Radico To Add Scotch Brands To Portfolio

New Delhi, Aug 26 | Updated: Aug 27 2004, 05:30am hrs
Alcoholic beverage major Radico Khaitan Ltd is in the process of inducting Scotch brands to its imported portfolio of wine and beer. The company has also intensified its greenfield development initiatives: a six-lakh cases a year bottling plant will be operationalised at Kashipur in Uttranchal by the year-end. The company is also looking at a distillery plant with annual capacity of 30 lakh litres of alcohol in Maharastra.

Uttranchal bottling plant will be the second greenfield project for the company after it operationalised one million cases a year bottling plant in Rajasthan in February this year.

Speaking to FE, company joint managing director Abhishek Khaitan said: "Scotch brands will complete the bouquet of international portfolio. As for distillery, we are now looking for a facility with a capacity of 30 lakh litres of alcohol a year in Maharastra."

Radico Khaitan president (marketing and sales) Raju Vaziraney added that the company was on the verge of finalising Scotch brands for its international portfolio. It currently markets and distributes a range of E&J Gallo wines like Andre and Turning Leaves besides Beck Beer. The two-year old imports division caters to a niche segment.

Mr Vaziraney says that the companys objective is to secure a quarter of the imported wine market in next couple of years from 15 per cent currently. "We expect imported wines market to grow to 75,000 cases a year from 50,000 cases currently," he stated.

With two bottling units already in place in Rajasthan and Uttranchal, Radico is now looking for eight bottling facilities in places like Assam, Haryana and Kerala. Earlier, Radico had proposed an investment of Rs 150 crore in the next three years to acquire ten bottling units. One such recent acquisition was the Hyderabad-based Anab-e-Shah with a bottling capacity of one million cases.

Radico recently acquired Bacardi group stake in Whytehall India, which gives it the malt plant in Rampur with a maturation capacity of 8.5 lakh litres and bottling plant capacity utilisation of 50,000 cases a month. The Whytehall capacity is in addition to its mother plant at Rampur which makes 60 million litres of alcohol.

Mr Vaziraney pointed out that the company was looking for a breakthrough in the West where it sells over 40,000 cases a month -- primarily through a tie-up unit at Tilak Nagar in Maharashtra. "We need to be ready for a plant with capacity of one lakh cases a month," he observed.

Commenting on the strategy to replace contract bottling units with company-owned greenfield ventures, Mr Vaziraney said that the demand was high enough in Rajasthan and Uttranchal to give the company-owned facilities economies of scale.

Over last few years the company had built a network of 24 tie-up units (now two have been replaced) from where it secured a substantial part of sales.