NeuWorld Spirits is a promising newcomer in the alcohol-beverage industry in India. They have successfully launched two whiskies, namely Downing Street and Royal Tribe, which target the premium and semi-premium segments respectively. The company has ambitious plans for expansion and intends to introduce craft gin, premium brandy, vodka, and rum in the near future.

Poonam Chandel, the Managing Director of NeuWorld Spirits, recently participated in an email interview with Aanchal Chaudhary, reported by where she shared valuable insights about the alco-bev industry and its evolving landscape. Here are the key takeaways from the interview:

Chandel discussed the evolution of the industry, emphasizing that the business of alcohol has undergone significant changes in recent years. Both the approach to conducting business and the perspectives of consumers have transformed, leading to a more consumer-centric environment.

Emerging trends were also highlighted, such as the consumers’ growing sense of adventure and their willingness to explore new brands and categories. With an increase in per capita income, consumers now have greater spending power and are willing to invest in high-quality products that offer exceptional taste and aesthetics. The Indian market now boasts a wide range of international brands, alongside locally produced spirits of exceptional quality.

Chandel expressed confidence in the tremendous potential of the alco-bev industry. While the market may appear crowded, there is still ample room for new brands to make their mark. However, Chandel emphasized that long-term survival requires quality differentiation, unique product offerings, and effective communication that establishes an emotional connection with consumers. NeuWorld Spirits aims to cater to consumer preferences by developing products like Downing Street and Royal Tribe with their tastes in mind.

Chandel highlighted the challenges faced by the industry, particularly the complex nature of excise laws in India. Each state has its own set of regulations, making compliance a major hurdle for businesses. The liquor industry in India faces more regulation compared to other countries. Chandel explained the extensive process involved in obtaining trademarks, developing packaging, and adhering to various labeling requirements across different states. Differential pricing, controlled by the government, also poses a significant challenge, leading to pricing discrepancies between states.

Chandel proposed that the central government address these issues by making liquor a subject under its jurisdiction. Such a move would benefit both the industry and consumers, ensuring consistent pricing across the country.

Regarding the process of creating specific alcoholic beverages, Chandel explained the meticulous craftsmanship behind NeuWorld Spirits’ products. The company uses the finest grains, extracting alcohol by boiling fermented grains to obtain a neutral spirit with a high alcohol content. This serves as the base, to which a combination of Scotches and Indian matured malt spirits, aged between 3 to 5 years, is added. The end result is a collection of unique blends designed to satisfy the discerning palates of consumers, exemplified by Downing Street as a premium whisky and Royal Tribe as a semi-premium whisky.

Chandel emphasized the importance of research and development, highlighting the significance of market research and understanding consumer preferences within specific categories. NeuWorld Spirits conducted extensive blend tasting and analysis to create products that stand out. The packaging of their products reflects international standards, evoking a sense of sophistication and global appeal.

Looking ahead, Chandel revealed that NeuWorld Spirits has ambitious plans beyond the successful launch of Downing Street and Royal Tribe. The company’s product development team is currently working on a premium vodka, craft gin, premium brandy, and rum. Additionally, they aim to develop a blend that caters to whisky consumers who fall between the Royal Tribe and Downing Street segments. While collaborations and partnerships are not immediate priorities, NeuWorld Spirits remains open to opportunities that align with their ethos and business strategy.

NeuWorld Spirits’ commitment to delivering high-quality and distinctive beverages that captivate consumers’ palates positions them for an exciting future in India’s thriving alcohol-beverage market. Their focus on innovation, consumer preferences, and expansion into new product categories sets them apart in the industry.

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