Indian Liquor Market Is Set To Grow Multifold: MD, Monika Alcobev

"We aim to seed the markets of southeast Asia, slowly. We also plan to launch string of offline wine and beer stores and an online store for beverage technology", Kunal Patel, Managing Director, Monika Alcobev mentions while speaking about their expansion plans

Monika Alcobev is specialised in the sales and marketing of alcoholic beverages, across 16 states of India and the Indian subcontinent. It came into being in February 2015 with the vision to get the best of international spirits and wines into the Indian market. 

In 2017, Monika Alcobev ventured into a journey to introduce ready-to-drink shots, Slingshot, followed by Peruvian white brandy, Pisco into Indian markets. Since then, it has had unique brands in its BIO portfolio including Belenkaya Vodka, Russian Standard Vodka, Jose Cuervo, Kraken, Ron Diplomatico, Bushmills. Monika Alcobev also have the distribution rights for selections from the spirit menu of Roust, Diplomatico, and Proximo Spirits. Recently, it has acquired right to sell Lucifer’s Gold, a unique blend of bourbon and scotch to bring it into the Indian market. 

What are the unique key points (USP) of your company?

We believe our USP lies in our team, our strategic thinking and our approach.

We focus on getting #OnlyTheBest wines and Spirits to India from across the world; our focus is to get the most elite of the brands and experiences to our customers at the most affordable price. From high-end luxurious to affordable high quality, we cater to all requirements of our customers.

Moreover, our sourcing reach is across the globe. From the smallest of villages to the biggest city, we get to identify the best products and introduce them to the Indian market. Apart from this, we have an end-to-end in-house setup required to maintain the quality and consistency of the products.

How are you different from the existing competitors?

Monika Alcobev has had a distinctive vision right from its inception. Our approach to the business is around the customer, understanding the consumer psychology, and catering to those understandings. We are also the only brand to have permission to do labeling, re-labeling, and re-packaging at the SEZ facility.

One of our key USPs is our people. Our transparent communication and the way we approach challenges are very unique. We try to be creative and unexpected in the things we do.

What is the monetisation model?

Our monetisation model is B2C. Our focus is completely sales driven. We get the rights for international brand sales in India and take care of the end-to-end cycle right from storage to sales. To sum it up in a few words it’s “We pay, we market, we sell, we get paid”.

What challenges are you facing in running your business?

Challenges are part of business and they keep evolving. We have been successful in managing and overcoming the challenges that the market throws at us, with our experienced team.

With every new brand that we introduce, we are faced with a new set of challenges and the major one stays to create a mark and market it to the right audience while maintaining the niche. With more than 200 brands across the country that we are responsible for, managing and understanding the market sentiment is still a trick in the dynamic world of changing algorithms and evolving technology.

The set of problems that are constant in the alcobev industry is logistics, product availability, erratic pricing, and heavy investment in government duties

Impact of the pandemic? How has been your customer's response so far post lockdown?

The pandemic has changed industries across the globe. The initial period of the pandemic and lockdown did come as a shock. It surely was challenging to make our way through this unforeseen circumstance and unknown challenges. Especially, with the pandemic drastically affecting the marketing game.

Quarter over quarter, Monika Alcobev has managed to maintain and grow the business after Covid-19 at a steady rate of 25%.

What are the traction details (achievements of the company)?

With a strength of 150 employees, Monika Alcobev has become one of the biggest representatives and importers of foreign spirits in India. In the last five years, Monika Alcobev has recorded a turnover of Rs 500 crore excluding duty and taxes, and we are still growing at a healthy rate as mentioned earlier.

How do you look at expansion?

We wish to drive further depth into the Indian market, mastering it and strengthening it further, there is a huge scope that should not be ignored. We are looking at growing the existing portfolio of the brands. We are also looking at bringing in more brands in the future. Our offices currently exist in prime locations in the country: Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, Bangalore, and Goa which ensures our smooth functioning across the country. We might look into extending our reach if we find a suitable market. We also plan to work aggressively in marketing our brands across platforms.

Along with this our plan is to seed the markets of southeast Asia slowly. We also plan to launch string of offline wine and beer stores and an online store for beverage technology.

What are your marketing plans?

Our major marketing plans are consumer-centric. We want to reach all the right consumer markets where there is a demand. We also work on making a niche for each of our brands. Currently, we follow the 80/20 rule, 80 per cent focus on consumer marketing and 20% on B2B marketing.

What has been the biggest learning so far?

No category or market is small, and with a good strategy, no competition is tough. Consumers are ready to learn, move, and explore if the brand knows how to convince them.

What is the market size and opportunity?

The liquor industry has just started blooming and is not even in its teenage years yet. It’s a ticking time bomb, that is set to blast. The market is set to grow multifold in the future, it will happen, and we are going to be a part of it. As per the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations’s 2021 report, India is one of the fastest growing alcoholic beverages markets globally with an estimated market size of 52.5 billion dollars.

What are your future plans, with respect to the Indian Market?

We plan to stay consistent and innovative in terms of brands and how we approach the Indian market. Our goal is to be ambassadors of India to the liquor fraternity.

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