RockClimber banks on authenticity and quality to tap into India’s beverage market


India has a massive beverage market with many established brands, though several new players, such as Bira, have also made their mark. Considering the sheer size of the market, it’s safe to say that there’s ample scope for newcomers.

One such new player is RockClimber. The company creates fruit beverages and fruit spirits designed specifically for India, made from locally grown fruits like jamun, grapes, pomegranate, kiwi, mulberry, and litchi, among others. One of the company’s objectives is to help reduce fruit wastage and create a sustainable ecosystem for farmers and fruit produce.

We spoke to founders Deepak Poduval and Hariprasad Shetty to learn more about RockClimber, what distinguishes it from the competition, and the roadmap ahead. Here are the edited excerpts:

The beverage market is filled with multiple brands, including some very established ones. How do you plan to stand out from the competition?

As a truly authentic fruit based beverage brand, we are committed to using high quality fruits with an experimentative approach to crafting unique fruit combinations that incorporate global flavour trends. This has allowed us to offer a very diverse range of exciting and refreshing beverages while keeping fruits at the center of everything we do.

That’s what makes us stand out from the rest of the competition – we see ourselves as fruit experts and our products are fresh and engage with the evolving consumer preferences. So our focus is on delivering an uncompromising product experience. We source the finest fruits from across the country. This commitment to authenticity and quality sets us apart from many competitors who rely heavily on artificial flavors and preservatives.

And the traction we have had in the last three years also points to how we have been accepted in the market. [FY 22 7 Cr, FY 23 7 Cr, FY 24 25 Cr, FY 25 60-70 Cr domestic and 30-35 outside India = 100 Cr+ target] 140 strong distributor network across 11 states. 3 million + bottles of beverages sold. 3000 tons of fruits processed sourced from a farmer base of 200,000 small scale fruit farmers producing grapes, pomegranate, pineapple, jamun, strawberry, mango etc.

What is your offline and distribution strategy, usually the key to robust growth in your category? 

Most of the work should happen before Day Zero – the launch day. We recognized early on that a robust distribution network is the backbone of success in this business. We adopted a systematic approach to build our distribution network from the ground up. Mapping out territories and identifying potential distributors and retailers who could penetrate different markets. We only went ahead with experienced and reputable distributors who had an in-depth understanding of local market dynamics and consumer preferences. 

What is your strategy for online? Are you considering partnerships with any quick commerce platform? 

Yes, now that we have a headway in the distribution aspect and have achieved product market fit, we are now going to go aggressive on the marketing front especially online channels.

What are the incentives for a farmer dealing with your platform other than the convenience of direct sale and price? 

Farmers are looking for a stable assured source of income every year. Timely procurement of their fruit produce, immediate payments, reduction in time to sale, and providing access to a large pool of buyers are all the benefits farmers get by working with us. 

We started with 500 tons of fruit procurement, and now at over 5000 tons. We aim for 10X procurement volumes in the next 2-3 years, thereby contributing to 10 times reduction in fruit loss, and hence a direct positive impact on small scale farmers livelihood and stable income generation. 

As we expand our facilities, we aim to recruit local talent to be part of our company and thereby directly provide employment opportunities as well. 

RockClimber aims to:

  • Scale to 10,00,000 farmer base in the next 3 years
  •  Platform building for farmer outreach, communication, and forecasting 
  • Patented mobile fruit processing system 
  • Export unit in select locations for UAE and Africa markets

You also mentioned entering the UAE and Africa markets. What is your roadmap for global expansion? And why particularly these two markets?

We expect 30-35% revenues coming in from global markets in the near term. Particularly markets like UAE are huge on experimentation as consumers there are well traveled and have an international palette. We see a large market opportunity in the innovative – new age beverage category in this region.

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