Abhay Kewadkar’s strategy for growth at Four Seasons Wines is based on the three pillars of “education, awareness and accessibility.” “Over the years, wine consumption has remained metro-centric in India and it has a very snobbish appeal in the consumer’s mind,” says Kewadkar. “We have taken it upon ourselves to educate the consumer to demystify wine as a category and (make them aware) that wine is like any other beverage meant for enjoyment.” As part of this, his team has been conducting vineyard tours, wine tastings and wine appreciation sessions for corporations and various other consumer groups.
Kewadkar notes that the large distribution network of the UB Group gives him an advantage in reaching out to tier-2 and tier-3 cities. “This has helped us in expanding the pie and (also) in paving the way for a higher market share in a bigger pie,” he says. In a bid to further expand his reach, Kewadkar has also partnered with outlets like casual dining restaurant chain Pizza Hut and coffee chains Cuppa Café and Café Oz to serve Four Seasons wines in their outlets.
“The current alcoholic beverage penetration in India is around 42.5%, while beer and whiskey penetration is at 26% and 23% respectively. Wine is only at 0.6%. However, four times as many people have expressed their willingness to taste wine, but haven’t done so for lack of the necessary casual fine-dining experience and opportunity.”
More: Little India