The three-century-old rum brand, Mount Gay Rum from Barbados celebrated its 314th anniversary recently. The rum born in 1703 in the Caribbean island Barbados was originally called “Kill-Devil” by the Barbadians who first distilled it. The abundance of molasses combined with the culinary ingenuity of early settlers and, of course, their legendary thirst for alcohol lead to this unique discovery in the production of spirits.
Prarrthona Pal Chowdhury, the newly appointed Country Manager – Indian Subcontinent at Rémy Cointreau held a tasting and celebratory event recently in Mumbai for a small group of rum aficionados. Commenting on the Indian market she said, “alcohol is no longer about drinking but rather about decadence and Remy Cointreau as a company appeals to this luxurious self-indulgence of people”.
This is also the first activity which has kick-started Remy Cointreau’s second innings in the Indian market after the French company decided to shut the India office in 2015 following a five-year long operation through a wholly-owned subsidiary. Although the sales and distribution channel was active through its partner Sula Vineyards for the last two years. However, with the appointment of Prarrthona Pal Chowdhury, the company now aims to revive its market plan for not just India but also a number of other south-Asian markets.
Besides Mount Gay Rum, Remy Cointreau will also be designing a new marketing plan and strategy for its other brands such as Remy Martin, Cointreau, St-Remy VSOP and XO Brandy and the most iconic cognac brand Loius XIII. It is worth noting that in 2013 Remy Cointreau India had announced a joint venture with Nashik Vintners, owner of Sula Vineyard, for launching India-specific brands. Ironically the first spirit brand which came out from this JV was launched later in 2015 and became Sula Vineyards first premium spirit brand called JANUS, a 100 % grape brandy.
It will be interesting to see if Remy Cointreau will revisit the plan to introduce more such India-specific brands in the near future.