Archive for » March 21st, 2017«

`Paper Boat’s preserving centuries’ old drinks for future generations’

Towards the middle of 2014, Neeraj Kakkar decided to move his company headquarters to Bengaluru, from Gurugram. Many tech companies that started elsewhere have subsequently made Bengaluru their home, which is understandable. But Kakkar’s company Hector Beverages – better known by its brand Paper Boat – sold traditional Indian non-aerated drinks like anar, aamras, jaljeera and aampanna.

So why did they move? As much as 40% of Paper Boat’s sales were coming from south India. “It did not make any sense to transport 40% of our products all the way south from Manesar (Haryana),” says Kakkar, who had a three-year stint with Coca-Cola as area sales manager in Bengaluru during the 2000s. “I like Bengaluru. The bureaucracy moved pretty fast and we could get land and others permissions quickly. The Mysuru production facility became five times bigger than the Manesar plant,” says Kakkar. The head office had only 15 employees and 13 were happy to move to Bengaluru.

Hector Beverages, founded by Kakkar together with Neeraj Biyani in 2010, started by selling

Tzinga energy drinks. In less than a year, the company raised funding from Infosys co-founder NR Narayana Murthy’s private investment arm Catamaran Ventures, and early-stage venture fund Footprint Ventures. It subsequently raised investments from Sequoia Capital, Hillhouse Capital and other individual investors. The latest funding valued the company at around $100 million.

“Catamaran also had a small role in us shifting base,” says Kakkar, who grew up in a small town in Karnal district of Haryana. Kakkar graduated from an engineering college in Karnal, and then received a management degree from MDI, Gurugram. After more than a six-year stint at Coca Cola, he went to Wharton School for an MBA. While Kakkar had a few offers to work in the US, the pull of entrepreneurship brought him back to India in 2010.

While Hector Beverages’ first product, an energy drink, was a success, the lack of clarity on regulations on energy drinks made the company look at other avenues. They hit upon the idea of healthy and traditional drinks, and the first of these, jaljeera, hit the markets four years ago. Aamras, anar, kokum and aam panna followed, and propelled the company to over 100% annual growth rates over the next three years.

“Paper Boat gives us great satisfaction because we are preserving the centuries’ old drinks of India for future generations,” says Kakkar. The company has an RD centre in Bengaluru, where research on 15 new products happens simultaneously. It takes around two years for a product to hit the market. For most traditional drinks, there are several variants and flavours. The company chooses one that it thinks will have a mass market. “We need to look at the inputs required, the machinery we can use, the scale we can achieve, the shelf-life of the products, and also ensure right cropping practices,” says Kakkar.

The beverages are priced at a premium level, so 75% of sales comes from the six biggest cities. But the brand is gaining popularity across the country. Paper Boat receives mails from remote locations on local drink recipes. “We take those seriously,” says Kakkar.

Today, his company employs over 800 people, with 400 of them in factories and another 250 in sales. It has a portfolio of 13 drinks and had cumulative sales of 60 million units over the past year. With the suggestions they receive and the RD they do, Kakkar and Biyani are hoping to significantly expand that portfolio in the coming years.


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Watercraft Sales celebrates 100th anniversary

Wisconsin dealer Watercraft Sales is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2017. The dealer specializes in sales, service and rentals in the Three Lakes-Eagle River Chain of Lakes and Wisconsin’s North Woods.

“Watercraft Sales just keeps going and growing,” said John Lamon Jr., owner of Watercraft Sales. “One key element that will never change is our concern for meeting our customers’ needs.”

The Lamon family has owned Watercraft Sales since 1960. John Lamon Sr. and his wife Betty took over ownership in 1960 and transitioned ownership to his son, Lamon Jr. in the 1980s. Lamon Sr. lost a battle to stomach cancer in the summer of 1991. Currently, Lamon Jr. and his son, John Ryan Lamon, serve as president and vice president.

“We’re just humbled and appreciative of not only all of the customers, past and current, but also our employees.,” said John Ryan Lamon. “We wouldn’t be where we are today without a longstanding list of dedicated employees that have been a great part of our team.”

John Lamon Sr.

John Lamon Sr.

John Ryan Lamon has noted a drive for success and a willingness to make tough decisions that were good for the customer, if not always the most profitable decision, has contributed to the success of the dealership over the past 100 years.

The dealership sells Nautique, Bennington, Sea Ray, Boston Whaler, Tracker, Nitro, Tahoe, Regency and Sun Tracker. Watercraft Sales is the oldest Correct Craft/Nautique dealer in the U.S., selling the brand since the 1940s, and is the oldest Bennington dealer in the state of Wisconsin, selling the pontoon brand since its inception in 1997.

The dealership plans to celebrate its anniversary on Aug. 5 with a customer appreciation day. Factory reps from Nautique, Tracker, Nitro and Sun Tracker are currently scheduled to be on hand with demo boats. Drew Danielo, a pro wakesurfer, will also be in attendance offering demos and wakesurfing lessons.

New Radio Group, a company owning the radio stations WRHN 100.1, WRLO 105.3 and WMQA 95.9, will be working with Watercraft Sales to conduct a boat giveaway of an 18-foot Sun Tracker Bass Buggy boat and trailer package. Winner must be present to win.

