Indian wine has improved in quality in leaps and bounds: Kishan Pedhapally of Asav Vineyards

Indian wine has improved in quality in leaps and bounds: Kishan Pedhapally of Asav Vineyards 25

As the support for ‘Vocal for Local’ is growing in every industry and domain.Hyderabad based ASAV wines, which has already established its name for quality and customer centricity is also growing fast.Its founder Kishan Pedhapally details the trend and future of wines made in India in an exclusive chat with Booznow team.

What’s the story of ASAV brand, how did you conceive the idea?

I was working with Sula and had taken the brand to great heights in Andhra Pradesh, now divided into two states AP and Telangana, so much so that I came to be known as “Sula Kishan” in F&B circles. However, in 2010 I realised that just selling somebody else’s wine is not what I would like to do all my life. With my experience of over 2 decades in the industry, I could definitely start something of my own. I took the first train to Nashik in 2016 to search for my wine and never looked back.

What are the latest trends emerging in terms of wine market? How do you see the role of tech and online?

Indian wine market is growing year on year at a rate of almost 15%. Because of lockdown, wine sales were a little low but now it has come back to last year’s numbers. In India red wines sell better than whites and premium wines are slowly growing. Young people are more interested in wine and this is a favourable trend.

Smartphones have given consumers the power to order anything sitting at home, but this is not true for online wine sales in Telangana. However, social media has changed the way you can directly reach the consumer sitting across the country and connect with them, getting instant feedback. This power of social media is great and it is a splendid promotional tool.

On the regulatory side, how do you see things shaping up for the industry, are companies getting empowered?

Things are moving slowly but steadily on the regulatory side. It took me some time to bring the ₹ 2 lakh license fee down to ₹10,000 in 2004. Similarly, I am hopeful that the excise will soon bring a pro-wine policy just like Maharashtra and Karnataka. This is my dream for Telangana so that consumers get wines at affordable prices. In spite of high duties for wine, the industry is performing well and even growing. Surely, if there is a positive change in the policy, it will empower the wine companies further

Wine market includes retailers and customers, do you think apart from quality and taste, availability will also be key driver in the market?

A brand is incomplete without availability. A great buzz with the product missing on shelves is the worst thing that can happen to a brand. So every company needs to focus energies also on right placement

How has market dynamics changed the way a company like yours function, especially in last one year,Covid time?

Consumer has become very price conscious and is buying less in these testing times. We have concentrated on giving good value to consumer by improving quality without increasing prices. Social media has become the “ go to” tool for increasing awareness and has helped too.

How do you see the future of India made wine and its acceptance in international market.

Indian wine has improved in quality in leaps and bounds. Many Indian brands have won awards in international competitions and are being exported too. Asav wines also has many wine awards over the years. Today internationally many people know about Indian wines and would like to have it with Indian food when they visit Indian restaurants.