Sachin Me­hta to head In­dia ops of Wil­liam Grant

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Business - [email protected] times­

New Delhi: The world’s largest fam­ily-run Scotch whisky maker Wil­liam Grant & Sons has broken tra­di­tion again to get a strong foothold into the In­dian mar­ket. After ink­ing a deal with Modi Dis­til­leries for bottling, which is the 130-yearold Scotch gi­ant’s only bottling ar­range­ment out­side Scot­land, it has for the first time placed an In­dian, Sachin Me­hta, at the helm of its lo­cal op­er­a­tions.

Me­hta, coun­try di­rec­tor of Wil­liam Grant & Sons In­dia, has taken over from James Pen­nefa­ther, sig­nalling the height­ened am­bi­tions of the com­pany to break into do­mes­tic mar­ket with low-priced of­fer­ings in the scotch whisky cat­e­gory that is cur­rently dom­i­nated by Di­a­geo’s Black & White, Beam Sun­tory’s Teacher’s and Pernod Ri­card 100 Pipers.

Apart from other re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, Me­hta, who joined Wil­liam Grant as head of sales in 2016, will spear­head com­pli­ance. The maker of Mon­key Shoul­der and sin­gle malts Glen­fid­dich and Bal­ve­nie may bring in more brands from its global port­fo­lio and bot­tle them lo­cally in the fu­ture. Com­pared with other play­ers in the do­mes­tic mar­ket, the com­pany, which is the third-big­gest Scotch pro­ducer after Di­a­geo and Pernod, is a late en­trant. In­dia, how­ever, fea­tures among the top 10 mar­kets for some of its top brands in the sin­gle malt cat­e­gory.

“We en­tered In­dia in 2013 and started op­er­a­tions in 2014. In the next four to five years, we aim to be among the top four or five mar­kets,” Me­hta told TOI. In the sin­gle malt cat­e­gory, In­dia has wit­nessed a healthy CAGR of over 21% (2013-2018). Dur­ing the pe­riod, Glen­fid­dich, which is one of the lead­ing brands in the cat­e­gory, has been one of the brands driv­ing this growth with a CAGR of 25-30%.

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