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The Business of Wine with Kapil Sekhri, CEO, Fratelli Wines.

Listen to Divya dialogue with Kapil Sekhri, CEO, Fratelli Wines about how a homegrown wine has reached the global market and the business mind it takes to produce a high-quality product like luxury wine. Fratelli is India’s first Indo-Italian wine partnership and has India’s largest privately owned wine estate of 258 acres, just 6 hours away from Mumbai.

“We were boys who got into this business. We’ll be men when we get out.”

Why the wine business?

Wine is a lifestyle product and has certain positive connotations attached to it. The product is an “art for your senses“. Wine is the only product that you get to choose and send back even after trying in a restaurant.

Rural Women employment

For a country like India, the wine business brings in a lot of rural employment. More than 90% of the contract workers at Fratelli Vineyards are women. These women get medical covers, provident funds, etc.

Cultivating Barren Land

India has large areas of cultivable barren lands. Viticulture turns barren land into green cover. Fratelli Wines managed to bring in a green cover to a rain shadow area in Maharasthra where the average rainfall is less than 200 mm.

FYI With DR: 97% of the water used in viticulture can be reused.

How does Fratelli make its wine?

The wines are made in tanks within the vinery. There is only a pump and a press machine. It is a probiotic fermentation of grapes, and then the winemaker works on the wine like a chef in the kitchen.

Why a homegrown wine?

Kapil states that, after his education in the UK, he wanted to come back and create a product that would put India on the world map. A homegrown product like Fratelli was built to compete against all global wines.

How did the wine industry test your patience?

Fratelli Wines was curated almost 13 years ago. Kapil says “ignorance is bliss.” If he knew the wine industry would be half as tough as it is, he’d probably not have ventured into it. “Good businesses take time“, especially winegrowing as it takes longer for the cultivation and harvesting of grapes.

When did wine become a branded product?

“Wine is one of the oldest brands in the world.” The branded wine came about only in the early 20th century in Europe. Wine became a luxury and lifestyle product after World War II.

FYI With DR: When the Rothschild moved away during the Russian and Bolshevik Revolution, they invested in the wine business besides banking.

Why is there such a stark difference in the prices of various wines?

Demand and Supply

If a wine has greater demand, the supply goes up, and so does the price. The price is levied higher for the satisfaction to the consumer.

Production Quality

Wine is an agricultural product. However, the price of the quality is dependant upon the production, technique, terroir, barrels and packaging.

FYI With DR: When the Americans started drinking wine post World War II, the prices of wine started skyrocketing.

Is wine a product for the millennials?

Yes. While traditionally wine has been a sit down eloquent affair, it resonates with today’s youth. India is the youngest nation. It has over 400 million people in the age group of 21-35 years. Fratelli Wines for the last two years has been curating wines specifically for this target audience.

DR Pro Tip: If you want to sell wine in a can, show the people how beer is made. An educated customer will not go for a packaged beer.

Should alcohol be delivered?

Yes. With the world going digital and all the data linked to the Aadhaar, the alcohol orders and deliveries can be verified for the age of the customer. This even keeps the government in the loop.

Check out our podcast on how the legal sector is re-innovating itself during COVID-19 with Bharat Anand here.

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