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Indage may hit another Roadblock

Posted: Wednesday, 06 April 2011 11:17

Indage may hit another Roadblock

Apr 6: The financially stifled Indage Vintners may have difficulty finding a suitor but there is no dearth of people willing to file suit against the company, the latest being the Himachal Pradesh government which seems to have reached a dead-end in making the company stick to the contract and may soon file a suit against the company, though it would appear rather late in the day for any recoveries, comments Subhash Arora 

Himachal Pradesh is considering action against the erstwhile leader now in shambles, as it has failed to start two wineries in the state, according to the statement of Horticulture Minister Narender Bragta on Sunday. No prizes for guessing that the company has failed to make the full payment for the land provided by the state for setting up these wineries, according to

"We have given an opportunity to Indage officials to clarify their stand for defaulting on land payment and for the abnormal delay in starting the apple and grape wine units," Bragta reportedly told India’s premier news agency, IANS, confirming that a Show Cause Notice had been issued to the company to that effect.

Indage still possesses 55.7 bighas (around 22.3 acres) of land at Nagwain in Mandi district in Himachal Pradesh for setting up a winery and 14.10 bighas (5.7 acres) at Pragatinagar in Shimla district for a unit to make apple wine. The company was to make a total payment of only around Rs.10 million for the Nagwain land and Rs.1.9 million for the land at Pragatinagar. It has so far deposited only 20% against the former while 30% has been made for the latter.

According to the original agreement signed by the then government in 2000, Indage and an overseas partner have 30% each, the Himachal government and the state-run Himachal Pradesh Marketing Corporation (HPMC) with 10% share each and the rest of 20% being  with the farmers. In 2005, the then Congress government reportedly signed a new agreement under which the project was to come up in private sector only and the government withdrew its share.

The state government is apparently thinking of cancelling this agreement with the company. "We are even ready to move the court to get back the land," Bragta said.

Although the state officials are meeting the company officials for a settlement, it would be difficult to come to an agreement as the company does not seem to have the resources to start the winery. The government may not be able to recover any money from the debt ridden Indage thought there are good chances that the land would revert back to the state. Any penal clauses would be effective on paper only.

During my visit to the Nagwain area last year, I had met their local representative who had sheepishly confirmed when I asked directly, that he had not received salary for the previous several months. But he seemed to be too charmed by Mr. Sham Chougule, Chairman of the company, to even imagine that he might never get his salary. Much water has flown over the head since then. The company has suffered huge losses, a case for winding up is lurking and the shares were de-listed last month on the Mumbai Stock Exchange after hitting the low of less than Rs.13. Unless the stock exchange listing conditions including the submission of last quarter’s Profit and Loss Statement are met, it is unlikely that the Exchange would allow the trading of shares, the value of which in any case will depend upon the perception of company’s future.

An email to Ranjit Chougule, the Managing Director remains unanswered.  Perhaps, he is travelling; it could not be confirmed if he was there at the Prowein Fair in Germany held on 27-29 March, where Indage was one of the 8 participants at the Indian pavilion erected by the Indian Grape Processing Board of which Mr Sham Chougule is also the Chairman.

It looks like Indage is about to hit another road block that it may have to negotiate on its way to the hopeful recovery.

Subhash Arora

4 April, 2011



Subhash Arora Says:


Hopefully, this is a temporary phenomenon. As soon as they meet the listing requirements, they are in business again, at the stock exchange. I am sure if they are sincere and honest, they can still revive the business- but my confidence in them is wavering. Subhash Arora

Posted @ May 06, 2011 12:43


Manoj Kumar Das Says:

Delisting hurt me as a shareholder.But I think the company can be revived.

Posted @ May 06, 2011 12:38


Hans Raj Ahuja Says:


Indeed it is sad to see decline of such a fine company. I feel more sad because I helped in bringing it back from a earlier similar situation in 1994 and worked hard bring it to a glorious hight and envy of all wine companies by 2001. However, the company may have a good future, it it follows a strategic tactical solution approach to present problems. Mr Sham Chougule, for whom I have high regards as a person with high vision and integrity. All it needs is an innovative approach and persons loyal to company. H R Ahuja

Posted @ April 23, 2011 12:22


Niranjan Thakur Says:

This company has only one way to go and that is downhill as it is run by immature and incompetent management.Top management is living in a fools paradise.Imagine purchasing and moving around in Audis and RRs to trvaveling first class to Europe and that too on a annual holidays when your staff including your peons have not been given salaries for 12 to 14 months. What a SHAM(E)!!

Posted @ April 19, 2011 15:38


Subhash Arora Says:


The above article was also published in website:

Posted @ April 16, 2011 12:26


Sanjiv K Singh Says:

This state of affairs is very sad; as Indage is a great company with an immense asset base in its vineyards & real estate. Just a case of ongoing mismanagement. It could yet be revived if the management is prepared to take some harsh decisions.

Posted @ April 16, 2011 10:10


Ravinder Makhaik Says:


Subhash, Thanx for this well researched article

Posted @ April 06, 2011 16:18


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