At 40, Tarun Arora, who is the new country head of Danone-Narang Beverages, a joint venture between French group, Danone, and the promoter of Qua mineral water, Rahul Narang, is one of the young chief executives around in the fast-moving consumer goods industry. But Arora, earlier with the Godrej group for five years, says he wanted to explore new avenues. "I felt it was time for me to move on. The opportunity was exciting for me to take the plunge," he says.
With a turnover of Rs 200 crore, a fraction of the Rs 4,866-crore top line of Godrej Consumer Products, where Arora previously was, Danone-Narang is small by his standards. Yet, the FMCG veteran, who has worked with companies such as Dabur, Bharti Walmart and Wipro Consumer Care & Lighting, besides GCPL, in a 17-year career, says he has no qualms being with a small organisation. "There are things to be learnt here," he says. Chiefly, those are category learnings in beverages, new for the IMT, Ghaziabad alumnus, who has largely worked on personal care and wash and household insecticides.
In his new role, Arora has his hands full. Besides the Narang brand Qua and Danone, as well as the Nestle packaged-water brands Evian and Perrier the JV handles, the Mumbai-based company also has the responsibility of distributing energy drink Red Bull and is test-marketing a flavoured water brand called B'lue in Pune.
Arora remains confident that the JV will be able to crack the code in the competitive packaged-water space in India. Reason: The preference for mid- and high-end bottled water today over the regular one. According to industry estimates, the packaged water market in India is roughly Rs 2,500 crore in size. Of this, the regular bottled water segment, which includes brands such as Bisleri, Kinley, Aquafina, etc. account for about 70 per cent of the market.