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Nashik Takes Control of IGPB Board

Posted: Friday, 20 January 2012 14:01

Nashik Takes Control of IGPB Board

Jan 20 : The new Board of the Indian Grape Processing Board is being constituted with six of the seven elected members who have all been returned unopposed, being from Nashik including the Chairman Jagdish Holkar who replaces Mr. V. K Rekhi nominated by the government last year according to the Memorandum of Association (MOA). The election results will be ratified at the Board meeting on January 23 and the new Board will take over on 27 February, 2012 for 3 years.

The elections that were unanimous, declare Suraj Deshmukh and Subhash Deshmukh of AD Industries in Dindori as the grape growers representatives. Wine processors on the Board from 2012-15 will be Neeraj Agarwal from Sula, Arun Sankhpal (Ritza) and Yatin Patil (Vintage Wines) and the lone non-Nashik representative  Abhay Kewadkar (Four Seasons).

The other posts of Restaurant Training and Hospitality are not contestable and will be announced on February 27, according to sources. Same goes for the invitees.

Rajeev Samant, owner of Sula Vineyards has opted out of the Board like Mr V. K Rekhi. He has had his senior viticulturist Neeraj Agarwal  on the Board instead. ‘ I found that I was not able to commit the time to attend board meetings. So it makes a lot of sense for there to be a senior Sula person on the board rather than me,’ he informs delWine.

Jagdish Holkar, owner of flamingo wines was ‘flamed’ by Indage for whom he used to make wines and could not sell off his stocks to them. He was handed over the torch to head the Nashik-based All India Wine Producers Association by his predecessor Sham Chougule who was also the first chairman of the IGPB. Championing the cause of the struggling wine industry he has been able to impress the fellow members to get  himself unanimously elected as the Chairman of the Board.

Commending Jagdish Holkar’s election as the Chairman, Samant says, ‘Mr. Holkar has been the most active person in the affairs and lobbying efforts for our industry over the past two years, chiefly most recently as head of AIWPA. He knows all the issues the industry is facing today. He's also from Nasik and it is high time that the head of IGPB should be from Nasik which today produces 70%+ of India's wine by volume and close to 80% by value. We support him unreservedly and he deserves a good chance to prove himself.’

With over 70% of the production and membership coming from Nashik, it is a foregone conclusion that the Board is in the hands of Nashik producers and growers. Currently there are 60 members of IGPB that includes membership of producers, growers and processors. There is also another category which allows wine marketeers, viticulturists, winemakers, and hospitality industry personal to join as members. These being in majority from in or around Nashik, the control of the Board by Nashik is a given, for now and in future.

The other members of the Board are ex-officio members infused by the government and include Jt. Secy. Ministry of Commerce, Director NRCG, Secy. Industry-Government of Maharashtra, Secy, Horticulture-Government of Karnataka and AS & FA of MoFPI. Joint Secretary of MOFPI is the de-facto Vice chairman. Mr Awadhesh Kumar, Director MoFPI has been the CEO since Ms. Vinod Kotwal- the previous Director and CEO was transferred to the PMO last year.

The Board has been concentrating more on the development of foreign markets and has been often criticized for too much presence outside rather than inside the Indian market and spending too much funds for foreign trips. It is also running short of funds to take part on its own in the wine shows like London, Hong Kong and Germany. However, efforts are afoot to get funds from the Market Accessibility Initiative (MAI) of the Commerce Ministry which gives half of the costs for such programmes.

‘There should be some good initiatives coming out of the Board in the upcoming year. We hope that the Board turns its efforts to promoting wine within the country rather than focussing so much on promoting exports and participation in foreign wine fairs. There is a consensus emerging that local focus will pay much richer dividends,’ comments Rajeev. The sources at the IGPB confirm that the emphasis is already shifted to promoting in the domestic market. They are also working on steps like creating a ‘deemed export’ status for sales to the hotels where they buy imported wines free of duty. This will help the sellers recover some of the taxes back.

The 3- year old Board is still in a stage of infancy. As Rajeev aptly puts, ‘‘I wish them all the best of luck – there is a lot of good work to be done and it is the right time to offer full support rather than focus on the "mechanics" of board selection.’

Subhash Arora



David Says:

Dear Subhash I was interested in the article about the IGPB. You write: "There is also another category which allows wine marketeers, viticulturists, winemakers, and hospitality industry personal to join as members." Is it also possible for foreign winemakers working in India (like me!) to become members? If so, how can we apply? And could you give the website address for the Board please? Kind regards c

Posted @ January 23, 2012 16:48


Bahman Marzbani Says:

Best of luck as Rajeev says. Get the blinkers off and think BIG.

Posted @ January 23, 2012 13:53


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