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Delhi Wine Club

Posted: Tuesday, 06 April 2010 10:30

Red Alert: Foreign Producers- Beware Rogue Importers

During overseas visits and discussions with foreign producers as also with importers, we are privy to a lot of confidential commercial information from both sides. This is privileged and can  never be shared in public but there are instances when producers are hit below the belt- by a few rogue importers, against whom we would be happy to issue Red Alerts, declares Subhash Arora .

Several years ago, a potential importer approached us as an importer representing a Tuscan exporter who was bringing some wines and would like to have them tasted at a Delhi Wine Club dinner. The wine list had a few fabulous wines-some produced in small quantities. So we organised the dinner at a well-known Italian restaurant where he brought a group of supposedly senior executives of a well known government organisation. I sensed some trouble when the group told me they were planning to import 70 containers a year! The numbers had made the exporter salivate and catch a flight to India with hand carried wines.

I expressed strong doubts about the feasibility of such a market. I wasn’t surprised when the whole group vanished before the end of the dinner, feeling exposed and wondering who would pay for their dinner. The exporter became a good friend till this day but left him bruised and negative about the Indian market- thanks to this one rogue importer.

Seven years ago, we organised a promotional tasting for Canadian Icewine at the residence of the commercial Counsellor of the Canadian High Commission. The event was a success in more ways than one. One food importer got so charmed that he ordered a container of Canadian wines including icewine! Almost a year later, I got a call from the High Commission-asking me if I knew the importer personally. Reason- he would not pay for the wine. That being a commercial deal we declined to step in. Of course, when some one consults us in confidence, we warn them to stay away from the rogue importer unless they want to burn their fingers-though he is otherwise an established importer.

There is another example of a person I see collect loads of left-over cases of wines at the end of wine exhibitions from exporters who go home feeling they landed a worthy importer-only the wine finds its way to the bootlegger’s market and the deal never materializes-with the producer losing time, money and some faith in the Indian market. The same importer has taken thousands of Euros worth of money from producers/exporters from South Africa to Sicily to Singapore on false pretenses. 

This rogue importer needs to be declared a persona non-grata at all wine events but is seen everywhere as he is still not exposed. However, when enough information is collected, we hope to confront and expose him. If you feel you have been conned by such glib-talkers,  do let us know in confidence so we can expose and help weed out such undesirable elements.

We do not intend to hurt any individuals or their reputation but India is not an easy market to work with and we do not want to have the overseas producers falling in the clutches of such rogue importers. Hopefully, there are not too many such cases but we shall be glad to issue Red Alerts against such persons who would well deserve them.

Subhash Arora



Flora Loh Says:

I have producer that is victim of this fraud importer too and really hope that it will be put to stop as it is not a good image for Asia and India market.

Posted @ April 26, 2010 10:57


David Carr Taylor Says:

Dera Subhash.Thank you so much for taking the lead in printing this article on Rogue Importers.Taylor and Shroff have sent 3 consignments of wine to India . We have not been paid at all and our distributor has cost us a great deal of money to keep our business active in India. Nainaz Shroff is highly critical of our distributors behaviour and i would be obliged if you could speak to her to place him on the Black list as he is being obstructive devious and above all is destroying the good name of Indian Wine. Kindest regards, David Carr Taylor

Posted @ April 07, 2010 13:27


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