As the share of emerging markets in the alcoholic beverages is projected to do a double-jump to 40% over the next couple of years, Bacardi looks at India to lead the show. Global CEO, Mahesh Madhavan is of the opinion that Indian mangers are used to working with regulations that are ambiguous and complex and have built the expertise for the same. It is this expertise that he feels is the primary reason behind India being one of the largest talent hubs for Bacardi.
Madhavan said that, “India is absolutely the most critical and No. 2 market within (the) emerging (segment). Between India and Russia, I think it’s going to be a real close fight to see who takes the No. 1 spot.”
While the alcoholic beverage industry in the country is subject to heavy regulations, high excise and taxes, it is an important source of revenue. Moreover, foreign wines and spirits have import taxes above 150 per cent, higher than most places across the globe. Madhavan is of the opinion though, that India being a crucial member at the WTO, the duties are bound to be reduced, even if it does take time.
As lifestyles and buying capacities evolve, the playing field of the alcoholic beverages players has been changing too. With a CAGR of 19% over the last three years, Bacardi is among the fastest growing companies in the liquor space. Whether India can suffice with a talent pool large enough to suffice the appetite of the liquor giant will depend on how the company chooses to continue navigating the Indian talent-scape.
Image source: The Spirits Business