Rory Bluett is the brand ambassador of Jameson Whiskey to Northern India. He was recently in Nepal to conduct some tasting sessions in Kathmandu and Pokhara. In an interview with Angila Sharma of New Business Age, he talked about the market of Jameson Whiskey in Nepal. Excerpts:
What brings you to Nepal?
I am the brand ambassador of Jameson Whiskey for North India. As Nepal is among the SAARC countries, it is also in my region. So, I have to come here on a quarterly basis to do some whiskey tasting and gather attraction for the brand. Over three days, I conducted 10 tasting sessions in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
How important is Nepali market for your product?
Nepal is becoming increasingly important for our product. It was launched here four years ago and has been successful so far. It is the country of 27 million people who have interest in whiskey and therefore an emerging market.
What is the market position of Jameson globally and in South Asia?
Jameson is among top 20 spirit brands. It is a huge and successful brand. It is a huge success in United States. So, that success has made it possible for us to expand our market to new places. Jameson, in terms of volume, is a small brand in Nepal. But, it is a brand that has a bright future in Nepal. So, I think it is an exciting time for the brand. It will take another three to five years for Jameson to bring out its best in the Nepali market. Our global strategy is to be the top 10 iconic spirit brand by 2020.
What is the main objective behind conducting the tasting sessions in Nepal?
The main objective behind this is to build the brand strongly in Nepali market. We want hugely beneficial relationship with Nepali consumers. Considering the success of last year’s sales, we have increased our sales target this year. So, we are here for a long time.
What is your market strategy for Nepal?
Jameson is smooth and easy going. We are trying to target 25 years old to 35 years old people. We believe that these people will love Jameson. It is good to consume for anyone who is of the legal age.
What are the challenges faced in this business?
The challenges in Nepal might be distribution as it is a mountainous country. Since it is far from Ireland, it takes a lot of time to bring our products here. This is definitely the biggest challenge here.
Who are your main competitors?
Globally, Jack Daniels is a brand that is very strong and established whereas Johnnie Walker Black Label is popular in Nepal.
What sets Jameson apart from other whiskeys?
Jameson is a brand that has a very personal approach. To the best of my knowledge, there is no other brand that has the same on the ground presence in the market, as we have. We are taking time to know the market, the people and the culture here.