Q. What are the factors that make India a robust market for international players?
A. The consumer base in India is growing, whereby people with disposable income are becoming more adventurous, and exploring diverse wine categories.
Q. Why do you think an Australian wine like your brand will appeal to the Indian palate?
A. Our range, currently available in India — Stamp — is good quality, easy drinking and accessible to most wine consumers. It is also an easy match for Indian food.
Q. Many wine countries, especially the newer lot, are trying to create flavours that are peculiar to the them. Does Australia boast of wines that are unique and not available anywhere else?
A. Quite simply, no. There are no hidden secrets. What currently emerges from Australia is on the whole, good quality. This is a far cry from the 1980s and ’90s, where over-capacity led to cheap wine flooding the global market, compromising quality and therefore, meaning that Australian wine’s reputation suffered.
Q. In India, in which cities do you plan to create a mark and increase your presence?
A. All the major urban centres will be a priority; we will target the growing consumer base with disposable income. It will be interesting to see how the secondary cities develop economically in the coming years. Any location with international hotel chains, an airport, quality retail off-premise outlets and prestigious on-premise outlets will be a target.
Q. How long do you think it will take to make India into a developed market for wine from an emerging one?
A. Business opportunities in India are expanding in general, so off the back of this, perhaps, wine will benefit. If a lot of the inter-state bureaucracy can be broken down, then wine has a much better chance of taking off. A combination of imported wines along with the growing domestic category will be key to growth but from what I’ve seen, this could easily be a 10-15 year life cycle before India is developed.
Q. Any lessons that India should learn from Australia in the wine domain?
A. Don’t compromise on quality for a short-term gain! Cheap isn’t always good and perhaps, wine can be allowed to grow at a pace that mirrors the overall Indian economy.
Q. What have you taken from your visit to India?
A. My visit to India has really opened my eyes to the wine opportunity. I have seen enough to understand that with growth opportunities, if there are good, quality and passionate people involved, anything is possible.