Traders dealing in branded mineral water in the city suffered huge losses as sales of their products dipped tremendously in the past two-and-a-half-years, following large-scale illegal sale of spurious mineral water.
A large number of retailers had stopped buying water from original dealers as they were being supplied spurious water by the mafia, busted by the Gurgaon police on Tuesday, offering profit margins at the cost of peoples’ health.
Police officials told Hindustan Times on Thursday that the mafia operating out of five plants had been active in Gurgaon from the past two-and-a-half-years.
However, in the wake of news reports about the illegal sale of spurious water, authorised dealers have reported a considerable dip in sales in the last two days.
HT approached the main distributor of Aquafina and other dealers, supplying purified water under their own brands.
“Our business has been affected as retailers procured the jars from the grey market at cheaper rates, whereas we supplied the same at R60, as against illegal vendors supplying them at Rs 25,” the traders said.
There are four distributors of Aquafina in Gurgaon and each reported less sale of 5,000 jars per month.
"We used to supply 8,000 jars every month. But due to the sale of spurious water, the number has reduced to 3,000. People visit us and complain about the quality of water. We tell them that it's duplicate. It is difficult to make them understand as the jars they purchased are original, the stickers are original, but the labels and seal are fake," said Ajay Kumar, a vendor.
“The stickers recovered by the police had been discarded by branded companies around eight months ago,” said Ranu Singh, a distributor of Kingfisher Mineral Water.
“We have been suffering huge losses from the past two years. The sales of figures have dipped. As the plants are now sealed, sales have gone up drastically,” he added. The coming week will present an accurate picture of the impact on sales.