Myra Vineyards was founded by ex-banker and fine food and beverage enthusiast Ajay Shetty. Talking to Restaurant India, Shetty shares that there is a dire need of spreading wine education in India and that should be started from small towns.
What are the qualities of wine that you serve at Myra Vineyards?
Currently, we have four varietals including Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, including three categories: Reserve – High-end Premium Wines (Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon), Myra Wines – Mid Premium Wines (Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon) and Two-Headed Bird – Entry level Wines (Shiraz and Sauvignon Blanc).
India is not a wine-ready market. What is your view on the same?
India is on the verge of a gastronomy explosion, so I would partially agree to the statement when we take India as a whole, but city-wise we are making marks. In addition, wine consumption is on rise year on year. Wine education is needed in India in some of the cities starting from small towns. On the other hand, as an industry, we really need to create enriching experiences for wine consumption and tourism in the country. People in India have started travelling more and getting exposed to global cultures and lifestyle and I see a great future.
What are your plans to export wine to other countries?
Our current focus is on India and our aim is to get a huge share in Indian market. Moreover, we are getting enquiries from outside India. We will soon be bottling our first batch to be exported to South East Asia as we just finished signing the contract to export our wines.
How do you compete with global brands in the wine segment?
We compete with everyone on the basis of the quality of wines. Our offerings and pricing speak for themselves. We are the only Indian brand that is bold enough to come out with an entry level single varietal that targets non-wine drinkers and new wine consumers. We, as a company, believe in providing quality wines at inspirational price points.
Who are your target customers?
Our target customers are aged between 18 and 35 and are based on the three price points of our categories. Our entry level wines are targeted at non-wine consumers and new wine drinkers. The Premium one is for the segment that knows their wines and looks value for money. Lastly, our Super Premium Category- Reserves is for the discerning wine drinkers and those who genuinely appreciate wines. However, I strongly believe wine is for everyone (attaining legal age), all occasions and all seasons.
What are the legalities involved in taking your product from one state to other as you will be entering Delhi-NCR and Pondicherry?
Any alco-bev products and setting up wineries need to pass strict laws and regulations in the forms of licence and permits, without these, one cannot enter the wine business. Every state in India has its own laws, regulations and licences which are very difficult but are a must for the wine business. All these involve entering agreements with state governments and it will take its own time.
How are you competing in the Indian market as we see lots of players emerging in the market?
Yes, the industry is witnessing a lot of new domestic and international players. In my opinion, it is good to see as every wine maker who enters the market is pushed to make quality wines that should match up to international standards. We are very careful in terms of marketing our wines starting from production to the shelf.
Who do you see as your competitors in the market? How is your strategy different from theirs?
As I mentioned earlier, our competition is based on the quality of wines that we produce. We concentrate on our offerings, pricing (which is achievable) and products. It’s also probably too early to claim ourselves as competitors to some of the leading winemakers in the country who have been there since long. Our core strategy to market our brands in India is segmentation and education, and we have been consistently adopting these to cater to our customers.