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Vocal for local: Can India’s beer brands go global?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has clearly stated his vision about Indian brands taking to the global stage. But do liquor brands have it in them to rise up to the challenge?

India’s liquor brands have the potential of being a hit globally.  Names such as Bira, Paul John and Amrut among others have already shown that there could be a market outside India as well.

But can the Indian brands cash in on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call of becoming a dominant force globally?

It may come true for beer and whiskey. “United Breweries is all poised. Kingfisher is after all as local as it gets,” says Gurpreet Singh, Head Marketing of UBL.

“With a brand like Kingfisher and its varied products, the brand portfolio has enough of a repertoire to offer the consumer a choice across all occasions and needs,” he said.

The best startups in India such as Bira and White Owl have been working on capitalising this market.

“In the alcobev and beer category, the consumption of local is more in India,” said Javed Murad, Founder of White Owl Brewery.

According to Murad, the PM’s call will have an impact on consumers, but brands have to develop quality and capitalise on the call by presenting better products that beat international standards.

India has a minuscule stake when it comes to the export of alcohol. The new beer brands are trying to turn Indian it into a hip category.

Bira is already present in markets such as London, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand and Dubai.

When it comes to having international-level brand names, India is behind most developed nations as the country hasn’t been able to produce any hero brand till now.

India’s premium liquor brands have been well accepted outside India. But in India, the sector has been a victim of the lack of attention from any global body.

India’s total alcohol imports are in the range of Rs 2,500 crore.