Industry moots common marketing platform for smaller wineries in India

By: | Published: December 31, 2014 1:50 AM

An independent marketing company is being mooted by India Grape Processing Board (IGPB) with the intent to establish and provide...

It’s cheering news for small wineries in Maharashtra that have been staring at a bleak future.

An independent marketing company is being mooted by India Grape Processing Board (IGPB) with the intent to establish and provide a common marketing platform that would work on the branding on labels coming from smaller wineries in the state.

“A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) is being mooted and while finer details are being worked out, we are hopeful of finding a solution in the new year,” Jagdish Holkar, chairman, IGPB, told FE.

The board has some ambitious plans for wineries in the country. While wine consumption in India has been growing at 30% per year, the state of around 40 small wineries, largely based in Maharashtra, continues to remain a concern for the industry.

Holkar believes that a common marketing company could help these small players get wider market reach and enable them to label their brands so they are better known in the market. “Today, barring a few top players, the rest of the wineries do not have labels to market on their own,” he said.

The All India Wine Producers Association has said the survival of these wineries is at risk. It is preparing to ask the new BJP-led government in Maharashtra for Rs 200 crore as a soft loan to help the wineries overcome the current financial crisis.

Significantly, some of the wine companies in financial trouble are those who once supplied bulk wines to bigger producers. The problem is reported to have begun in 2008 after the market leader, Chateau Indage, went bankrupt. That left a number of smaller wineries and grape growers in trouble. “It will be difficult for every small winery to try and reach out to the market on its own and the volumes coming from these also do not merit separate labels. In such an event, a common brand or at least a common branding effort could be handy,” he said.

At present, the Board presents Indian wines under the common umbrella of `Wines of India’ during export promotions in overseas markets.

The Board, which controls AIWPA, has a marketing sub-committee that includes 13 wine companies. It has showcased Indian wines at Hong Kong, UK, Canada and Germany in the past.

Get live Stock Prices from BSE and NSE and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Switch to Hindi Edition