Siddharth Banerji-led Kyndal India — importer, maker and distributor of premium spirits — is planning to set up a malt distillery in Scotland, to make an entry into the premium Scotch whisky global market.
The father-daughter team of Kyndal India, which brought Bootz Authentic Dutch grape brandy to India through a joint venture between Amsterdam-based Lucas Bols and Kyndal, plans to have a capacity of about four million litres initially at the Scottish distillery.
“The first phase would be completed in three years that would require about £6.7 million (Rs 65 crore). We have plans to double capacity over the next 10 years depending on the demand across geographies,” said Banerji, managing director, Kyndal India. Most of the investment will come from Kyndal and John Fergus & Co Ltd, its partner for the project — John Fergus & Co Ltd. However, Banerji has also received a grant of £1.58 million from the Scottish government’s Food Processing Marketing and Co-operation Scheme and Scottish Enterprise support of £240,000 Regional Selective Assistance.
For the second phase, Banerji said, the company would need about £7-10 million, depending on the market conditions scale of the project. “We will look for external funding, including institutional investors and debt,” he added. The first phase of the project, which will have a distillery and bonded warehouse in Glenrothes, Fife, will be completed over the next 15 months, and the company plans to start selling “good quality” premium blended Scotch whisky commercially starting 2018.
“We would launch a brand by end of this year globally, so that we have a strong brand in place before we start selling whisky from our own distillery. Initially, we would get good quality Scotch whisky from our partners,” he said.
Kyndal, which currently operates in 15 countries in Indian sub-continent, West Asia, and Africa, is also planning to enter the Latin America and the US market once it starts selling Scotch whisky.
The new product, which will have a few variants, is likely to be priced at starting Rs 3,000 for one litre bottles (for India). “There will also be a few products below this, but those would be India specific products. However, we will only focus on the premium segment,” said Banerji. Scotch whisky accounts to just about one% of total spirits sales in India.
Kyndal is also credited for launching and building brands like Absolut Vodka, Remy Martin Cognac and Jim Beam in the Indian subcontinent and West Asia. Banerji’s Kyndal currently focuses on high-end luxury spirit brands like Bootz Authentic Dutch grape brandy, BOLS brandy, BOLS Premier XO Excellence, Bowmore Islay single malt whisky, McClelland’s single malt, Auchentoshan Islay single malt, and liqueurs such as BOLS Liqueurs, Galliano, Vaccari Sambuca. Most of its brandy sales come from India and Singapore.