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Cook with Passion, Brew with Precision & Serve with Love – An interview with Arundeep Singla

Armed with an engineering background and a professional accounting degree from Australia, the young and dynamic entrepreneur stormed the market at the age of 30. Arundeep Singla has been channelized the drift of his experiences to take Rock and Storm Distilleries to be the perfect launchpad. And now, only the sky is the limit!

Rock & Storm Distilleries started operations in 2010 with its first manufacturing plant in the Sangrur district of Punjab. Today, Rock & Storm Distilleries Is determined and marching full-steam ahead to become a leading brand across all alcohol product segments, across India! Managing director, Arundeep Singla’s vision for Rock & Storm “To be the best performing and most respected Spirits Company of India” led with the right value of “Passionate about Customers & Consumers” syncs perfectly with the brand attribute of Rock and Storm.

He firmly advocates responsible drinking and is positive towards driving social initiatives with a high synergy of young, dynamic & experience team”.

This drive eventually laid down the perfect launchpad for Chandigarh’s first microbrewery. Setting shop in December 25th,2015, he adds “Our motto is cook with passion, brew with precision and serve with love. We have abided by our motto that’s why we are en route rapid expansion. We extensively work on bringing the best beers and food to our customers. Customer satisfaction and service is the most important aspect to Brew Estate and will always be our main focus”.

Today, the Brew Estate has spread from Sector 26 in Chandigarh’s to Patiala, Panchkula, Ludhiana & Shimla! BW in conversation with the dynamic, daring go-getter Mr Arundeep Singla.

What was your motivation to join the Alco-Bev industry in India? First with Rock & Storm and today, The Brew Estate?

When in Australia for my degree, I was quite influenced by variety of liquors and tastes. Since then days, I held a passion of setting up a giant liquor company to boost people’s experience and their views about liquor industry. After consistent years of working towards my goal, Rock and Storm became one of the major liquor production companies but the idea of emerging out as a mix premium place as a Cafe–cum-Pub was still on my bucket list. So, we restarted we came back in a very new way as ‘The Brew Estate’.

You chose craft beer as your business proposition. What was the inspiration or business motive to get into craft beer? Why did you start the Brew Estate?

European beer culture has always allured me. The culture of craft beers, cafe cum pubs and good food habits is what I considered a rich experience.

I imagined this culture floating in air of my motherland, India. So, after success of ‘Rock and Storm’, I with my team worked out the ideas and we came up with The Brew Estate in 2016.

Does your certification from Engineering & Accounting play advantage with your craft beer endeavor?

My perception is “Nothing you did in the past go in vain in future”. It was only after my presence at Australia for accounting that I received my call to opt into the Alco-Bev industry. So it’s a general advice that applies to everyone either he comes from F&B background or not, “Always accept whatever opportunity comes to you and that too whole heartedly”.

How successful is the concept of producing craft beer of a small batch production, on a large scale?

Small batches always give you a good control over the production process. Quality control is assured when you have control over the process which is an obvious virtue of small batches. A brewery working to provide consistency in taste and quality works from small batches. Moreover, if your production is quite high, idea of increasing size of batch should be replaced with increasing number of batches.

What does the future of The Brew Estate look like? What is the objective?

We are expanding The Brew Estate chain all over the India. By the plan, we are expecting 100+ microbreweries in next three years all over India and multiple expansions globally. At present, our 7 outlets are serving people in 3 states, but chain rings are increasing rapidly.

As a person whose worked in mainstream alco-bev industry & today joining the craft beer markets – What are your thoughts on the emerging craft beer markets across India? And how much of beer (commercial or craft) is taking away from the alcohol industries?

The craft beer market is still a fresh venture in India but it’s expanding with a boom. Every year tens of microbreweries are finding their place to market.

Our current market presence and yearly records has made us accept the fact that people are moving more and more toward craft beers from alcohol industry.

How do you foresee foreign beer brands market share in the future?

International beer brands hold a market share of 60% and their pace of expansion would make them reach the untouched areas. On the other hand, we are maintaining and constantly shifting our share to upper bar from in our area of influence. Hopefully, our area of influence is increasing much rapidly.

What are your thoughts on kegging & distribution of beer?

When it comes to Kegging and Distribution, the seed idea is to avail people to fresh beer over focusing on monetary benefits. This process would become significant and meaningful if government allows interstate keg distribution. For example, when it comes to Chandigarh, the government does not allow kegging in the local area but the same is legal in Punjab state.

If the government allows this action in future, we’ll be expanding like rapid fire. Even, it can be beneficial for whole beer industry. A number of beer bars in market are running consistently which doesn’t have breweries. Keg law would allow bars to distribute fresh craft beers from available microbreweries around them.

As craft beer in bottle seems to be your business priority, where does craft beer on tap figure in your business plan? How much is the contribution of the latter in your business revenue?
At present we are more focused on serving customers with on-place freshly brewed craft beers. So, we are a craft beer on tap team who is looking for bottle beer versions really very soon in future.

As obvious, fresh tap beer is the major source of our business revenue.

How do you view the setting up of numerous microbreweries in the craft beer market? Has this affected your market in any region? If not in sales, tastes?

No doubt there are number of microbreweries in market setting tracks every month or every week. If you don’t have a different concept and authenticity of beers, this market is not a right place to start with. I haven’t felt a single day that we are suffering because of the crowd on the path we took, neither in sales nor in tastes.

What do you see as the biggest challenge to the growth of the beer industry in India?

Major challenges that one can face in beer industries are Distribution and Funding. Distribution in one state can be legal in one state and illegal in other. Also, if you cannot help yourself getting funds, journey becomes a little more challenging. Outreaching to productive and dedicated people can be other challenge.

What advice would you give a beer-preneur intending to take your path?

The best advice is to tryout your own style. Experiment with ingredients, use good marketing strategies. Once you find you are doing best in production, keep consistency on your end. Quantity control is what you should never underestimate. You would have to be odd to be number 1. So, always believe in your vision, choose right people, use good operations, work consistently and see that milestone coming to you very fast.

17 July 2019
Editorial-Brewer World