Exclusivity is What the Consumers Want

Amid a surge in international travel, Sanjeev Banga from Radico Khaitan advocates for improved duty-free shopping experiences, including the possibility of in-store tastings. This enhancement aligns with the rising demand for exclusive and unique alcoholic beverages, as Indian travelers increasingly seek premium products for personal use and gifting.

By Spiritz Desk
New Update

With the flow of inbound and outbound travellers at all the major airports across India increasing in huge numbers, duty-free alcoholic beverage retailers have been paying special attention to the look and feel of their stores and creating an atmosphere that would help buyers shop at a leisurely pace. In the opinion of Sanjeev Banga, President (International Business), Radico Khaitan Limited, it would further help if tasting was allowed at the stores to help consumers make informed decisions. 

According to travel industry data, nearly 70 million Indians have travelled internationally post the pandemic, surpassing the number prior to the global lockdowns.

Sanjeev Banga, President (International Business), Radico Khaitan Limited

"This number is likely to go up further with opening up of newer international airports in India and increased flight frequencies. Indians are big spenders and love to shop for self-consumption as well as gifting. This bodes very well for the travel retail sector," affirms Sanjeev Banga. Alco-beverage players in India are aiming to share the unique beverage alcohol offerings from India with the world.

The Indian diaspora, as per industry experts, acts as a brand ambassador for these luxury offerings. They are very passionate of the fact that Indian spirits are competing with the finest in the world and very proudly carry them home or to share them as gifts.

They are equally thrilled when they find Indian spirit brands available in GTR across the Asia Pacific region (APAC). Indians today constitute one of the largest nationalities travelling to the APAC region.

All these have also brought about a shift in consumption patterns. As Sanjeev points out, "Consumers are always looking for exclusive, innovative and unique products available at GTR. They are willing to spend extra money on products which meet their aspiration-led needs and have a compelling story to relate to," he adds. As such, GTR is an intrinsic channel for Radico Khaitan's luxury portfolio comprising Rampur Indian Single Malt, Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin and Sangam World Malt Whisky.

An Increasing Presence

Radico Khaitan has a fairly robust presence across airports in the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East and Europe. According to Sanjeev, their company has a limited presence in APAC at the moment but is aiming to participate in the TFWA, Singapore. It recently unveiled Kohinoor Indian Dark Rum at the Summit of Americas in West Palm Beach, Florida and will be showcasing the same at TFWA as well.

"We have already been the catalyst in the growth of Indian single malts and craft gins. Now our focus is on dark rum. India has so much to offer to the world and we are committed to sharing these hidden gems with the world. There is lot more in the pipeline and will be unveiled in the near future," Sanjeev offers.

Their strategy of growth includes attracting more travellers and increasing engagement with liquor retail offerings. The company has been working on offering exclusive and innovative products at trade retail. For example, recently the Rampur Jugalbandi series expressions 1 to 4 were launched exclusively at Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport duty-free shops. Also, their Sangam World Malt Whisky one litre pack is exclusive to GTR.

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