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WOW 2015: Sneha Rao of KRSMA Estates

Posted: Friday, 10 July 2015 17:55


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WOW 2015: Sneha Rao of KRSMA Estates

July 10: Sneha Rao, the Business Development Manager at Karnataka-based winery KRSMA Estates had missed the cut by a few months in the maiden edition of the recognition in 2013 as one of the Top ten Women of Wine (WOW), instituted to honour and motivate women in the wine industry in India but with 6 years of experience in wine making, marketing and business development, Sneha Rao is the perfect choice for our final edition of Top Ten WOW 2015, writes Subhash Arora

Click For Large ViewJust as the list of Top Ten was being finalised in 2013, one heard the news that Sneha Rao had quit her job as the winemaker at Big Banyan where delWine had kept her under the radar. She was amongst handful women dirtying their hands in the industry at that time. Besides, she had not completed the mandatory 5 years in the wine business, an arbitrary looking but carefully chosen attribute. She missed the cut but amply qualified after a couple of years with her experience at Krsma Estates.

With a penchant and curiosity to delve deeper into the world of wines, her affair with the grape and wines had started in 2009, interning as an assistant winemaker at Bangalore- based Big Banyan Wines with winery in Goa. With each year and vintage completed in the winery, her passion grew stronger and she started dabbling in various other roles in wine business besides wine making.

From venturing into wine sales- managing sales for the brand and crossing yearly targets for Kerala market with Big Banyan, to being a part of core marketing team at BigB, managing and executing promotions, being a brand ambassador for all media and PR activities with same brand she kept on increasing her scope of assignments.

She changed her job in 2013 and  joined KRSMA Estates as the Business Head. ‘I have gone a full circle and have enjoyed the journey but in my heart, being a student of science and having spent more time making wines, wine making still holds a special place in my heart. With KRSMA, while I handled all aspect of business, winemaking and viticulture was one aspect that had me spend more time at the Estate in Hampi, understanding the vines and making wines,’ she says.

‘I have been lucky enough to taste some good wines and been influenced by various styles and grapes. With opportunities of having done international internships at wineries in Italy, provided me with an experience and exposure to understand grape and techniques in winemaking that help handle the product more gently,’ she adds.

As a part of her assignments she has been assisting in the successful planning and seamless execution of winery project – from installation to expansion in volumes, at Krsma. She has been also conducting extensive training on wines and wine etiquette for F&B, trade, novice wine consumer, connoisseurs and also to corporate clientele.

Uma Chigurupati, wife of Krishna Prasad both of whom own and jointly run the boutique winery in Hampi Hills in Karnataka, is a hands-on producer and very actively involved in the production as well as promoting the Krsma brand. This is what she had to say about Sneha, “She is very dynamic and energetic and can feel the pulse of the market. At present she is more into promotion that wine making. But she has the potential to be a good winemaker. She has done a wonderful job in building the KRSMA brand.’

Sneha is engaged to be married soon and perhaps move to Australia. That was a bit of concern again in selecting her for WOW 2015 because one of the requirements is that the woman we choose should plan to continue in the wine industry in the near 2 years or so. Wedding is not till the end of the year, says Sneha who is currently extremely busy tasting and promoting recently introduced K2, the dumbed down version of the Estate Cabernet Sauvignon as the owners didn’t believe in releasing as their premium label.

She may or may not travel to Australia but as Uma says, ‘she is too passionate about wine industry and even when she goes there, she will work in the wine industry and will come back to India and stay in the industry.’

We take Sneha’s and Uma’s words on their face value and have no hesitation in welcoming her, for the first time as one of the Top Ten WOW 2015.

Subhash Arora


Earlier Articles.

WOW 2015: Ritu Dalmia of Diva
WOW 2015: Kiran Patil of Vintage Wines
WOW 2015: Farzana Contractor of UpperCrust
WOW 2015: Cecilia Oldne- VP and Global Brand Ambassador of Sula
WOW 2015: Reva Singh of Sommelier India
WOW 2015: Rojita Tiwari-Journalist and Consultant
WOW 2015: Sonal Holland from ITC Hotels
WOW 2015: Karishma Grover-Winemaker at GroverZ
WOW 2015: Rupali Bhatnagar-Winemaker at Sula


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Sneha Rao Says:


Dear Subhash Thank you very much for penning a beautiful article and capturing my journey so far. Feels good to be recognised and appreciated by my peers and bosses. Shall treasure this and save for posterity. My Facebook Inbox is now clogged with more questions and congratulations on my personal life than my professional life. Hadn’t made that bit of info public as yet. Thanks again and shall continue to keep you posted on my journeys through wine and shall always stay in touch. Best regards Sneha Rao

Posted @ July 13, 2015 11:24


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