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Entrepreneurship 2018-09-12

What India’s First French Sommelier Has to Say about the Potential of Wine Business

Talking to Restaurant India, French Sommelier, Magandeep Singh shares the importance of educating the masses about the quality of local spirits available in the market.

By Feature Writer
What India’s First French Sommelier Has to Say about the Potential of Wine Business

A few lines from The Indian Spirit read, “Whoever believes that India is a country of teetotalers clearly hasn’t scratched the surface… Alcohol has been a part of India’s Diaspora since time immemorial”, says Magandeep Singh, India’s first French qualified sommelier.

India's alcohol industry is the third largest in the world with a value of $35 billion. Various startups have emerged to gain a share of this rising market. The microbreweries we see sprouting in every corner of the city are here to stimulate India’s brew business. While microbreweries are making their mark, there are industry experts who have a different approach when alcohol is concerned.

Started as a sommelier in France, Magandeep Singh as he is rightly quoted is India’s first qualified sommelier, shares with Restaurant India, the importance of educating the masses about the quality of local spirits available in the market. .

Plan & Price it Right

The taste of wine is developing very fast with the influence of the western culture on the Indian young generation. The awareness about the fact that wine is good for health is on the rise.  Whereas love for quality wine and interest to taste something unique keeps many other coming into the wine shops.

When asked about his plans to scale the Alcohol industry, particularly wine, Magandeep Singh says,” We have got people who are opening restaurants and are pretty savvy about what they like or their clientele likes.”

“In India, the laws are complex and convoluted and it definitely should be changed to help the industry grow”, exclaims the French Sommelier.

The Industry Glitch

Given the rich diversity of India’s umpteen back stories, the boom of alcohol is unprecedented, but it’s a subject fuming with controversy. “The idea is more academic, we believe that if you educate people, it automatically leads to awareness and it further leads to a more mature market”, says Magandeep.

India is not much familiar with the quality of wine and this lacks in the understanding between any alcohol and quality wine. As a man, Magandeep says,” It was an easy path for me to venture in this interesting platform. What I hope is to see that same ease being extended in the years to come to women and also to the LGBT community.”

Also, Magandeep candidly spoke about how there was a glitch in some people’s mind that he doesn’t dress like a sommelier.

Wine Bars and Education

As Magandeep rightly claims,” I am not against drinking but I am more for the civility of drinking with moderation and it comes only through education.”

When asked about his future plans, Magandeep mentions,” Training institutes to conduct classes, educating the consumers and making wine bars an epicenter for all civilized drinking activities is where we see ourselves working upon in the near future.”

It’s a cash intensive industry which means to open an outlet, or a distillery or a brewery, you need a lot of investment and patience and also know the knowhow of the industry. “Combine, partner your skills, have a vision and stand by it steadfast”, says Magandeep.

Quality over Quantity

In spite of being in the alcohol business, Gagandeep shared a few interesting trends to watch out for in the years to come.

  • Low Alcohol Drinks.
  • Finer quality of alcohol rather than having volumes of alcohol.
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