John Distilleries bullish despite hiccups

Covid has been challenging but John Distilleries is ready to bounce back thanks to the success of its Single Malt Brands. Being based in the South the company has also got its South strategy right. Paul John, Chairman and Managing Director, John Distilleries Pvt. Ltd., outlines the strategy to pave the way for the company’s bright future.

How has 2021 been for John Distilleries?

2021 was a challenging year, however we maintained resilience, built a growth in share points of our core brands in our stronger markets and expanded into new markets with our luxury portfolio.

What is the strategy for this year given Covid 3 and post Covid?

To stay positive and drive our internal strategy of prioritising channel mix and segment mix to deliver growth, this strategy has been working well for us over the past few years.

What has been the overall response to your premiumisation strategy?

The response has been very promising especially with our single malt portfolio garnering popularity across the country and the globe. In the domestic arena we’ve recently launched Roulette Premium Whisky – a peated whisky that stands apart from other whiskies in its segment/category, and expanded Fireball Cinnamon Flavoured Whisky into new markets, along with our BIO portfolio – Sazerac Rye and Buffalo Trace.

Are you looking at moving to the brandy segment given that the South is a strong market?

With Paul John XO we’ve already established a presence in the luxury brandy segment in the South as well, along with Roulette brandy which is popular across South markets.

What has been the impact of Covid on the company’s fortunes?

The impact has been tough as with most companies, and these past couple of years have been transformative in several ways for every industry with demands to adapt and evolve, but it has not deterred our zeal to deliver high quality products and maintain an innovativeness with consumer interest as priority.

Do you see a strong comeback for the company post Covid?

We believe in constantly and consistently delivering premium quality products for our consumers, and our efforts over the years have been recognised and appreciated. We will continue to dedicate our efforts to deliver the best and this gives us the impetus to keep moving forward.

How is the IMFL Division faring?

IMFL is a competitive segment, our core brands in this segment in the South are doing significantly well. We are now slowly expanding to newer markets with new brands and the initial feedback is very encouraging!

Has the success of the premium brands had an effect on the growth of regular brands?

Definitely. The success and popularity of our premium brands has had a positive rub-off on our new brands with the halo effect encouraging consumers to try our new offerings in the market.

What are your plans for sourcing raw materials for your single malts?

We’ve been producing single malt for the past 12 years, the major ingredient in the production of single malt is malted barley. We have annual contracts with different suppliers across India and we shall continue to source our raw material from these suppliers in future as well.

What are your expansion plans for 2022?

Our focus will be to build the footprint of our existing and recently launched brands especially our luxury portfolio, across markets.

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