Mr. R S. Kamat in interview with Smt. Tara Narayan, Publisher Goan Observer
Mr. Ravindranath S. Kamat is a man for the times. He is the moving spirit and force behind Goa based Western Beverages Pvt. Ltd, which is bringing back to life some much loved old fashioned and world class products like Soda Water, Tonic Water, Ginger Ale, Bitter Lemon….call them “premium mixers” if you like, as they are called in the modern parlance of the trade.
It’s the story of a man and a Company worth recounting. Almost a modern-day fable. After a life time of working with bottled beverages he decided to take the leap on his own with his own Company. Western Beverages Pvt. Ltd was incorporated in 1996. And as a matter of fact “All our management personnel have over 25 years of working experience in top Beverage Companies! Mr. Kamat’s own experience takes him back to the Fomentos Group which had the Franchise rights for bottling Parle Beverages and thereafter Coco Cola India.
WBPL started its operations as a franchise of Cadbury Schweppes India Ltd., a subsidiary of Cadbury Schweppes England and many considered their Schweppes brands of Canada Dry (ginger ale), Lemon, Crush Orange, Sports Cola, Tonic Water superior to those in the West. The Company also manufactured “Bisleri” Club Soda between 1998 and 2000.
WBPL had the foresight to re-organize its activities by packaging drinking water and their own brand of “Taan” was launched. Within a short time it captured the loyalty of consumers not just in Goa but also Maharashtra and Karnataka for their production met all the criteria of safety in packaging, purity and freshness.
Next came their ambitious “Twist” range of sweet carbonated beverages or premium mixers which their research had revealed a demand for….so were born Twist Tonic Water, Ginger Ale, Bitter Lemon and Soda Water, all in snazzy, eco-friendly glass bottles of 250ml. Interestingly, their Twist concentrates are not based on synthetic and alternate sweeteners (many of which are considered carcinogenic today). They are still based on old-fashioned “pure natural sugar” and perhaps that’s why Twist Ginger Ale and Bitter Lemon have become my personal favorites; they do not have cloying after-taste which so many other aerated drinks have today.
He says that the ingredients of their present concentrates are impeccably sourced from Singapore and the various formulae based on the use of real fresh Ginger and Lemons. Many lovers of Twist say that their flavor is much better than the imported brands. Don’t take their word for it. Check them out.
–Escarps from the write up as published in the Goan Observer dated March 3-9, 2007.
Mr. R S. Kamat in interview with Agnelo Gomes, Industry Insight, Food & Beverage News
Ravindranath Kamat, an economist, and an MBA from the premium institute IIM Calcutta, was associated with Parle’s, Cadbury Schweppes and Coca-Cola. Having interacted at the highest levels, he was on the advisory board of Coca-Cola when it started operations in India . With his rich experience in the soft drink industry, he decided to start his own Company and conceived Western Beverages Pvt. Ltd in 1996.
Talking to F&B News, Ravindranath S Kamat, Chairman and Managing Director of Western Beverages, Goa , discusses about his growth plans and how he steered the Western Beverages in the last seven years, bringing it to the level of a national player in caobonated soft drinks segment. ‘Not an easy task though’, for anyone who single-mindedly started from scratch, and worked hard and systematically to succeed in his mission.
Keeping up to the standard of International Manufacturing Practices (IMP), this modern bottling plant is located at Cuncolim, the industrial belt of Salcette, Goa .
Mr. R S. Kamat interview by Shoma Patnaik