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N.D. Wines represented Indian Wine at IFE
M. A. Winter
Date of posting: 15-12-07
      The Indian wine market was growing heavily in the last years, imports saw huge growth rates, and so wine was made a main topic of IFE. Predominantly, French and Italian wines were displayed and could be tasted, but also wine from Australia and other countries. There was even one small exhibition hall which had been reserved only for wine companies, where, in a “seminar corner”, lectures were given about quality, tastes and handling of wine.

      Located between the foreign exhibitors was the stall of N.D. Wines, an Indian winery from Nasik in Maharashtra, which, against some decades old French companies, is quite a young enterprise, as the first wines were ready only in 2003, after production had begun in 2001.

      FoodIndustryIndia.com asked Ashish K. Dabas, area manager of the Northern India region of N.D. Wines, for his opinion about the massive marketing efforts of foreign wine companies. Dabas indeed welcomed the move of the foreign wine companies, as their combined efforts would help to generate more general awareness about wine among the Indian consumers. He did not see them as too much of a competition. “At the end, we have different market segments, as our wines are in good demand by foreign tourists who ask explicitly for Indian wines in their hotels and restaurants,” he said.

      And as far as the local Indian market is concerned, he sees the competitive advantage of N.D. Wines. “Indian are very price sensitive, so we can offer an entry level wine, the N.D. Galaxy, for a retail price of 330 Rupees, and this goes up to our premium Cabernet Sauvignon for 490 Rupees.” He mentioned also that N.D. Wines was the only Indian wine company at IFE, but had no explanation for the other’s absence.

      The company came to the wine business by extending their business model, as it was earlier selling only grapes. “We had already an export business of grapes to UK’s Sainsbury, when our chairman and managing director Ashok Gaikwad decided to step ahead into making wines”, Dabas said. The company could win French winemaker Jean Manual Jacquinot to built up the know-how. To produce and make wine, the company, which has an area of 700 acres to grow the grapes, has imported the necessary machinery, and is importing the required bottles and corks as well.

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