United Breweries Group
|Headquarters||UB City, Bangalore, Karnataka, India|
A K Ravi Nedungadi
(President & CFO)
|Products||Brewery, alcoholic beverage, aviation, chemicals & fertilizers, engineering, information technology, pharmaceuticals, airline|
|Revenue||US$ 5.4 billion (2013)|
|US$ (290) Million (2013)|
|Location||Bangalore, Karnataka, India|
United Breweries Group or UB Group is an Indian conglomerate company headquartered in UB City, Bangalore in the state of Karnataka. The company has annual sales of over US$4 billion and a market capitalization of approximately US$12 billion. Its core business includes beverages, aviation, electrical and chemicals. The company markets beer under the Kingfisher brand, and owns various other brands of alcoholic beverages. It also launched Kingfisher Airlines, an airline in India whose operation has been halted after problems that led to its licence being revoked by the DGCA. United Breweries is India's largest producer of beer with a market share of around 48% by volume.
The company chairman is Vijay Mallya, who had been a member of the Indian Parliament. United Breweries now has greater than a 40% share of the Indian brewing market with 79 distilleries and bottling units across the world. Recently, UB financed a takeover of the spirits business of the rival Shaw-Wallace company, giving it a majority share of India's spirits business. The group also owns the Mendocino Brewing Company in the United States.
The UB Group was founded by a Scotsman, Thomas Leishman, in 1857. The Group took its initial lessons in manufacturing beer from South India based British breweries. At the age of 22, Vittal Mallya was elected as the company's first Indian director in 1947. After a year, he replaced R G N Price as the chairman of the company. Rangarajan took over from R G N Price.
United Breweries made its initial impact by manufacturing bulk beer for the British troops, which was transported in huge barrels or "Hogsheads". Kingfisher, the group's most visible and profitable brand, made a modest entry in the sixties. During the 1950s and 60s, the company expanded greatly by acquiring other breweries. First was the addition of McDowell as one of the Group subsidiaries, a move which helped United Breweries to extend its portfolio to wines and spirits business. Strategically, the Group moved into agro-based industries and medicines when Mallya acquired Kissan Products and formed a long-term relationship with Hoechst AG of Germany to create the Indian pharmaceutical company now known as Aventis Pharma, the Indian subsidiary of the global pharma major Sanofi-Aventis.
The Pegasus, which is the symbol of the United Breweries, first found its place as the Group logo in 1940. Then, the Helladic horse – associated with beer and nectar in Greek mythology – carried a beer cask between the wings, ostensibly because beer formed the core operations of the Group. Later, the beer cask was removed to represent the Group's multifaceted operations. Now, it is just the horse.
Sales were expected to exceed 70 million cases during the fiscal year 2005–06, making the Group the third-largest manufacturer of spirits products in the world, after Diageo and Pernod Ricard. In addition, USL is one of only three in the world to own seven millionaire brands and at least five brands rated by Drinks International, UK, to be amongst the ten fastest growing brands in the world in their respective categories. The market share of the Spirits Division in India is currently 60% and exports to the Middle East, Africa and Asian countries are growing rapidly.
The UB Group's brewing entity – called United Breweries Limited (UBL) – has also assumed undisputed market leadership with a national market share in excess of 50%. Through a process of aggressive acquisition and market penetration, The UB Group today controls 60% of the total manufacturing capacity for beer in India. The flagship brand, Kingfisher, is now sold in over 52 countries worldwide, having received many accolades for its quality.
With plans to become a global player, United Spirits Limited (USL), the flagship of the UB group, purchased the Scottish distiller Whyte and Mackay in May 2007 for £595 million (Rs. 4,800 crore). This would bring the brands of W&M like The Dalmore, Isle of Jura, Glayva, Fettercairn, Vladivar Vodka, and Whyte & Mackay Scotch under its portfolio. However, in October 2014, the UB Group sold its Whyte and Mackay subsidiary to Philippines-based Emperador Inc. for £430m.
UB Engineering Limited is the group's engineering business arm. It undertakes EPC projects, infrastructure, on-site fabrication of structures, installation, testing and commissioning of electrical and mechanical equipment, piping for large industrial projects. The company was initially established as Western India Erectors in 1963 and came under the UB Group in 1988.
UBICS, Inc provides IT consulting, bodyshopping services and professional IT products to business companies.
In August 1999, the group made a first-of-its-kind media alliance for the promotion of NDTV Good Times, a lifestyle television channel run by NDTV.
As of some unknown point in time, United Spirits Limited had 144 brands under its umbrella, including White Mischief vodka, the market leading brand in India.
- Aviation (see Kingfisher Airlines)
- Formula 1 - Force India
- IPL cricket team - Royal Challengers Bangalore
- Alcoholic beverages
- I-League Kolkata based football teams - Mohun Bagan A.C. and Kingfisher East Bengal
Alcoholic beverage brands
- Kingfisher Strong (strong beer)
- Kingfisher Premium (mild beer)
- Kingfisher Draught (draught beer)
- Kingfisher Ultra
- Kingfisher Blue
- Kingfisher Red
- Kingfisher Strong Fresh
- Kingfisher Bohemia
- Zingaro (strong beer)
- London Pilsner
- UB Export
- UB Export Strong
- Kalyani Black Label
- Kalyani Black Label Strong
- Marco Polo
- Kingfisher Ice Beer
- Guru Strong
Most of the products have been entered in numerous spirit rating competitions and have won several quality awards. In 2006, McDowell’s No.1, Black Dog, Dalmore, Jura and Whyte & Mackay received a Gold Quality Award from the international quality institute Monde Selection. All of the vodka brands were entered in the 2006 Monde Selection’s World Quality Selections and won a Silver Quality Award.
- "Group Headquarters". Retrieved 4 February 2012.
- "economic express".
- "Financial express, United Breweries to uncork low alcohol, fruit flavoured beer in India". Financialexpress.com. 2008-05-09. Retrieved 2010-08-30.
- "India's Life Of The Party", BusinessWeek
- "Business : United Spirits buys Whyte & Mackay". The Hindu. 2007-05-17. Retrieved 2010-08-30.
- Fertilizers - Business. UB Group. Retrieved on 2013-12-23.
- Engineering - Business. UB Group. Retrieved on 2013-12-23.