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The Journey of India’s Favourite Rum brand- Old Monk
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The Journey of India’s Favourite Rum brand- Old Monk

The history of Old Monk dates back to the year 1855 when Edward Abraham Dyer began a brewery in Himachal, the sole purpose of this brewery was to provide the British with inexpensive beer. This brewery was then bought by HG Meakin and renamed Dyer Meakin Breweries. It was only in 1949 when the company was overtaken by Narendra Nath Mohan who changed the name of the company to ' Mohan Meakin Breweries,' and laid the path for Old Monk.

Finally, in 1954 when Narendra Nath Mohan’s son Ved Rattan Mohan who was a colonel in the Indian Army, went to Europe, he was inspired by Benedictine monks and the liquors they produced, and thus he introduced Old Monk whose speciality was a 7 year maturity period in Oak Barrels with a 42% alcohol content and a distinctive taste of caramel and vanilla, soon after its introduction Old Monk gained popularity pretty quickly because of the affordable price it offered it also surpassed Hercules which was the best brand then.

Unfortunately, Ved Rattan Mohan passed away at the age 0f 88 in 1970 and his cousin Kapil Mohan took over the company. Under Kapil Mohan, the company made a turnover of 400 crores without any advertising at all! In an interview from 2012 “We do not advertise. I will not, and as long as I am in this chair, we will not (advertise),” Mohan had said in an interview in 2012, with Kapil Mohan Old Monk gained 15 per cent market share and sold 8 billion bottles each year in the 2000s, however, by 2004 the sales reduced massively to 4 billion with Mcdowell's taking up most of the market shares and the general consumption of Rum in India decreasing.

Despite its fall, Old Monk still remains a popular prestigious brand that most young people look forward to. According to Rabe Iyer, ‎Managing Director (as per exchange media) – ‎Motivator (Group M Media India Pvt. Ltd), “A few possible factors that could have played a role-The Consistency of Brand identity, the distinct bottle and elements making up the identity. Moreover, the logo, font, and packaging elements have seen little change over time: a strong positive for easy recognition and subtly passing the perception of standing consistent through time. Also, strong imagery owing to its perceived popularity amongst the Armed forces for years where off-duty rituals also get passed on a tradition of the seniors made its local and indigenous birth very special besides having a broader appeal. Its physical availability over the years bettered with the so-called ‘Original’ available only in Military Canteens to now available easily, helped carry its legacy far and wide.”

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