To be the most admired global leader in the spirits industry by creating unique high-quality brands for consumers, driven by highly motivated employees and supported by best-in-class processes and continued innovations. United Spirits is and will continue to be responsible towards its stakeholders and the society.
Let us all share the fantastic achievement of United Spirits Limited [USL] taking a quantum leap on the sales of its prestige and premium brands and moving up on its premiumization agenda. With sales exceeding over 123.7 million cases this year, prestige and premium segments grew by 21% compared to industry's growth at 11% for April 2012- March 2013.
This achievement is not only credit to the entire Team who made it happen, but also testimony to the increasing consumerism which underpins India’s growth story Many years ago, I had directed USL to remodel itself on the lines of an FMCG major rather than retain its historical narrow focus of being an alcoholic beverage company USL has responded to this call in full measure Despite the various constraints surrounding the Industry not least, the multiplicity of regulatory regimes, excessive taxation and need for constant engagement with State Authorities, the Company has risen to become one of the most respected entities in the Indian consumer space. USL is a responsible corporate citizen. It is one of the largest contributors to the exchequer in India; it has adopted “green” practices to minimize energy consumption, reduce its carbon foot print and conserve water It has also been in the forefront of innovations covering both product and packaging.
As the Company sets aggressive growth targets on an already large base, our focus is on ensuring that the back end of our business i.e. sourcing and logistics, keeps pace. Consequently, the Company has set about investing in both primary distillation as well as glass bottle manufacture. These initiatives, which will see fruition over the next 2-3 years, will not only give USL the strategic control of core areas of business but also lead to sustainable cost advantages which will stand the Company in good stead in the years to come.
I am glad to share with you that McDowell’s No. 1 Platinum Whisky which was launched in 2010 has achieved the rare distinction of selling over one million cases in its debut year. This record is testimony to the quality of the Company’s products, relevance of communication and penetration of our distribution network. Our Company has a pipeline of many more value added products which would be launched in phases going forward. These will reflect the changing demands of consumers who are increasingly aware of global offerings and are also willing to spend on catering to their tastes.
Last year, we took a decision to conserve stocks of scotch at Whyte & Mackay [W&M] and to refocus the Company’s sales away from bulk, and prioritize branded premium and luxury products.
This strategy i s meeting with planned successes. W&M’ s branded products are out pacing the industry and the Company is also able to realize higher values as a consequence. Both “Jura” and “Dalmore” Single Malts are amongst the top three fastest growing brands in the world.
The provenance of W& M&’s brands was further established by the discovery of a century old case of “Mackinlays“ whisky buried under the Antarctic ice. The whisky, made by W&’M had been carried by the famed British explorer, Ernest Shackleton on his trail blazing attempt to reach the South Pole, and was recently discovered. W&’M has launched a replica Shackleton edition in commemoration and received the “Innovation of the Year Award” from the Whisky Magazine