Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Potential for growth in India's whisky market

Published:  06 May, 2009

Rijak Rekhi president of India's United Spirits told the World Whisky Conference that he expected volume sales growth of 17% this year and talked of significant potential for growth in the whisky trade in India.

With United Spirits year-to-date volume figures currently standing at 15%, Rekhi told the conference that he felt optimistic despite the, " doom and gloom of economies weathering uncertainty," and that United Spirits has not felt any slow-down in terms of off-take.

Figures presented by Rekhi show India as the third largest global spirits market and the fastest growing ahead of the USA, with China and Russia coming in at first and second place respectively.

"About 500 million Indian nationals are currently at the legal drinking age with another 100 million that will attain the legal drinking age in the next five years and it is whisky that is the preferred spirit for first timers," said Rekhi.

As India lags significantly behind other countries in per capita consumption, Rekhi sees India as having a significant potential for growth despite heavy taxes.

India is also a brown spirits market with 75% of the population preferring to drink whisky, rum and brandy.

Cheaper Indian-made whisky is currently dominating market sales, with Scotch being seen as a premium brand to be drunk at special occasions.

But Rejki said: "There is a rise of the rich, consumer and aspirational classes in India who desire more exclusive brands."