Feb 03: Pratik Angre, a well-known Sommelier in Mumbai with specialisation in the wine and beverage sector for a decade, has changed track and joined the Delhi-based importer, ACE Beveragez as Business Development Head to help them increase the reach and sales pan India, writes Subhash Arora who believes it is a win-win proposition for both, as well as the wine industry since education is a key resource to promote wine culture in India
Confirming the news, Sandip Parsan, Director of Ace Beveragez informed delWine yesterday that after over 15 years-experience in the wine industry, his company sees a trend and great potential for mid-level wines (Rs. 2000-15,000). He is honest enough to admit that this requires a knowledgeable person who can educate and guide the customers to the right choices. After hiring another Sommelier Prashant Tiwari to man his joint venture at The Liquor Warehouse (TLW) in Gurgaon, who has helped enhance the image of the store and sales of wines tremendously, Ace Beveragez is also on the lookout for other professionals in this area-including bartenders. The company also plans to expand more into retail business.
‘We were looking for someone who can grow with us and will be able to not only work independently but also give us fresh ideas. Pratik met our benchmark requirements and we are happy to have him aboard. We have done a lot of planning during Covid and hope to double our existing sales of imported wine and spirits in a couple of years, for which he will be able to bring in precious inputs,’ says Sandip.
An alumnus of IHM Mumbai, Pratik has a varied experience in the Hospitality Industry, gradually specialising as a wine-focused Sommelier. Starting as a trainee at Vivanta By Taj- Blue Diamond in Pune where he rose to become the Assistant Restaurant Manager before moving to Taj Santacruz, at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport T1. He joined Sofitel Mumbai BKC as a Sommelier, later moving to Zorawar Kalra-owned Massive Hotels. He has been working as the Sommelier & Beverage Head at one of the most celebrated restaurants in India- ‘The Table’ at the iconic location Colaba in Mumbai and other outlets for the last 2 years.
Covid has seen many professionals work from home. In the current scenario, he will continue to work from his home base Mumbai and travel to the existing markets to develop new markets and expand the existing ones in Maharashtra, Kolkata, Telangana, Chennai, Delhi, Gurgaon, Rajasthan, Bangalore and Goa etc. His role will also include training the buyers and consumers about wine and Sake which have a prominent place in the portfolio of Ace Beveragez.
Pratik will report to Rikshit Parson, a member of the Kolkata-based Parsan family in liquor business for decades, and heading the Mumbai office. He says very modestly, ‘I was approached by Rikshit to join the company a couple of years ago because of the proper fit between my experience and its goals. But I kept on refusing as I was happy expanding my knowledge as a Sommelier. I felt the time was ripe now for me to look at the business side of wine and spirits-where I can use my experience usefully. I did not work for a big company like Pernod or Diageo where one has to work under restricted rules ‘He joined Ace Beveragez the day before yesterday, on February 1, 2021.
This is not exactly a path-breaking idea. Big importers like Brindco and producers like Sula have been using the services of Sommeliers to directly promote their business through proper training and education but Ace Beveragez is a smaller importer who likes to remain low-key but has ambitious plans and is a member of a hard-core business family, which understands the importance of wine professionals in the direct sales and marketing team. It should help open up the sales market for trained wine professionals.
We wish Pratik a fruitful career with Ace Beveragez and welcome such moves by other producers and importers.
Indian Wine Academy delWine respects and encourages wine specialists to promote wine business through education and welcomes Pratik in our ‘Wine India Moves’ segment which is normally dedicated to moves relating to General Manager and above, when such information is available- editor
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