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Home-grown brands are the ‘in’ thing

The one thing you’d like to change about the Indian market…

Nothing. We have the best young curious consumers right now, who love to experiment and try new things!

Who do you think sets drinking trends in India?

Drinking trends in India are generational. Between the mid ‘90s until about 2015 you saw the emergence and domination of celebrity-led IMFL campaigns with emphasis on claiming that these brands were Western, Scotch, etc.

After 2010 you saw that there was overall fatigue and disconnect with these brands, after young Indians travelled and got better connected with global trends – and saw the lies in those claims!

Today the young consumer is looking for interesting products. There is also a growing pride in consuming home-grown brands.

What’s the most overrated drinking fad/ drink in India at the moment?

I am glad that molecular mixology died quietly. I feel that the bars that did it, did it to be on trend, not because they were fully committed to the idea.

What’s the next big thing for India?

The emergence and dominance of home-grown brands, which are competing on quality with the rest of the world. In 10 years we will have new Indian companies taking on the global giants in the Indian market.

What’s the best motivation for your team?

Jimmy the Dog, because Jimmy does his thing and doesn’t give a damn… Be like Jimmy!

Which is your favourite liquor brand ad campaign?

There is a lot of objectification of women in liquor ads; so the ones that stand out are the ones which refrain from doing so. Brewdog’s high-impact campaign of using a battle tank in downtown London when they were fairly new; and Mikkeller’s running club are my favourites.

Which is your favourite bar in India and why?

I’ll pick two: Joseph’s Bar in Panaji and Bob’s Bar in Bengaluru. These bars are the least pretentious, most true to local culture, and extremely hip in an almost effortless manner.

Which of your competitors gives you sleepless nights?

I don’t think about competitors. Jack Ma had equated starting a company to running a marathon, in the first 2 years you just run!

The one fictional character you’d like to have a drink with…

Kung Fu Panda! I’d go bar hopping with him!!

If you were alone on a deserted island, which drink would you want with you?

A really cold Eight-Finger Eddie.

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