“We want to make it a fun event to celebrate with all of our past customers and people on our chain of lakes here, and let them know that we really appreciate all of the business we’ve received from them,” said John Ryan Lamon.


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Made in Karnataka Paper Boat seeks to preserve old drinks for future

Made in Karnataka Paper Boat seeks to preserve old drinks for futureTowards the middle of 2014, Neeraj Kakkar decided to move his company headquarters to Bengaluru, from Gurugram.Many tech companies that started elsewhere have subsequently made Bengaluru their home, which is understandable.But Kakkar’s company Hector Beverages ­ better known by its brand Paper Boat ­ sold traditional Indian non-aerated drinks like anar, aamras, jaljeera and aampanna.

So why did they move? As much as 40% of Paper Boat’s sales were coming from south India. “It did not make any sense to transport 40% of our products all the way south from Manesar (Haryana),” says Kakkar, who had a three-year stint with CocaCola as area sales manager in Bengaluru during the 2000s.

“I like Bengaluru. The bureaucracy moved pretty fast and we could get land and other permissions quickly .The Mysuru production facility became five times bigger than the Manesar plant,” says Kakkar. The head office had only 15 employees and 13 were happy to move to Bengaluru.

Hector Beverages, founded by Kakkar together with Neeraj Biyani in 2010, started by selling Tzinga energy drinks. In less than a year, the company raised funding from Infosys co founder NR Narayana Murthy’s private investment arm Catamaran Ventures, and earlystage venture fund Footprint Ventures. It subsequently raised investments from Se quoia Capital, Hillhouse Capital and other individual investors. The lat est funding valued the company at around $100 million.

“Catamaran also had a small role in us shifting base,” says Kakkar, who grew up in a small town in Karnal district of Haryana. Kakkar graduated from an engineering college in Karnal, and then received a management degree from MDI, Gurugram. After more than a six-year stint at Coca Cola, he went to Wharton School for an MBA. While Kakkar had a few offers to work in the US, the pull of entrepreneurship brought him back to India in 2010.

While Hector Beverages’ first product, an energy drink, was a success, the lack of clarity on regulations on energy drinks made the company look at other avenues. They hit upon the idea of healthy and traditional drinks, and the first of these, jaljeera, hit the markets four years ago. Aamras, anar, kokum and aam panna followed, and propelled the company to over 100% annual growth rates over the next three years.

“Paper Boat gives us great satisfaction because we are preserving the centuries’ old drinks of India for future generations,” says Kakkar. The company has an RD centre in Bengaluru, where research on 15 new products happens simultaneously . It takes around two years for a product to hit the market.

For most traditional drinks, there are several variants and flavours. The company chooses one that it thinks will have a mass market. “We need to look at the inputs required, the machinery we can use, the scale we can achieve, the shelflife of the products, and also ensure right cropping practices,“ says Kakkar.

The beverages are priced at a premium level, so 75% of sales comes from the six biggest cities. But the brand is gaining popularity across the country .Paper Boat receives mails from remote locations on local drink recipes. “We take those seriously ,” says Kakkar.

Today , his firm employs over 800 people, with 400 of them in factories and another 250 in sales. It has a portfolio of 13 drinks and had cumulative sales of 60 million units over the past year. With the suggestions they receive and the RD they do, Kakkar and Biyani hope to significantly expand that portfolio in the coming years.


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Anacortes Boat Show ready for its 20th year

The Anacortes Boat Show will once again be at Cap Sante Marina.

The 20th Anniversary Anacortes Boat Show, sponsored by The Anacortes Yacht Brokers, Anacortes Marine Trade Association, Port of Anacortes, and SaviBank will take place at the Cap Sante Marina (1019 Q Avenue) Thursday April 6 through Sunday April 9.

What began with just five yacht brokerages displaying 30 to 40 small to medium size boats has grown into a regional event with 15 yacht brokerages showing over 100 power and sailboats ranging from trailerable sport and fishing boats to large sail and power yachts capable of cruising the world.

Entrance to the show and parking are free, and the Uplands tent adjacent to the marina houses displays from over 30 marine vendors showing the latest equipment and presenting information on their services. Cruising and expedition educational seminars will be ongoing throughout the weekend.

Throughout the years, Anacortes has grown into a major west coast boating center with approximately 2,500 boats moored in five marinas, plus another 1,000 boats stored on land. The city also supports five year round boatyards with haul-out facilities capable of lifting yachts up to 400,000 pounds. And with over 40 marine businesses in Anacortes providing everything from anchors to zincs, boat sales to insurance, boating schools to bareboat charters, canvas to electronics, and every service know to the marine trades, it’s a maritime hub that can satisfy every boater’s needs.

With 2016 being an exceptionally successful year for the Anacortes Yacht Brokers and Marine Trades, 2017 promises to be an exciting year for boaters to upgrade to a larger boat or buy their first boat. Come join fellow boaters on April 6-9 to browse sailboats, powerboats, trawlers, motor yachts and all the parts and services to make your boating experience exceptional. 

For more information, visit anacortesboatshow.com.


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