EXCLUSIVE: Ishwaraj Bhatia, Co-founder, Simba Beer On His 7 Year Journey
After starting the brand journey in Goa and Delhi, Simba's market has now grown to over 18 states across India
Simba over the past few years has established itself as one of the most promising craft beer brands in India. It is known for its authenticity and quality. On the occasion of Simba’s 7 year anniversary Ishwiraj Bhati, Co founder, Simba beer spoke to EE about his journey with the brand. Here are few extracts from it.
In an exclusive interview with Everything Experiential, Ishwiraj Bhatia, Co-founder, Simba Beer, spoke about his 7 year journey and more.
Can you share the best highlights of your 7-year journey?
Simba has had a roaring journey since its inception 7 years ago. We officially started brewing at our Flagship brewery in Durg, Chattisgarh. By 2017, we began distribution in Goa and Delhi. It has now grown to over 18 states across India. In 2018, we partnered with the Bollywood film- Simmba featuring Ranveer Singh and Sara Ali Khan. In 2020, we launched the first edition of the Simba Uproar Roar from Home Series. In 2021, we partnered with Ziro Music- as their core partner to create some unique experiences for fans and performers. At Simba, we believe in creating a community of like-minded individuals whose ethos align with our core value. Last year we organized our debut festival called Simba Uproar, giving our consumers a chance to experience the Simba Lifestyle and everything the brand offers. This two-day festival saw the top names in the India Hip Hop Space perform on the same stage giving the audience an experience like no other. Currently, we are working on various products and experiences to cater to the Indian masses.
What inspired you to launch Simba? What made Simba click with consumers?
During our educational stint in the UK, Prabhtej identified a gap for homegrown beer brands in India as opposed to their global counterparts which led us to a search for the finest quality ingredients, and state-of-the-art equipment to create a homegrown brewery. We established our Simba brewery in Durg, Chhattisgarh where exclusively crafted recipes are brewed to perfection in small batches to ensure consistent taste. It is the authenticity of our brews and the ability to maintain consistent taste that has helped us create a loyal customer base. We always strive to ensure consistency and quality for our brews and won’t serve something that wewon’t enjoy ourselves.
What has been your approach to marketing for Simba since its inception?
We strongly believe in the power of marketing the right product to the right audience in the ideal situation. At Simba, we have always designed our marketing campaigns keeping our consumers and competition in mind. Consumers today make well-informed decisions about the brands they interact with. In today’s age and time, a brand’s visual and digital identity has become very important to connect with the target audience. We have worked extensively on our digital campaigns to connect with our audience. Leveraging social media platforms through online campaigns, videos, and general conversations helps us create a sense of community amongst craft beer lovers. Additionally, we have always ensured that our marketing activations and offline events resonate with the target audience whom we share a community with. The entire idea behind creating our first ever IP- Simba Uproar, a music festival that brings together artists, hip-hop artists, street culture, and Simba together to showcase a lifestyle that Simba represents on ground. The first edition of this widely successful music festival stands for the young, fierce, vibrant personality of the brand.
Some of our previously successful collaborations such as Cercle Music, and Association with Lakme Fashion Week have helped us create visibility for the brand amongst our target audience. The launch of our merchandise range has been a testament to the cool, urban lifestyle Simba resonates with. In conclusion, all our marketing strategies are designed with our core values in mind while also creating innovative moments of brand interactions to create a long-lasting impact. Since the beginning, the vision for Simba has been clear. First and foremost, to consistently work towards maintaining and ensuring the taste and quality of our products remain the same. To expand our market presence through all existing states in India and enhance our portfolio of offerings. Lastly, to create some iconic experiences for our consumers that generate a long-lasting impression.
How important is experiential marketing for your brand? Do you have anything lined up for the brand on that front?
Experiential Marketing is important for brands as it helps brands to highlight their USPs while creating a memorable experience for the consumers. Being a craft beer brand, it becomes imperative for us to create an immersive experience for consumers to interact with the brand’s lifestyle in an innovative manner creating long-term brand recall. It also allows us to connect with our consumers to create a sense of community for beer lovers through local events and collaborations. Overall, it helps us create a distinct identity for the brand and its offerings through iconic moments that can trickle down to WOM marketing and help creates new trials while establishing a loyal base of consumers. Our biggest success story in terms of experiential marketing has been the wildest music festival in India- Simba
Uproar, an on-ground music festival that brings together elements of hip-hop, street culture, and Simba drawing a crowd of over 5000 Simba lovers in Delhi. This year, the festival is set to come back with larger plans in the pipeline for the second edition with community and culture at the heart of the celebrations. We are also gearing up for the launch of a novel IP targeting a new set of young and the fierce. That is all set to take place later this year.
Are there any new developments for Simba in the pipeline?
We are always brainstorming and working on new experiences for Friends and consumers of Simba. In 2023, we hope to bring in a variety of new ideas and experiences that stand with the ethos of the brand- Simba.
What is your vision for Simba?
Since the beginning, the vision for Simba has been clear. First and foremost, to consistently work towardsmaintaining and ensuring the taste and quality of our products remain the same. To expand our market presence through all existing states in India and enhance our portfolio of offerings. Lastly, to create some iconic experiences for our consumers that generate a long-lasting impression.
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