Start small, work hard, create a brand, and expand the business!
Kishan Pedhapally started in the alcoholic beverages industry a little under 25 years ago, and in 2016 he started his own wine company, Asav Wines.
Tell us about your journey to Asav wines! It was a very difficult journey considering alcohol is heavily regulated in India and each Indian state has their own rules, regulations, taxes and labels. My first job gave me a great insight into how the industry works and the extent of the market. However, I was not content with this and started his own wine brand that would represent Hyderabad. I took great pains in finding the right wines, traveling to different wineries, tasting wines and then finally introduced them as Asav wines in 2016. This is the transition from a sales person to a founder of a great wine company!
What or who inspires you in your journey? My inspiration has been my parents, who taught me to do hard work and work towards my goals. In the course of my journey, I also met many stalwarts of the industry and that has also rubbed off on me. Thanks to all of these experiences, I could put in sheer hard work and create Asav wines from scratch.
What is the market scope for wine in the Indian AlcoBev market? I believe the wine market of India is huge and what we see now is just the tip of the iceberg. There is a huge potential for wine growth in India if the right quality of wines are provided. Asav wines is a venture which is looking to provide this quality from select Nashik vineyards at affordable prices. My vision for the growth of Asav is to double the sales in the next 2 years. With the kind of love and attention Asav is getting, surely this should not be a problem.
How did you come up with the name for your brand?
India has been a home to many alcoholic drinks mentioned for thousands of years. Drakshasava is an alcoholic grape prescription for good health and I shortened it to Asav. It is also a sweet and short name that is easy to remember and recall.
What are the secrets to your success?
Continuous hard work and attention to detail has helped me to succeed
How did you raise funding for your venture?
I used my own resources at the start putting in my family money and later turned to a few friends to invest in the business. I tried to keep it very small initially and having a virtual winery helped. Then, slowly I expanded the business from the money received from the sales
What are your biggest successes and failures?
My biggest success is that my wine is recognised and has become a brand. Starting from a few cases, it has grown many folds. I don’t believe that I have failed but there are aspirations which have yet to be achieved- such as having my own physical winery in Telangana.
How did you persevere through the tough times?
Times have never been always good and during the early times I cut down on expenses, slept on railway platforms, took matters directly up to the Commissioner especially with excise issues and much much more. The strength came from believing in myself.
What do you want to achieve next?
I want to double my Asav wine sales figures in the next two years and also work on setting up a winery in Telangana
What are some of the challenges you faced or are facing regarding catalyzing innovation?
The excise formalities are the biggest challenge for me and considering mine is a small winery there are many hurdles. High excise duties and other charges on wines are also an impediment and I have always lobbied for the industry as a whole to bring this down
What are your tips for growing a company?
Start small, Work hard, create a brand, expand the business!
Finally, what do you have to say to the future aspiring AlcoBev entrepreneurs?
It is a limitless market out there. Believe in yourself and you can find your own niche!