is a team of passionate individuals trying to provide international standard brews at the right price, that can be consumed in any social setting.
Kimaya Himalayan - Products and USP
Kimaya Himalayan beverages offer BeeYoung in 500ml sizes (can and bottles), which is an adequate quantity to share and consume at the right temperature. The brand aims to make the beer drinkers aware of the right pack size and temperature to enjoy a beer at. Moreover, at the same time, the Kimaya Himalayan Beverages team is also focused on premiumizing the craft brew space with an aim to make beer drinking an experience and more than a means of intoxication. They are experimenting with different flavors and ingredients to provide the offerings with a distinctive taste to cherish and enjoy. The brand is also dedicated to curating conceptual synergies between other alcohol, food products, and entertainment promoted through various influencers.
Along with the 500ml packaging, it also released a 650ml packaging edition due to great consumer response and increasing demand for the same.
Key Highlights of the brand:
- Unique packaging: 500ml bottles: Team Kimaya has moved against the grain and has embraced a unique size to showcase their most interesting creation in the beer segment. An optimized size that bridges the gap between 330ml and 650ml offers the perfect pint size to enjoy the beer at the right temperature till the last sip and is adequate for sharing.
- Emphasis on Provenance: The ingredients are sourced from their provenance. The beers exhibit graceful flavors of carefully selected international malt with the inclusion of premium Basmati rice to provide smoothness on the palate. Noble hop Saaz is carefully chosen and infused with Himalayan source water.
Kimaya Himalayan - Ideology behind Name & Logo
As aforementioned, the team associates BeeYoung with a story of youth that’s vibrant, buzzy, and adventurous, excitement, and celebration. From the buzzy aspect of the product that gives you a light buzz and excitement when consumed as it is a strong craft beer, the logo Bee came into inception. They wanted to create a product that is an expression of excitement and adventure for the youth, the vibe of being young in older people; relate the product with fun and energy and hence the name.
Kimaya Himalayan - Business & Revenue Model
Kimaya's business and revenue model is mostly retail and through trade. Generally, when an alcohol startup launches and begins sampling/selling, they take the on-premise route, this brand's approach was distinct from other craft brew brands. It took the off-premise route and also engaged with customers through various events and festivals which played well for the business.
Kimaya Himalayan - Launch and Marketing Strategies
Initially, Kimaya launched through on-ground samplings and word-of-mouth branding through stakeholders and promoters.
Abhinav started the retail business with minimal and controlled sampling to gain feedback. With planned marketing outreach, the tea, got the opportunity to participate in events such as Food for Thought, Horn OK Please, Eat Love Party, and Toast -Wine & Beer Festival which enabled them to sample the product to a wider audience. More and more sampling to the target audience was the initial focus before the brand gained momentum on the sales in cities where it has its distribution.
The perfect taste and buzz of the product are what kept the audience hooked. Moreover, the high voltage campaigns that Kimaya is consistently running on its social media platforms have helped it to promote the brand narrative, populate collaborations with industry faces/influencers. These collaborations (engaging reels/ fun videos with product integration) have helped garner traction, build brand identity and consumer loyalty. The cocktail mixing by experts, comic, dance and festive reels have performed considerably well and was well accepted by the audiences.
Kimaya's social media campaign and physical collaboration have helped it to establish a name in the market and stand amongst the competition. The brand's social media channels are interactive, heavy on engagement and entertainment. Being an alcohol brand, Kimaya did not restrict itself to associate with different brands and genres. From music to fashion to comedy, which connotes the story of youth/vibrancy is something that it can cross collaborate. Along with the product the team also wants people to associate with the vibe of the brand and relate, and Kimaya should be their first choice when it comes to drinking beer. The brand has also experimented with the taste notes and texture to be smooth and light on the palate, being a strong brew.
"The contests that we run and the collaborations with key industry leaders and influencers have helped us position ourselves as a brand that is consumer-centric and values them" - Abhinav added.
A few major collaborations that had worked really well for Kimaya are the comic reels with content creators like Arun Singh, Dance collaboration with faculties of Big Dance Center, Delhi, and most importantly with travel groups, trips to Zanskar valley with BeeYoung. These campaigns drove enormous engagements on the page. Participation in major events like Horn Ok Please by So Delhi, Toast Beer & Wine Festival at DLF Avenue and Eat Play and Party at DLF Promenade have helped it garner visibility, brand loyalty, and more partnerships.
