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Singular French Honour for Aman Dhall of Brindco

Posted: Friday, 20 September 2013 17:06

Singular French Honour for Aman Dhall of Brindco

Sep 20: The well-known French lifestyle magazine Paris Match carried a special wine supplement last week with a list of ‘Top Hundred Faces of French Wine’ who promote French wines in the world. The prestigious list includes Aman Dhall, owner of the leading importer Brindco, who is the only Indian accorded the singular honour, writes Subhash Arora

‘Special Vins,’ the Special 40-page wine supplement carried by the well-known lifestyle magazine, Paris Match, in its last week’s issue of 5-11 September, carried a list of 100 most important people involved in promoting French wines. They include producers, importers and wine experts. Aman Dhall, owner of the largest import company in India- Brindco, has been the lone Indian to have been included in the list which has a vast majority of French producers in it. An elated Aman informs delWine that he is very happy to have been bestowed the unique honour.

On his return from the US where he had studied in Boston University, Aman Dhall joined his father’s business of liquor distribution but decided to found Brindco (named after his father Brinder Singh) as a wine import business at the turn of the millennium when wine import was a trickle, the import duties were high and the import was restricted only to hotels against special licenses. Diplomats were allowed to import against a liberal quota and through leakages in the channel, ‘bootlegged’ wine was available in plenty (though the demand was miniscule) and fairly openly. The legal channel was under the control of Sansula and liquor importers like Mohan Bros. and Global Tax Free who had bonded warehouses.

Aman started ‘collecting’ good producers with a vengeance with reputed ones like Frescobaldi, Allegrini, and Albert Bichot in the bag. Sansula, the then leading importer had run into some business problems when the imports were thrown open in 2002. He took full advantage of the gap and the increase in demand and quickly increased his market share by swiftly filling in the gap.

With aggressive marketing policies and eyes on the future increase of the wine market (he was ostensibly discouraged by his father from expanding as the business was continuously making losses), he was soon able to make his presence felt in the hotel industry-especially with the Oberoi group where he was able to have a virtual monopoly. Even with other starred hotels and restaurants, he maintained a majority share of their purchases and soon he was on top of the heap as the imports kept on expanding fast. His marketing acumen clocked a full circle with producers lining up, wanting him to sell their wine. He narrated to me an interesting anecdote when the President of a First Growth Bordeaux property was visiting India and conducting a tasting at a 5-star hotel in New Delhi. He told me that the same gentleman who was trying to woo him, had once made him wait for hours just for a meeting!

Brindco, under his charge, kept the leadership position and last year clocked in the sale of over 70,000 cases (9-liters), a number he brought down to 63,000 in 2012-13 intentionally by concentrating on the bottom line-his revenues have been higher by 10% despite the 10% reduction in sales, he shared with delWine in an interview.

Click For Large ViewAlthough he has been increasing his share of non-French wines, they continue to be in distinct majority in his reduced portfolio, clipped to 300 labels from an earlier 600. Even though the top Chateaux in Bordeaux sell their wines through négociants, they frequently send a representative to India periodically to visit their customers and mostly rely on Aman to organise such tastings and occasional wine dinners.

Dhall joins 99 other illustrious people like Philippe Castéja, Marcel Guigal, Pierre Henri Gagey (Louis Jadot), Philippe de Rothschild-heir apparent of Mouton Rothschild, Corrine Mentzelopoulos (Chateaux Margaux), Michel Rolland (flying winemaker consultant of Grover fame in India), Bernard Magrez-the billionaire Bordeaux wine producer, Christina Forner (Marques de Caceres –Rioja), Pierre Lurton (Cheval Blanc and Chateau D’Yquem), and Gerard Basset OBE, in the picture taken during Vinexpo last June. (See pic for details)

DelWine congratulates Aman Dhall of Brindco for the singular honour bestowed upon him.

Top Hundred Faces

Subhash Arora

Tags: Paris Match, Top Hundred Faces of French Wine, Aman Dhall, Brindco


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