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Revisiting Tonique - The Largest Wine and Liquor Store in India

Posted: Tuesday, 18 April 2017 11:47


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Revisiting Tonique - The Largest Wine and Liquor Store in India

April 18: Tonique, the wine and liquor store in Hyderabad, claiming to be the largest store in India, might not have held on to the initial surge of people due to the wearing off of the novelty factor, but according to the young dynamic owner Anith Reddy, the store has already made a name in the South India. Subhash Arora who visited the store before the start of the Taj International Vine and Food Experience 2017 at the Taj Falaknuma Palace late last month, reports

Click For Large ViewWith a dedicated area of around 15,000 sq ft in the posh area of Jubilee Hills in Hyderabad, the 4-month store Tonique continues to create a buzz though not as much as when it opened. It does attract women and men alike and even tourists because of location, variety of wines available, eclectic interiors and chic looks and most importantly, because it is open when other stores have closed-from 10 pm to midnight.

Probably for the first time in India, a liquor store has been allowed to open late into the evening. Anith Reddy, the 40-year young entrepreneur is not ruffled when you tell him that there have been court cases against this ‘favour’ shown to him. ‘We responded to a tender for opening the store. Since we are close to the Hi Tech city where the techies have time to shop mainly in the evenings, we took the special license by paying the related excise fees in advance.’

Click For Large ViewWhen I wonder loudly his terrific political clout, he laughs it away. Ditto when I ask him if he has connections with the well known mining Reddy family that became infamous for its Rs.500-crore wedding last year. He asserts he is not related to them though confirming that he and his family have been in the mining business.

They say if you want to make millions in the wine industry, you must invest in billions. Anith seems to follow the dictum for his Retail store. It is difficult to estimate the amount of money is poured into creating this store but he does not help by telling you how much he has pimped in except that at one time when he saw the carpet at the entry he did not like, he had the whole flooring ripped apart and redone and the cost was more than a couple of other retail shops spending on their interiors.

Click For Large ViewIf he wanted the store to be talk-of-the-town for liquor retail, he has achieved it. When I visited the store in the afternoon, Kapil Sekhri, Director of Fratelli Vineyards had just walked in with his marketing team-obviously they place a lot of importance to the store. Sandip Parson, Director of Ace Beveragez followed with Michel Drappier, owner of the well-known Champagne House, who would love to see his champagne bottles placed next to Moet and Chandon.

Click For Large ViewAnith is not only adding new labels but plans to soon add his imports as well. But will he be able to sell so many labels? He is confident though many unrelated people in the hospitality industry are not. They say that the market is saturated already and Hyderabad is not the wine culture anyway. That does not seem to bother Anith who claims that all the big fat weddings in Hyderabad buy alcohol from him and quality wines are on top of their shopping list. He says all such weddings use his wines and are a large chunk of his business.  

While the staff at Tonique generally feels that the sales have reached a plateau and perhaps even tapering off slowly with the novelty factor gone, Anith feels there is a lot of potential in this market. It was interesting that every wine in the store was selling at a price lower than the one on the label. A Click For Large Viewsales person explained that the company had reduced the prices recently and there was a new list price but stickers were not changed yet. Essentially, there was a discount of 10-15% on the sticker prices. The prices are otherwise, non negotiable, the sales person stressed.

Click For Large ViewA wine appassionato, Reddy says he has ordered furniture from Italy for the two conference room looking tasting rooms where he plans to organise wine tastings for public. ‘My motto is clear to the vendors; they are welcome to organise any promotional activities including any gifts but they must offer without any reservations. He did not clarify whether there would be a cost to the vendors for such activities, besides the free material they would have to bring in.

How much Anith has invested or where he got the funds from, is irrelevant. The wine consumer has reasons to smile. With 30% of the sales of the store from wine, as claimed by Anith and all the bottles stocked separately on the first floor where his office is , the wine culture has a reason to smile in Hyderabad. There is someone working 24*7- the store is open on all days till midnight to add wine knowledge and a perfect ambience to walk in and get as much information as possible.

Not all the sales staff is as knowledgeable as claimed by Anith but with his passion and given time, and the wine tastings he plans to organise soon, the situation will improve dramatically and the wine lovers of Hyderabad will have reasons to say... Jai Ho!

Subhash Arora

For an earlier Article, please visit Tonique- India’s Biggest Liquor and Wine Shop in Hyderabad

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Krishnamaraju Dommaraju Says:


Let the rich at least help the society this way!

Posted @ April 25, 2017 14:20


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