Interview: Siddharth Wadia, director & GM – IMENA Region, Brown-Forman

by Jeremy

We believe that we have the right portfolio in India to target the country’s different consumer tastes and preferences, and the future for Brown-Forman in India is promising.

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Jack Daniel’s maker Brown-Forman has identified India as one of the key emerging markets for its whiskey. The 150-year-old American company owns alcohol brands, including Jack Daniel’s family, Finlandia, Korbel, el Jimador, Woodford Reserve, and the Old Forester. Siddharth Wadia, director & general manager – IMENA Region, Brown-Forman talks to Rajesh Ravi about the potential of the Indian market, the impact of a pandemic, and high taxes. Excerpts:

India is said to be one of the most extensive whiskey markets. What is your outlook on the Indian market, especially the whiskey market?
People in India have always loved their whiskey! With increasing aspirations, disposable incomes, and exposure to global brands, consumers are more willing to experiment, upgrade and enhance their repertoire for different whiskies made worldwide. There has been a tremendous increase in the cocktail culture, and people are trying out cocktails made with whiskey, thus leading to the opening of craft cocktail bars across tier-1 cities. The premiumization of the retail environment has led to a safe and pleasant experience for shopping for Alcobev products, making it easier for women to access their favorite premium whiskey brands.

While India has traditionally been a Scotch market, we are witnessing healthy double-digit growth over the past few years. India has been identified as one of the key emerging markets for Jack Daniel’s. We have seen that consumers are upgrading to international spirits and looking for newer expressions of whiskey and brands.

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