Bacardi, a renowned global liquor brand has made its official presence in the Nepali market. The Bermuda-based company has partnered with Jagdamba Overseas, a part of Shanker Group for the marketing and with Rolling River Distillers for bottling the rum in Nepal. Founded in 1982 in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, Bacardi is the world's largest privately-held spirit manufacturer with more than 200 products in its portfolio. The company's white rum has garnered widespread acclaim and has received numerous accolades across the world. Vijay Subramaniam, Managing Director for India and South East Asia and Manish Seth, Sales and Marketing Director of Bacardi India Private Limited were present during the launch of Bacardi products in Nepal. In an interview with Sanjeev Sharma of New Business Age, they talked about company's plans in Nepali market. Excerpts:
What is Bacardi? What does it stands for?
Vijay: Bacardi refers to two entities, the brand and the organisation. The Bacardi organization has more than 200 brands in its portfolio, most of which are segment-leaders and are awarded across various categories for suiting needs and taste of the consumers. This is an organisation which is committed to its customers in South Asian region. The Brand Bacardi is all about the irrepressible and untameable spirit. Bacardi is a tribute to today's passionate and bold consumers.
How important is Nepal's market for your company?
Vijay: Bacardi considers Nepal a very important market. The importance is borne by the fact that this is the first tie-up with a manufacturing facility we have in the SAARC region outside India. We believe Nepal is a great market and we are quite excited to be here. Our outlook for the Nepali market is long-termed. We have the right portfolio and we believe we also have the 'right to win.'
Why was Bacardi absent for so many years in Nepali market?
Vijay: Prior to the official launch, we were present in Nepal through the local dealers. However, it took us some time to study the market because we are here for the long-term. We believe in doing things right and we need to get it right the first time. So we took some time understanding the consumers, the product offerings we should have, pricing strategy and most importantly, identifying the like-minded partners here in Nepal. We spent a lot of time researching the Nepali market. We have come only after doing the entire homework and after being assured that all elements are in place. It could have been earlier, but we feel that it is never too late.
Who are your targeted customers in Nepal?
Vijay: For different brands we have different target audiences. I would request Manish to explain it further.
Manish: Each of our product portfolios has specifically defined target audience and we would offer the consumers drinks of their choice. For example, the Grey Goose, our premium luxury vodka, is dedicated to the people who are 'lovers of life, livers of life' and whom we call ‘Lollils’. Those are the ones who are upwardly mobile and fashion conscious. For Bacardi, it is the young people who are above the legal drinking age and who have the untameable spirit in them. Similarly, the Bombay Sapphire gin is targeted to those who want to have entirely new taste of gin. Since gin category has significant presence in Nepali liquor market, we are very excited about this product.
What differentiates your products from other spirit brands?
Vijay: First of all, for any brand to be successful, it needs to have the right offering in the market. We have the right products with great quality. We have received international accolades owing to the care, passion and craftsmanship which go into making our products. We can claim that our products are definitely superior to many brands and it gives us a lot of confidence. Second is the pricing of our products which is extremely competitive. Thirdly, our approach in Nepali market is long-termed. We want to make Bacardi the most consumer-relevant brand here. We will come up with various consumer engaging platforms creating right consumer experiences and make them fall in love with our brand. Hopefully, our plans will be well executed with right distributing and manufacturing partners.
Bacardi has started its production in Nepal partnering with the Rolling River Distillers. What is your production target?
Manish: We are not pursuing specific volumes. Our capability is about creating properties which the consumers engage with. We are focused in getting the young Nepali consumers to be resonating with the point of view of Bacardi. We are in no hurry to raise the production volumes. We want to do it the right way by getting right consumers attached to Bacardi. It may take some time but we are well prepared for that.
How are you planning to promote the Bacardi brand in Nepal market?
Vijay: We are implementing different promotion strategies in various countries. We will be coming up with similar plans in Nepal as well.
Manish: We have the Bacardi NH7 Weekender which is the largest music festival in India. The event is held in four cities across India and we have announced the fifth city as Shilong this year. It is a multiple stage and genres music festival attended by almost one hundred thousand people every year. We are looking carefully for a possible extension of the event in Kathmandu.
Similarly, we had also sponsored another major musical event in 2014- The Bacardi Triangle. The three-day musical party organised at an island in the Bermuda Triangle was attended by 1862 invitees across the world with top three international musicians performing exclusively for Bacardi. We have these exciting global plans, and Nepal will find a place of importance in times to come. We have found that Nepalis have immense love for music and music is the integrated part of the Nepali culture. Therefore it opens up a lot of opportunities for us in providing world class entertainment and engagements for Nepali consumers.