John Distilleries eyes No. 2 slot in IMFL market

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Bangalore-based John Distilleries (JDL), known for its Big Banyan wines and Original Choice whisky, is eyeing the number 2 position in the Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) market, helped largely by its new product introductions, expansion plan and increased sales targets.

“Though United Breweries (UB) remains the undisputed leader in the IMFL segment, we are confident of becoming the second largest player in this category, mainly because of our new product portfolio and plans to expand our presence not only across the country but also in newer markets internationally,” said Paul John, chairman of John Distilleries.

The IMFL market is estimated to be over 190 million cases a year, growing at a CAGR of 12 per cent. The major players operating in this space include market leader United Spirits, Pernod Ricard, Radico Khaitan, JDL and Allied Blenders & Distillers. In the IMFL segment, JDL is aiming to sell about 15 million cases this year compared to 12.5 million cases it sold last year.

The company, which is aggressively expanding its product portfolio as well as its presence, is in the final stages of private equity infusion of Rs 75 crore. “The funding is expected to be closed next month and we intend to use it for our pan-India expansion, infrastructure advancement of our Chitali plant, introduction of newer products and setting up a winery in Bangalore,” John said.

According to him, in the next six months, the company will launch red and white wines called Ampersand and vodka and rum under the Salute brand name.

Further, JDL, whose products are available at 14 locations, is looking to enter six more states including West Bengal, Assam, UP, Orissa and two north-eastern states by March 2010.

Also on the cards is a foray into the South-east Asian markets in the next one year, informed John. The company’s products are currently exported to Angola, Congo, Ghana, the UAE and Namibia.


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