Mum: High-rises to replace Duke’s iconic bottle

MUMBAI: Chembur resident Viren Jadhav’s house overlooks the Duke’s manufacturing unit, which until lately had a two-storey cement bottle towering over the premises. Painted white with blue stripes, the bottle was once an area landmark used to present instructions to delivery boys and guests. But within the Jadhav family, the bottle had a different importance. It was once how Jadhav got his toddler—now a teen—to drink his milk. “When he was once two years outdated, I might point to the fires from the refineries and tell him that they were dragons, who drink milk from this large bottle,” recalls Jadhav, “and he should finish his milk ahead of they finish theirs.”

During its heyday, the 2.5-acre Duke’s manufacturing unit in Chembur employed nearly 500 workers and would churn out 5 lakh bottles of beverages like Lemonade, Mangola, Raspberry and Ice Cream Soda that induce nostalgia even as of late. But on Tuesday the plant, which has been defunct since 2013, was once demolished to make manner for a housing undertaking through The Wadhwa Group, who bought it from PepsiCo in 2017 for Rs 170 crore. “We plan to build three residential towers 22 stories high,” says managing director Navin Makhija. “It’s a luxurious building with amenities like a large lawn and a clubhouse.”

The new undertaking will take 2.5 years to finish and would possibly tentatively incorporate a construction reminiscent of the iconic bottle even if Makhija points out that the design hasn’t been finalised. But there are different aspects of the manufacturing unit that citizens will leave out, just like the 9am and 9pm manufacturing unit siren—housewife Orlena Ayyar would set her watch through it— and the top of the Duke’s Ganpati. “For 12 days, our lane can be buzzing with job,” recalls Ayyar. “It was once such a large Ganpati that vendors would set up a casual ‘mela’ with ferris wheels and stalls.” The Ayyars have even had to formally trade their deal with. “Our MTNL bill used to read, ‘Opposite Duke’s Factory,’” added Ayyar, “but we’ve had to trade it.”

The cushy drink company Duke and Sons Pvt Ltd was once established in 1889 through Dinshwaji Cooverji Pandole, a faculty trainer, who was once also a bowler for the Parsi Cricket Eleven. He travelled to England for a fit in 1886 where he was once struck through the recognition of bottled cushy beverages. He decided to launch an indigenous brand from Bombay. The name was once borrowed from a cricket ball manufacturing company, whose balls he believed were fortunate for him. The first Duke’s manufacturing unit was once in Khetwadi, adjacent to Cama Baug, ahead of it moved to Chembur within the early seventies, says 80-year-old Dinshaw Pandole, nice grandson of the founder.

Pandole worked within the manufacturing unit from 1962 until the family offered the industry along with the plant to PepsiCo in 1994 when marketplace dynamics changed because of the entry of global avid gamers. “It was once probably the most leading regional cushy drink manufacturers and the three main products in its arsenal were Duke’s Soda, Lemonade and Mangola,” says Pandole’s son, Darius, who helped organize the manufacturing unit for a few years ahead of it was once offered. After taking up the plant, PepsiCo persevered operations there till 2013 until structural safety considerations arose, which is when they moved the manufacturing of Duke’s products to their Mahul plant.

“Duke’s much-celebrated flavours were a part of every Mumbaikar’s lifestyles and the emblem remains to be beloved through shoppers,” stated a PepsiCo spokesperson. The brand is still to be had in Andheri, Chembur, Vashi, Thane and south Mumbai but it surely’s onerous to identify out of doors of Parsi ‘lagans’ and ‘navjotes’. When Dinshaw Pandole does see it, alternatively, he confesses to feeling a sense of “loss”. But Chembur citizens are overcome with nostalgia. Jadhav recalls his faculty days when Mangola was once to be had for simply Rs 4.50, whilst Ayyar recalls her college crew chipping in to buy a unmarried bottle of Duke’s Lemonade. “It’s a homegrown Indian brand,” says Jadhav, “so I've a super attachment to it.”
Mum: High-rises to replace Duke’s iconic bottle Mum: High-rises to replace Duke’s iconic bottle Reviewed by kailash soni on July 14, 2018 Rating: 5
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