Oct 21: Jagdish Holkar, Chairman of Vinchur Park, Nashik based Flamingo Wines has come to the crease to bat for the second innings at the All India Wine Producers Association (AIWPA), after having batted already for 2 years in 2010-2012 when he resigned to take over as Chairman of the now defunct IGPB (Indian Grape Processing Board) under the Ministry of Food Processing Industries. He replaces Yatin Patil of Reveilo Wines who was at the helm for 5 years, writes Subhash Arora who feels the Association needs to have a national character to be effective and Holkar is capable of fitting the shoe.
At a meeting held last Wednesday, October 14 at Hotel Ibis, Yatin Patil, the outgoing President declared his intentions not to run for a third term and focus more on his ongoing business- Vintage Wines in Niphad, on the outskirts of Nashik, making Reveilo wines. He has been the President for 2 terms of 2 years each with one term extended for a year.
AIWPA was founded about 15 years ago by Late Shamrao Chougule, former Chairman of Indage Vintners who had handed over the reins to Jagdish Holkar when he was tied up with the financial problems that eventually took the company down. Holkar almost completed the term when he was nominated by Chougule to take over as the Chairman of IGPB after relinquishing the coveted Post in Delhi.
The AGM last week decided on the management committee with Sula’s Vice President Sanjeev Paithankar as the Secretary. The office-bearers will be appointed at the next meeting scheduled for 27 October.
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But the work has started in earnest with Holkar appealing the State governments to waive off the License fee for restaurants from April-Sept 2020 because of the practical closure for these 6 months due to Covid-19. In Mumbai city, a bar has to pay Rs. 500,000 every year for license fee while a small town may need to pay Rs 60,000. Maharashtra Excise Department reportedly earns over ₹350 Cr (Rs. 3.5 billion) as excise fee from such outlets. Bars and restaurants in Maharashtra have started opening this month but they are required to pay the full year excise fee. The waiver will provide some relief to these restaurants and bars.
Holkar has his work cut out for his term. The industry is in shambles in terms of sales this year due to Covid with a collapse on the horizon for a few producers who need financial and marketing support. AIWPA still needs to make sure the industry outside Nashik belt is on board-especially Karnataka, and the industry is represented widely in issues taken to the government. A small taken amount of Re. 05 per liter is being charged from the producers. Even this might be a bit too high for some of them. They might even need some sort of fundraising to balance the budget.
Holkar is an old industry hat, with working experience of around 20 years and thanks to his stint as Chairman of IGPB he is well aware of the issues and problems of the industry. Much is expected from him and hopefully he and the Association will deliver the goods. We wish him and the new team at AIWPA well for a successful term.
Also Read: Wine India Moves: Holkar Resigns as AIWPA Pres
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