The brand is affable, with honest prices, quality & packaging benchmarks. This has eventually created a word of mouth for the brand. Moreover, BeeYoung is distributed widely in Delhi, Uttarakhand, UP, and some areas of Punjab which makes it more approachable in terms of availability.
Kimaya Himalayan - Challenges Faced
Kimaya's Yavira packaging (not available in Delhi right now) states that it is a lager brew yet produced at 6.2% ABV. Kimaya's team learned that people are unaware of the distinction between lager, a strong beer, and light beer. Lager being the umbrella categorization, telling people that Yavira is a lager didn’t work out well. The team tagged it as pilsner instead to perfectly categorize it. The brand's approach of associating with larger events and festivals worked out really well to promote the brand. People like the vibe and the story of the brand.
The startup onboarded their brewer to create different styles in the strong and pilsner categories. It did it across 3 microbreweries over a period of one month or so. After numerous tastings, Kimaya got what it wanted to offer. The team wanted to source ingredients from their provenance. The search for authentic ingredients led the team to Uttarakhand hills’ Basmati rice. The infusion intrigued them as to what it does to the brew, making for the smooth texture of the product. No one else in this space had experimented with the same. It worked for the brand to make a distinct brew for the discerning.
Kimaya Himalayan - Growth and Revenue
|2019-20||INR 22 Cr|
|2020-21||INR 64 cr|
|2021-22||INR 42 Cr (as on Nov 15th, 2021)|
|Total Revenue To Date||INR 128 Cr|
Kimaya Himalayan Beverages is currently available in 4 states, which are – Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Punjab. It had plans of expanding in 2020 but, due to the pandemic, it has been delayed. Having said that, the brand is vigorously trying to expand the territorial boundaries in 2021, as it has a large number of customers all over the country who have been quite vocal about demanding availability. Therefore, physical presence would definitely help the team in re-energizing the brand and bringing them into customer focus.
Kimaya has dispatched over 9,00,000 cases to date. In comparison to 2020, the brand is experiencing a growth of 72% YTD. From 2019-20 to 2020-21 it has had 287% growth.
Kimaya Himalayan - Funding
Kimaya Himalayan Beverages is currently bootstrapped.
Kimaya Himalayan - Competitors
Kimaya's competitors in Alco Bev Space include Bira91, Medusa, Kati Patang, Tuborg, Carlsberg, Kingfisher Premium, among others.
Kimaya Himalayan - Awards/Achievements
- Awards - BeeYoung was awarded as 'Best Debutant Beer of the Year' by Spiritz Achievers Awards 2019.
- Home Grown Business of The Year in Small Business Awards 2020
- Fastest Growing brand (Gold) Spiritz Achievers Awards 2020
- Spiritz Selection Awards 2020 – Silver in Liquid Tasting
- Spiritz Selection Awards 2021 – Gold in Packaging & Liquid tasting (2 categories)
Kimaya Himalayan - Future Plans
The team at Kimaya envisions creating beverages that set benchmarks and define categories ahead of the curve.
They are fabricating an expansion plan in terms of new variants, products, and usage of unique ingredients to further enhance the taste. The brand is onto expansion in newer territories and cities, which would start with a stronger foothold in Northern India and then further extension to major markets in the west, south, and east of the country as well.
Kimaya's focus is always on the final consumer. The strong beer segment has been so largely unserved forever that it was aching for an overhaul. A well-made beer with a strong sense of provenance, in the long run, will always find takers and over time, this translates into brand loyalty. It’s a slow but organic and sure-shot way to grow and stay ahead.
Kimaya Himalayan - FAQs
What is Kimaya Himalayan Beverages?
Kimaya Himalayan beverages offer BeeYoung in 500ml sizes (can and bottles), which is an adequate quantity to share and consume at the right temperature. The brand aims to make the beer drinkers aware of the right pack size and temperature to enjoy a beer at.
Who founded BeeYoung?
Abhinav Jindal founded Kimaya Himalayan Beverages in 2019. BeeYoung is Kimaya's star product and bestseller across markets.
Is Kimaya Himalayan an Indian brand?
Yes. It is an Indian brand headquartered in New Delhi.
Who are the competitors of Kimaya Himalayan Beverages?
Kimaya's competitors in Alco Bev Space include Bira91, Medusa, Kati Patang, Tuborg, Carlsberg, Kingfisher Premium, among others.