Salud - Disrupting the Disruptors

Salud - Disrupting the Disruptors
Photo - Salud

Innovative technology, access to finances and investments, and a rapidly growing consumer base with high disposable incomes and larger-than-life ambitions have nourished entrepreneurship and birthed many new brands in the Indian market. Salud is one of India's leading urban lifestyle and international awards-winning brands, excelling within multiple market segments. What started as an alco-bev company quickly evolved into an all-encompassing urban lifestyle brand specializing in alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, clothing, music, and NFTs. Being a homegrown business, Salud has established itself within India and represents the country on the international stage through its venture into multiple countries. Salud has transcended being a brand and has become a way of life for consumers in their day-to-day lives.

Salud’s strategic plan of diversifying into various segments such as alco-bev, non-alcobev products, music, clothing, NFTs, and premium gin has disrupted the market in terms of capturing and reaching every consumer household. The brand was launched, during the COVID-19 pandemic, when most businesses were reducing staff, thinking lean, or shutting down, with India’s first Gin & Tonic RTD. The success of the company in the following years should impact how individuals assess risk during periods of economic downturn, especially with a sound plan in place. Salud's journey began by breaking into the alcoholic beverage space, aiming to create a convenient, tasty, and health-centric drink while changing way individuals celebrate life. The vision eventually expanded to include the multiple verticals we see within the brand today, such as Salud’s non-alcoholic bitters, merchandise, music, and NFTs. Throughout its growth, Salud has retained its core vision: helping individuals come together and celebrate life globally.

Salud has consistently aimed to be at the forefront of trends, allowing it to have the first-mover advantage in many of its ventures. As the first Indian brand to introduce an alcoholic bottled RTD, Salud cemented itself as a disruptor within the Indian beverage market from day one. Their initial release of G&T 2.0 simplified the drinking experience by offering a low-alcohol alternative to the options on the market at the time. The impact Salud had on the RTD space is evident in hindsight, as numerous local and international companies are entering the space with their versions of the drink. Consumer attitudes and behavior towards alcohol are shifting, and younger generations are prioritizing convenience and health more than ever before. Salud has capitalized on this shift and provided consumers with an incredible product to perfectly match their desires. As a disruptor, Salud has changed the game, going beyond competitive prices and swanky retail showrooms. Salud’s strategies are based on a deep understanding of what the consumer of tomorrow is going to look like and what the product needs to evolve into.

Developing on its theme of firsts, Salud soon became the Indian RTD brand to win multiple awards on the global stage, winning for its impeccable beverages in the highly respected International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) in London and the extremely competitive China Wine and Spirits Awards (CWSA) in Hong Kong. Leading the RTD space within India, Salud has not only disrupted the market through its meteoric rise but also its expansion into other international markets.

Salud continued to innovate and function as a disruptor by being the first company within its segment to venture into the Web 3.0 space with a defined roadmap. Through their foray into the Metaverse, Salud has been able to penetrate an untapped market and grow the Salud family across the globe. Through collaboration with Asia's highest-selling NFT artists, they have created beautiful NFT artwork that perfectly portrays the brand's essence. Although a significant part of the NFT program focuses on unlocking a massive consumer base, the crux of the program is to provide each individual that buys an NFT with a value that extends far beyond the breathtaking artwork. Within Salud's roadmap, they have included multiple perks that NFT owners will soon be able to get, such as early access to Salud Sessions music and limited edition merchandise. Eventually, select NFT owners will be given 5% of all merchandise sales. Entering the Web 3.0 space demonstrates Salud’s commitment to continually innovate. The Metaverse is predicted to grow in significance and ubiquity over the coming decade, and being involved in the digital market this early is sure to give Salud a significant advantage. As more brands understand the significance of the Metaverse, they will inevitably follow Salud’s initiative and have to invest in their artists, audience growth, and roadmap within the digital landscape, something that Salud has already begun.

A brand as unique and disruptive as Salud must have an equally unique and disruptive founder, and Ajay Shetty is exactly that. Ajay spent the first seven years of his professional career in New York and Hong Kong as an investment banker for Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley. After success in the financial world, he took a bold step and left his job to start Myra Vineyards, a Wine production business in India, which was eventually acquired by the second-largest wine producer in the country. Soon after, Ajay founded Salud and began an entirely new journey in an (almost) completely new domain. Ajay's bold and innovative nature is reflected in Salud's story and will continue to play a critical role in the company's success as they continue to disrupt multiple market segments.

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