Australian Vintage Ltd needs to rethink India strategy – it is not “just like China”

Craig Garvin, CEO, Australian Vintage, is right to enter the India market but needs to find the right way

The company behind McGuigan, Tempus Two and Nepenethe wines has set its sights set on affluent Indian consumers – but it might need to take a second look.

Australian Vintage Limited chief executive Craig Garvin believes the world’s second-most populous country, is “just like China”.

Yes, he is right that there are a million millionaires in Delhi and Mumbai – but does that equate to your market? These are the established wealthy, mainly male, and many are set in their ways.

Is a better market for Australian wines the young emerging wealthy of the future?

India is not “like China” – the Chinese population is much older and India has the youngest population on earth. Millennials and Gen Z are said to amount to around 750 million of India’s population. Known in India as the “demographic dividend”, this young population is the key to market entry for products like wine.

Already we know that sales of red wine are up in major urban centres, driven by demand from young women, educated and in the ranks of professionals and executives.

What distinguishes India for “premium” consumer products is that the market is young, it is emerging, it is a generation that instead of being “born someone” want to “become someone” and females are leading much of the consumer preferences of this young group. That is, it is ripe for change.

There is probably no other market like it in the world.

Other than its four main wine brands McGuigan, Tempus Two, Nepenethe and Barossa Valley Wine Company, Australian Vintage Limited also produces ready-made cocktail mixes under its Mr Stubbs brand, a range of gins under its Tempus Two brand, and a juice concentrate called Austflavour.

Australian Vintage is a strong company with some fabulous brands which will be just right for India – so long as the thinking and strategy is right.

INTO INDIA wishes them every success.

Author: Stephen Manallack

Former President, Australia India Business Council, Victoria and Author, You Can Communicate; Riding the Elephant; Soft Skills for a Flat World (published by Tata McGraw-Hill INDIA); Communicating Your Personal Brand. Director, EastWest Academy Pty Ltd and Trainer/Speaker/Mentor in Leadership, Communication and Cross Cultural Communication. Passionate campaigner for closer western relations with India. Stephen Manallack is a specialist on “Doing Business with India” and advisor/trainer on “Cross-Cultural Understanding”. He is a Director of EastWest Academy Pty Ltd which provides strategic advice and counsel regarding business relations with India. A regular speaker in India on leadership and global communication, his most recent speaking tour included a speech to students of the elite Indian university, Amity University, in Noida. He also spoke at a major Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) global summit, the PR Consultants Association of India in Delhi, the Symbiosis University in Pune and Cross-Cultural Training for Sundaram Business Services in Chennai. He has visited India on business missions on 10 occasions and led three major trade missions there. He provides cross-cultural training – Asia and the west.

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