Dukes- the word alone is enough to evoke nostalgia and send most of us down memory lane. A teacher and cricketer, Dinshawji Cooverji Pandole, introduced the brand in India.
Dukes, India’s original soft drink brand, was available in a range of flavors, including ginger, raspberry, pineapple, mango, and lemonade, and a Sunday without them would be meaningless.
Dinshawji Cooverji Pandole, a teacher and cricketer, is credited with providing the country with this burst of flavor and a bagful of memories.
Dinshawji C. Pandole’s passion for cricket was unwavering. In 1889, he founded ‘Duke and Sons,’ calling it after the brand of a cricket ball used during an England tour with a Parsi team.
Despite the fact that a few cold drink companies previously existed in the Indian market, Duke’s gained popular due to its diversity of flavors and packaging.
All of the sodas available in their distinctive flavors served a purpose. For example, their gingerade was for any stomach issues, and their raspberry soda was regarded as a party drink, without which no gathering would be complete.
Lemon soda was a popular refreshment and go-to drink throughout the year. Every flavor had a distinct taste and was visually beautiful, giving it the product’s USP.
With the introduction of soda giant Coca-Cola in the country, Duke’s sodas faced stiff competition. In the 1950s, the business produced the legendary ‘Mangola,’ a mango drink made with actual fruit pulp.
Mangola, with its taste, color, and texture, was the brand’s first non-aerated drink. Everyone loved it, especially since a seasonal fruit drink was made available all year for the price of a carbonated one. Feroze Pandole, Dinshawji’s son, was the driving force behind this concept.
Dukes & Sons was acquired by PepsiCo in 1995 as more competitors entered the then-potential Indian market. Duke had a 55% market share in Mumbai at the time of the acquisition.
Its original drinks were still manufactured by Pandole’s until 2004, when they were taken from the market to increase Pepsi’s sales. Lemonade, on the other hand, remained, and in a big merger, Mangola was fused with Pepsico’s Slice, dubbing the brand Slice Mangola.
Duke’s had a modest resurgence in 2011, when it was reissued in retro packs in four flavors: ice cream soda, raspberry, gingerade, and masala soda. But only for a little moment.
Back then, their Chembur factory was dismantled to make room for a new residential development. Jahangir and Darius Pandole, the Pandole heirs, worked for leading multinational corporations around the world.
JM Financial Pvt Equity’s MD and CEO is Darius Pandole. Jahangir was the director at KPMG when he died in a car accident on September 2, 2022.