Hector Beverages, maker of ethnic drinks brand Paper Boat, recently raised about Rs 183 crore in funding led by Belgian investor Sofina and China's Hillhouse Capital. According to estimates by investment bankers, the company is valued between Rs 400 crore and Rs 500 crore. Since its inception, Hector has raised Rs 250 crore.
The brand, Paper Boat, has been in news for its innovative advertising since its launch in 2010. In its recent installment, the brand unveiled a campaign to celebrate monsoon. Paper Boat, with their Hope Floats initiative, is encouraging people to relive the simple pleasure of making a paper boat. For each paper boat that is created, and its picture uploaded with the hashtag #FloatABoat, Paper Boat will contribute towards supporting the primary education of children.
Watch the promotional video here:
The company has been increasing its focus of advertising and marketing. In April, Hector signed a partnership with Japan's Indo Nissin Foods to help it expand into small towns and villages and double its retail contact points to 30,000. The company also sells online and is expected to aggressively explore the e-commerce channel.
As recently as last week, Paper Boat assigned its media duties to Maxus to up the ante, and strengthen media presence.
In an exclusive interaction with exchange4media, Neeraj Kakkar, Founder and CEO of Hector Beverages, shares insights about Paper Boat’s new campaign, and marketing plans. Excerpts:
Please share the idea behind the new campaign.
We believe in life and how easy it is to be happy. There is always plenty of opportunity for simple pleasures – and as a brand, we want to be enablers of joy.
Each of our efforts has been about this. Our drinks, for example, are about reconnecting with tastes from our memory. Our book-publishing activities, another example, are about bringing back long-forgotten favourites. So this time, we thought, why not get people to bring back a bygone pleasure – that of folding a paper boat?
The insight came as a pleasant surprise – so many of us have forgotten how to fold a paper boat! Remember spending hours on our haunches at puddles, setting sail several boats made of our rough note books? We wanted people to reconnect with this feeling of timelessness: and with such a simple gesture, help a child enjoy the same things we did as school-goers. That’s essentially what has motivated us to launch Hope Floats.
does digital stand in your overall scheme of things?
Paper Boat was born in the digital age and like most of the kids of this generation, early digital adaptation is in the DNA of the brand. Kids today take to mobiles, tabs and touch-screens like they were born for it, same applies for us. Most of our marketing efforts are designed for the digital space, in fact, they are designed keeping mobile as a top priority.
Please shed some light on your marketing spends?
We can happily say that our spends on the marketing function truly rides on the strength of the idea. The creative team is constantly working on churning out ideas that would expand the consumer base for Paper Boat.
Your creatives are the highlight of your campaigns. Is the core message that remains at the heart of all campaigns?
A big yes for this question. Like all our campaigns, this campaign too speaks to people who believe in the goodness of life. There is so much to be happy about, and so much happiness waiting to be shared. Making a boat is such an infectious joy, such an immersive activity, that one will be compelled to share his/her craft with friends – inspiring more people to join in on the fun and make boats too! We’re speaking to people who recognize that giving can be a pleasure too.
With the festive season coming up, are there any specific advertising/marketing plans around that?
There’s no surprise in revealing a surprise! Whatever it is, we’re sure you will find it special!