We want to double Indias single malt experience

Written by Jyoti Verma | Updated: Dec 30 2007, 03:51am hrs
Born in 1970 to a French father and a German mother in France, Frank Braillard has a personality built on a barrier-free romantic foundation. To begin with, he loves his work (and thus his wares), the countries he travels to and people he meets on his trade tours. The Frenchman opens the discussion on the new single-malt whiskey flavours just launched by his company in India. For those who drink, the fruity flavours of Glenmorangie, he thinks, can liven up any situation.

Malt whisky is a growing category, with great appeal globally. It appeals to an affluent, sophisticated male consumer and the target is getting younger. In India, Glenmorangie appeals to a much wider footprint of consumers beyond the traditional malt drinker, predominantly anyone who enjoys premium spirits. We are sure our new taste will attract new drinkers allowing them to explore, experiment and enjoy, quips the business development director, Glenmorangie. One wonders what is new about the brand, besides the usual product development. Its a much more, says the senior salesman, adding, The new tastes offer a greater texture and deeper flavour through higher quality of casks and longer periods of maturation. The flavoured Glenmorangie combines fresh, fruity tastes with rich, creamy textures, alluring hues and mouth-tingling finishes. It also comes with an enhanced bottle design to add value to the brand and the category.

Braillard started working in a cigar production firm in the Philippines and then moved on to the more heady wines and spirits business. He has managed brands such as Mot & Chandon and Dom Prignon in the Philippines, Hong Kong and China at a time when champagne was nascent; and later developed Hennessy, Belvedere, Glenmorangie and champagne in the newly developing countries of Eastern Europe. As business development director for Glenmorangie, he is now helping the Mot-Hennessy distribution network which acquired Glenmorangie in late 2004 develop Glenmorangie and the single-malt whisky market in Asia Pacific. As such, he travels around Asia, spreading the good word about the brand.

In India, Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore, Punjab, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Goa, Rajasthan and Kolkata are our major markets, shares Braillard. And he hopes a steady growth for the demand in coming times. So, one expectation from the government is the duty reduction. At times, the custom duty is reduced. But then excise duty goes up, leading to an upward push in the prices. This distances consumers from the brand and affects the industry in the process, says Braillard.

Point taken. But he too realises customers want more. And to deliver to them, he has in mind some innovative ways. Like, we are bringing in experts from the field of distilling to talk about their art and do bar staff training for the F&B staff, and holding tasting sessions with consumers, he says.

Seems a lot to uncork here, one needs to just join this salesman for a drink to know what could surface in 2008 with the drink you love the most.