Quality is the name of the game for the Accord Group.
With its sales in beer and brandy growing by leaps and bounds, the Chennai based Accord Group of Companies has been bolstering its presence in the alcobev industry in Tamil Nadu. Valued at `10,000 crore (2 billion USD), the group had made its advent with stainless steel and leather, and is expanding its horizons by delving in to education, information technology, reality, health care and hospitality and alcoholic beverages.
Elite Distilleries Private Limited, the company’s foray into the liquor industry, has recorded sales of 7.4 lakh cases per month, along with a 16% market share. “The success of our brands is mainly because of quality,” says PK Das, Group CEO of Chennai based Accord Group. “It has been always the endeavor of the company to give value for money to its consumer. Company has stringent policy and practices to maintain the consistency in the quality of blends, Company believe in spending more money on the blends, (which is actually consumed) than on lavish packing and packaging.
All the premium brands of the company are blended with cognac and imported special spirits.” “In Tamil Nadu, companies get orders each month based on an average of the last three months sales,” Das points out. The company, known for its penchant for brandy, manufactures Indian made foreign spirit near Kanchipuram, with a capacity to manufacture one million cases per month. The company’s forte is its premium brandy brand, Hollandas, which is reportedly a market leader in the economy, coupled with being one of the top brands in Tamil Nadu. Das, who has been in the alcoholic beverages industry for more than two decades, has been instrumental in expanding the business to the union territories of Pondicherry and Goa, besides overseas markets. The company is now set to expand its brands to the neighbouring states of Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Telengana. It is his concerted efforts that has catapulted Hollandas and the company’s other premium product, Royal Accord, as some of the most sought after liquor brands in Tamil Nadu. The company’s other brands include Age de Oak (Premium), Missionary Monk, Royal Accord Gold, Blender Magic, King Nap, Accord French, Wonderland, Accord No. 1, and Evening Walker. This liquor unit’s turnover is about `18 billion (USD 280 millions), reportedly one of the most profitable liquor units of Tamil Nadu. The distillery is valued at `700 crore (USD 1.1 million). The group has also recently purchased a liquor unit styled Fortune Distillers and Vintners Private Limited in Goa in order to sell liquor to Kerala, Puducherry, Andhra, Telengana, Orissa, besides the local sales. This unit is exporting liquor and is also licensed to manufacture wine, which will be taken up shortly. Tamil Nadu marks a sale of 45 lakh cases every month, marking its presence as one of the major markets for liquor companies. The sales volume for these companies, according to sources in TASMAC, have gone up by eight per cent as against last year. However, overall market has remained flat for most of the companies except Elite, SNJ and KALS. The growth by TASMAC is due to increase in prices and increase in rental of the shops. While most companies have capacity constraints, especially older distilleries, Elite, SNJ and KALS are underutilized. After taking over the Imperial of Coimbatore, KALS has excess capacity in beer as well as liquor. TASMAC procures Indian made foreign spirits, beer and wine from 11 IMFS manufacturing units, seven beer making plants, and one winery functioning across the state. Currently, TASMAC has 5700 retail vending shops depending on these breweries and distilleries. The beer industry in Chennai has shown a growth of almost 60% in sales in 2018 as against 2017, from 19.5 lakh cases to a whopping 30.8 lakh cases. Of this, strong beer constitutes 88%, and 12% of light beer is available across the 5,700-odd outlets in the state. So, it only follows that the company’s ripples in sales are not limited to brandy alone. AM Breweries, also owned by the group, is a 300 HL automatic brewery, complete with modern technology that has been installed from Meura of Belgium. It was further integrated into a full process house primarily with Ziemann Technology of Germany, and modified to Indian requirements by Praj Industries of India. Armed with a market share of 11% in Tamil Nadu, it has been growing at 20% rate year on year. Out of AM Breweries’ market share of 11% in Beer in Tamil Nadu, 6% is its own beer and the rest 5% is of Elephant, the brand owned by Carlsberg for which the group has been bottling in Tamil Nadu. Of late, they have started producing Tuborg and it has also applied license for the export. The unit can produce million cases per month and has an exclusive tie-up with Carlsberg of Denmark, to produce and sell their brands like Tuborg and Elephant in Tamil Nadu and to export them to other states of India. “Nearly one lakh cases of Carlsberg products are sold each month. We have only started marketing last month and the response has been very good,” says Das. AM Breweries’ brands include 10,000 Volts in the Super Strong category with about 6% market share, and Royal Accord Super with two per cent market share. The unit is currently capable of producing 1 million hectolitres per annum, which translates to 1 million cases per month. With the addition of further Mash Vessels and Unitanks for fermentation, the unit can reach 1.50 million HL per annum, which is 1.5 million cases per month. However, beer capacities in Tamil Nadu are underutilised by around 40% and the government has now permitted companies to export beer to other states, Das points out. Das has been the key factor in setting up the group’s one Million Hectolitres PA Brewery with modern technology and achieving exclusive tie ups with Carlsberg, Denmark, to produce and sell products in Tamil Nadu, apart from exporting them to the other states of India. The Bottling Hall has been equipped with machineries from German Principals like KHS, Krones, harmonised with an imported conveying system and Indian Pasteurisation system with auto PU controls. The unit is currently valued at around 500 crore, equivalent to USD 75 million. Apart from its investment in the alcobev industry, the group has carved a niche in education, and it also owns medical and engineering colleges, hospitals and the like. They have also diversified into software, print and broadcast media. Plans to undertake several projects of pharmaceuticals, thermal power and hospitality industry are also underway.