India agrees to protect Irish whiskey

Irish whiskey has been granted legal protection in India, the largest whisky market in the world. According to trade body the Irish Whiskey Association (IWA), the registration of Irish whiskey as a certification mark will mean that the category “can fully compete against other whiskies by reinforcing the authenticity of the product for the Indian consumer”. India is the largest whisky market in the world by volume, with 2.3 billion bottles sold in 2018, the…

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Diageo ups shareholding in United Spirits for $27.3m

Johnnie Walker owner Diageo has increased its shareholding in Indian drinks group United Spirits to 55.2% following a US$27.3 million investment. Diageo first acquired a controlling stake in Bangalore-based United Spirits Limited (USL) in 2014. The UK-based firm has now purchased a further 3,310,515 shares (around 0.46% shareholding) in USL from the Bombay Stock Exchange. Diageo paid a per-share price of 591.95 Indian rupees (US$8.26) for the new shares. According to Diageo, USL is a…

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‘Craft’ gin from India enters UK market

India’s “first craft gin”, distilled in copper pot stills in Goa and made with local botanicals, has made its debut in the UK. Greater Than London Dry Gin first launched in India in 2017. It is the brainchild of two bar owners and entrepreneurs: Anand Virmani and Vaibhav Singh, who worked with gin expert and Bombay Sapphire master distiller Ann Brock to set up their distillery. According to the pair, their gin exemplifies the flavours…

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Kumar to lead Beam’s $1 billion sales ambition for India

Neeraj Kumar has been promoted to the role of managing director, India at Beam Suntory and will aim to increase the group’s sales in the country to US$1 billion by 2030. Kumar joined Beam Suntory in 2008 as marketing director, India, where he helped to build the leadership position of Teacher’s Scotch in India. In 2016, he assumed the position of marketing director, emerging Asia and helped establish new routes to market in China and…

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UK govt approves Vijay Mallya extradition to India

The controversial former chairman of United Spirits, Vijay Mallya, is fighting extradition from the UK after home secretary Sajid Javid signed the order for his return to India to face allegations of £1 billion (US$1.3bn) fraud. Mallya, who is also the former chairman of Kingfisher Airlines and ex-owner of the Force India Formula One team, left India in 2016 after allegedly defaulting on debts of more than £1 billion, most of which was associated with…

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