The Summer of 1977

The Indian summer of 1977 had a different kind of fizz. A country emerging from horrors of Emergency and raring to go! Angry young man on the screen setting the trend! A new govt playing tough with Coca Cola & IBM using the FERA act, forcing them to step out leaving the Indian market vacant.

Ramesh had already made a big splash in the Indian soft drink market and wanted to seize this opportunity by creating a Cola drink. He first tried variants that tasted like Pepsi & Coke and failed. Which made him start from scratch with ingredients such as cinnamon, cardamom & nutmeg.

A question posed by a soft drink vendor nailed it. “Can you make a drink that has fizz even when it is not cold?” Freezers were rare, so a Cola drink with an orange base and strong fizz seemed the right formula. Ramesh took a risk on the name too. The one he liked sounded a tad rude in colloquial usage.

Hence, we will never know if the ‘b’ was left out on purpose or it was a spelling mistake. But Ramesh Chauhan’s Thums Up took the country by storm & destroyed competition.

A young copywriter, Vasant Kumar coined the phrase Happy Days Are Here Again capturing the mood of the nation. It became the first signature tune for an iconic Indian brand that would always taste the thunder.

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