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Delhi Wine Club

Posted: Monday, 09 August 2010 10:51

Vinsura to Play Sura de Vin

After being in a state of limbo, Nashik based Vinsura has got the seven- year itch and plans to play ‘Sura de Vin’ by chalking out ambitious expansion with top management handed over to  professionals, as Nitin Desai steps in as the CMD of the company with  possible changes in the equity holding  pattern, writes Subhash Arora.

Nitin Desai has been working with the company for the past couple of years and was appointed as the Managing Director of Vinsura Wineries Pvt. Ltd (earlier known as Sankalp Winery) since January this year, says Prahlad Khadangle who is one of the founders and co-owner of the winery and the Chairman till he relinquished the post in his favour. Along with Mr. S Nhate, the erstwhile Managing Director he controls the majority shareholding and both continue as Directors. 

‘We have been one of the oldest wine producers in Nashik after Sula came into existence. As farmers we know how to grow grapes and make wine but we have been lacking the marketing skills, which has been a hurdle to our growth. The 36-year old Nitin, who is related to our founder Director Dr. Pawar and is a custodian of his equity, is a marine engineer and a young professional who can handle marketing well. It was a natural progression for us to hand over the management to take us to the next level,’ says Khadangle, confirming ‘there is no change in the shareholding of the company,’ contrary to some reports in the market.

Speaking about his appointment Desai reportedly said "wines are alive and only get better with age, I wish to take Vinsura to a whole new level and to be the benchmark for the industry and see the organization matures with time"- an adventurous statement since Vinsura - and indeed the vast majority of Indian wines are meant to be drunk young and don’t get better with age.

Vinsura sold 16.000 cases of wine in the last fiscal year 2009-10 against a projected sale of 20,000 cases. After selling over 7,000 cases already in the current year, the company hopes to sell 25,000 cases this year, says Prahlad. ‘We have renewed our license for Delhi this year and Nitin is going to appoint the marketing team in a few days.’

Vinsura has the capacity to produce 6 million liters of wine. After the death of their winemaker M.P. Sharma who had earlier worked with Sula when it had started operations, Nagare who worked under him as the assistant winemaker has taken over as the winemaker. ‘We have been sending him to France frequently during the last couple of years and he is well-trained to look after the winemaking,’ says Prahlad.

But Nitin Desai when contacted by delWine was more upbeat and charged up to play ‘Sura de Vin’ (musical note of wine) by setting up a target of over 100,000 (one hundred thousand) cases this year. ‘We already achieved 60% of sales of last year in the first quarter,’ implying the sale of 8-9,000 cases. This is well in line with the achievement of other producers- Sula has jumped up over 50% during the same period while Grover confirms a growth of 51%.

‘Where is he going to get the capacity to produce so much wine? ‘There are plenty of wineries which are in trouble. We should have no problems in procuring wine. From next year we will also start to crush more grapes.’ And the marketing? ‘I think the company lacked in human resource capital which we are infusing. With this we shall increase our pan India presence including Delhi where we plan a sale of 7000 cases this year. It is lower than our expectations because we have received the license only now when four months have already passed.’

‘Mr. Gopal joined yesterday (Saturday) as the COO. He has over 25 years experience in marketing in France and Sicily. We appointed a new All-India Marketing Head, Abhijit Ghosh 3 months ago and are currently appointing marketing personnel throughout the country- to increase our pan India presence.’ He did not elaborate how they plan to raise the capital required to increase the production and sales. He did however, mention that he and his family now own almost majority of shareholding.

The equity capital structure notwithstanding, Vinsura is poised to play ‘Sura de Vin’ (Musical notes of wine) with the exploding wine sales as music to the shareholders who would make more notes (higher profits). The leading producer Sula will find a worthy competitor, besides Grover or Indage who like Kumbhakaran  is beginning to slowly  open the eyes after the long slumber and will surely flex his muscles in the forthcoming seasons, to earn back the respect it enjoyed earlier.

Subhash Arora



EnCiLee Says:

I have been a dedicated follower of the Indian wine industry and have found Vinsura's quality to be among the best in Indian wines. Some of their wines outclass all other Indian wines. The consistency of their quality and their varieties has made me only want more from the Vinsura stable.

Posted @ August 16, 2010 16:07


Tarsillo Says:

"Sure de nada" FLAVORS has been one of the 1st supporter and client (in Delhi) of Vinsura . However their wine had become worse every time and the present plans to procure it frm 3rd parties doesn't show any dedication to quality: the very word has been absent in Subhash report! Personally and buziness wise, I do not list any low quality stuff, not even for free! Nothing to do with marketing which in Delhi has always ben very dedicated and efficient. Think about it Mr DESAI!

Posted @ August 12, 2010 15:58


B.Shankaranarayan Says:

A very timely and informative article. Hope the market with liven up with strong competition.

Posted @ August 10, 2010 12:17


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