INDIA – Pernod Ricard India, the Indian subsidiary of the French spirits giant, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Maharashtra government to establish a malt spirit distillery in Nagpur, India.  

The company plans to invest up to US$216.48 million over the next decade in this ambitious venture. The proposed distillery, located in the industrial suburb of Butibori, Nagpur, is anticipated to take a minimum of three years to complete.  

Once operational, it will focus on the production of Pernod Ricard’s renowned Indian whiskey brands, including the Longitude77 range.  

The company has expressed its intent for this facility to be one of the largest distilleries in India, boasting a daily capacity of 60,000 liters of malt spirit. 

While specific details about the distillery remain limited, Pernod Ricard revealed that it aims to utilize approximately 50,000 tonnes of barley annually, procured from local farmers. The establishment of this new distillery is also expected to generate employment opportunities, with a workforce ranging between 700 to 800 people. 

Jean Touboul, CEO of Pernod Ricard India said, “This initiative is in continuation of our dedicated efforts to make and innovate in India, and we are confident that it will elevate India’s standing on the global map as a key player in the production of high-quality malt. 

The establishment of this distillery will provide a boost to various allied sectors in and around Nagpur and the state of Maharashtra. Further, the foundation of the plant will aim to provide local entrepreneurs and the farmer community with new avenues of growth.” 

Pernod Ricard already operates 24 facilities in India, with some being joint ventures with local companies. The new distillery aligns with the company’s strategy to invest and innovate within the Indian market. 

India currently holds the position of the second most important global market for Pernod Ricard, following the United States. Touboul expects India to become the leading market in the next 10 to 15 years, with the company on track to triple its net sales over the coming decade.  

In fiscal year 2023, India surpassed China as the second-largest market by net sales for the company, reflecting its strategic importance. 

“In the first half of the fiscal year (July to December 2023), our net sales in India grew 4%. We forecast an acceleration in the second half of the year (January to June),” added Touboul.  

The growth, despite challenges in the base year and route-to-market disturbances, underscores the resilience of Pernod Ricard in the Indian market.

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