‘You don’t have to spend nine for a sip of wine’

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A glass of red wine is still considered to be a luxury in India. Wine manufacturers, for long, have been ruing the fact that they cater to a higher segment of the society and that wine is not popular among the masses.

According to experts in the industry, the wine-retailing market in the country is growing interestingly, but the lack of knowledge among the Indian middle class has held back the segment from gaining much popularity.

Speaking about the wine-retailing market in India, Karan Jain, CMD and CEO, Globus Wines, told Indiaretailing that though the market is growing interestingly in the country, it is yet to be popular among the masses. “Wine brands in India are not popular among the mid-segment population of the country. They do have the spending potential, but are unaware of this niche product category as they lack proper knowledge on the segment. For instance, the price range of our wines starts from Rs 400, but the masses do not know about it,” said Jain.

Suggesting measures to solve this information crunch, Jain said that companies should come forward and educate the Indian middle class about this niche segment. “The middle class in India have tremendous spending potential, but they generally have the notion that wine is an expensive commodity and is meant for the higher strata, which is not true. Wine-retailing companies should provide adequate information to the consumers so that it helps the business,” added Jain.

Citing his own example, Jain said that Globus Wines is coming out with a magazine that will disseminate information on wine and probably help in generation of more wine consumers in the country. “This is our endeavour to educate the masses and provide them with adequate information about wine as a commodity. The magazine titled ‘Swirl’ will be launched in August this year,” informed Jain.

Jain is also planning to introduce wine clubs across the country.

On the subject of whether a mass retailer can help in increasing wine consumption, Jain said: “It is quite impossible for mass retailers to include this segment in their portfolio. They (mass retailers) cater to a pre-defined segment of the society. They have their niche consumers, who are not on the lookout for wine in the stores. They primarily serve the daily needs of a consumer.”

Last year, Reliance Fresh, the food products retailing format from Reliance Retail, had entered into a strategic tie-up with Diageo, to retail the latter’s brands in the country, but none of the Diageo brands are being seen retailed at Reliance Fresh.

Meanwhile, Globus Wines has opened around five boutiques that stock nearly 500 brands of wine, including the company’s popular brand Miazma. “On an average, each boutique is around 350 to 600 square feet, and retails wines from different countries including France, Australia, Italy, USA, Argentina, Spain and Chile,” informed Jain.

The company had opened another boutique in the recently opened Star Bazaar in Mumbai, and plans to open around 80 outlets in various other cities in the country.

Globus Wines has also entered into an agreement with K Raheja Group and Oberoi Constructions to set up wine boutiques in their shopping malls across India.

– Ranjan Kaplish and Satrajit Sen

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