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Moving Up: Sumedh Singh Mandla now CEO of Grover Zampa

Posted: Thursday, 17 October 2013 11:27

Moving Up: Sumedh Singh Mandla now CEO of Grover Zampa

Oct 17: Exactly 8 months to the day, Sumedh Singh Mandla, the Chief Operating Officer of the relatively new merged wine producer company Grover Zampa, has been elevated to the rank of Chief Executive Officer(CEO), perhaps a first non-owner position attained by a professional in one of the leading Indian wineries, writes Subhash Arora

Mandla left one of India’s Top Five importing companies Aspri Spirits as CEO-Core Brands after working for over 4 years, ostensibly to widen his horizons and take on a bigger role and to get the experience in the Indian wine industry because of its bright future, as he told delWine at that time. His move was seen as a tactical error by many who had seen the marriages between the domestic product sellers and importers fail on more than one occasion - the last one being the parting of ways of the Top Importer Brindco whose owner Aman Dhall had joined Grover as a partner with exclusive marketing rights but the marriage didn’t last long.

After the merger of Grover and Zampa, the new entity focused on professional management and the opportunity fell in his lap. He has had 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry, including a stint with J W Marriott in Mumbai.This followed a failed import business, Bandwagon, and he joined a relatively new importer FinewinesNMore as a minority partner. The switch to Aspri saw the ascent of his career graph as he brought the spirits company from practically no wines to the position of Top Five. He even confided in me secretly on occasion that he planned to make it a number two company soon and even take on the might of Brindco one day in the near future in wine imports.

Heading domestic and international business at Grover Zampa vineyards, he will report directly to the board of directors. Since the merged company started on ground zero a year ago, he had the opportunity to develop an annual business plan and strategic development for the company and its brands from both the stables. He created and rolled out a business model and strategy focusing on a 3- digit growth for fiscal year 2013-14.

If the company were to achieve the targets set down for him and his team down the line, the company that saw a sale of around 60,000 cases and slipped to the third spot in volume last year, would be in a neck to neck race with the current no. 2 company, Four Seasons, which touched the sales of slightly over 100,000 cases including the newly launched ‘Port’ wine - a strategy not lost to Sumedh to increase the numbers.

Recently when I met him at the ‘Wines of India’ event in Pune, he was also quite enthusiastic about making the exports gallop forward. He was also not averse to getting into the sale of imported wines with valuable, well-rounded experience in that segment. He was also very sure that the company will snatch back the second spot from Four Seasons in volume this year though he claimed they had already been number two in 2012-13 based on the value. He has also set his sights on making Grover Zampa the leading wine company in a few years.

Sumedh joined the present employers on February 13 this year and was promoted to the number one spot on October 13; the announcement was made public day before yesterday. delWine and the Indian Wine Academy congratulate Sumedh Singh Mandla on the promotion and wish him success in achieving the targets though there will be challenges from Four Seasons and the formidable Sula will be a real tough barrel to crack!

Subhash Arora

Tags: Sumedh Singh Mandla, Grover Zampa, Aspri Spirits



Uday Nayak Says:

Wishing Sumedh All the very best ..I wouldnt be suprised if he makes his company the No 1 in India ..Great passion, Dedication and focus. All the very best Sumedh. Uday Nayak

Posted @ October 18, 2013 13:10


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