Two-third of our wine sales come from women: Cecilia Oldne, SulaVineyards
She says that women prefer the wine because it is sophisticated and because they are more health conscious.
Wine has carved its niche in the Indian alcohol market. Although the market remains small, the future is promising with the sector growing multi-fold year-on-year. Sula Vineyards, which was the first to set up a winery in India's wine capital Nasik in 1999, is one of the biggest players.
The company now has 65% market share in India and now exports its wines to 30 countries.
Cecilia Oldne, Vice President – Marketing, Sula Vineyards spoke to Collin Furtado on the company's sales growth, experiential marketing, advertising restrictions for the brand and the wine market in India.
How large is the wine market in India?
Looking at both domestic and imports, the wine market in India would be around 1.5 million cases. This goes from wines that are prices at Rs 200 and there are champagnes that are at Rs 10,000 a bottle. Imports to India are around 2,00,000 cases.
What is Sula's growth in terms of revenue over the past one year?
This year we crossed about 13,000 tonnes of grapes which was a 20% increase from last year.
Farmers’ payments will cross Rs 50 crore this year. We saw a 30% increase in sales last year. We have already passed sales of 1 million cases.
We have been growing at 65% in the domestic market and we are going to continue holding that market share. The growth will be at around 20% over the next two years as well. We are putting more efforts into other similar collections portfolio as we have the imported spirits as well.
Why does Sula only depended on experiential marketing?
When it comes to wines, the best way to market the product is for someone to actually to taste it. For many at these activities and events it is for the first time that they get to taste wine and Sula Fest is a property that we have created where people can come to the vineyards and experience it. It is about the location, the feel and the whole package that comes with it.
What are the ad spends of Sula?
A lot of revenues go to the marketing activities that we do. A big chunk of our marketing budget per year goes to Sula Fest because around 3 or 4 months are spent on planning activities around it. But speaking about revenue, around 5% of the companies revenues goes towards these kind of activities.
How large do you expect the wine market to grow within the next few years?
We have been experiencing a 20% growth each year in India and I don't see a reason why it shouldn't continue to grow on the same rate for the next decade. We see at least two thirds of sales coming from women. More of them are now becoming independent and taste wine before others. Many of them drink wine because it is more sophisticated and also women are a little bit more health conscious than men, so they prefer wine before other drinks. It is not only tier 1 where people are consuming wine but also in tier 2 cities.
What is the impact of demonetisation on the sales of the company?
From demonetisation perspective we haven't been affected by it as wine producers. The one thing is that farmers have been affected and that is something we are trying our level best to support.