Delhi-headquartered Rock and Storm Distilleries began its operations in 2010 with its first manufacturing plant in District Sangrur, Punjab. The company is into the Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL) products, with over 2500 crore in company sales in the last five years and having a portfolio of 11 brands (whisky, rum, vodka, and gin to brandy in premium segments), ranging Dennis special Whisky to Commander N Chief Rum to Blue Eyes Vodka. It aims to offer international class spirits to a broader base of customers within their budget range.
In September 2019, Rock & Storm launched Barents Premium Gold Reserve Whisky to introduce a brand in the premium market and give consumers the pleasure of drinking scotch or even single malt. With Barents, the company aims to expand into the premium segment. Speaking of Barents, Ashu Ratan Khare, director, Rock and Storm Distilleries, explains, "Barents Premium Gold Reserve Whisky is a value for money and a premium quality product. This whisky is a sophisticated handcrafted blend with a smooth, rich, sooty, and toffee flavor with a burst of fruity, nutty punch, eventually leaving a lasting smoky flavor with a trace of Bourbon cask. The whisky is a delicate layer of spices, offering the finest drinking experience at a pocket-friendly price, meant for the adventurous souls."
The quality of Barents Premium Gold Reserve Whisky has been acknowledged and recognized by critics. The brand has a record sale of Rs 11 crore in the launch year itself. Barents, priced at Rs 840 for 750ml bottle, has a wide reach in Delhi and will soon be available in Telangana as the company soon plans to enter the Telangana market.
With a processing plant (situated in Village Chajjali, District Sunam, Punjab) equipped with the world's best machinery with seven lines, including fully automatic, the company claims to meet international quality standards. Further, owing to the huge surge in demand, the company has also taken one plant on a tie-up basis in Jharkhand and one plant in Telangana. Speaking of quality, Khare adds, "All our products are based on natural and high-quality ingredients and thus stability is high for a longer period of keeping. Currently, we are selling nearly 1 million cases in annual volume, truly representing how brands have captivated the imagination and secured the loyalties of our drinkers all over."
Home delivery of liquor
Recently, the Delhi government has permitted home delivery of Indian liquor and foreign liquor by ordering through a mobile app or online web portal. Khare calls home delivery of liquor as the need of the hour. He believes, "This move will reduce the crowd at retail shops amid the pandemic. As of now, female consumers of liquor are hesitant to go to crowded retail shops. So now, they can buy liquor much at their convenience. In addition, the new excise policy will prevent overcharging."
In the last FY, the excise policy of 7-8 states allowed the home delivery of alcohol, but there was no positive response due to some practical issues. He explains, "In Delhi, it has been notified, but detailed rules have not yet come. Of course, the online sale will only be through apps and web portals by the L-13 license holders, but still, it's not clear who will control the app or web portal and how the delivery will be done. Regardless, we as an industry see it as a good move and hope by the passage of time teething problems will be overcome by the Government."
Further, in India, the liquor business is controlled by the state Governments. Khare believes that necessary reforms or changes in the existing liquor laws will help the industry boom. "There are 28 states and 9 UT, but it's like doing liquor business with 37 countries in India. Every state or UT has its policy. Each state has some favorable and unfavorable points when we compare it with other states. As an industry, we have to get aligned with all these changes in the new policy of state or UT."
Rock & Storm products are available in Delhi, UP, Jharkhand, and in CSD & Paramilitary forces of 15 states. In addition, the company also exports to Rwanda, Kenya and Australia. With an existing portfolio of 11 brands and plans to grow further with premium offerings, the scope at the deck is looking at investments worth Rs 100 crore in the next 3-4 years to take the brand's offerings to the consumer worldwide. This year, the brand aims to project revenue of over Rs 20 crore, with Covid-19 adjustments. Khare explains, "The company plans to enter the Telangana market in August 2021 and Karnataka state in 2022-23. We wish to expand the reach of our defense business in the entire country by 2022-23. In addition, we will start export to Ukraine and Chile in 2021-22."