“With more number of Indians travelling abroad for professional and other reasons, their fondness for imported liquor is also rising which is certainly leading to growth in the business as they acquire taste for imported liquor and can afford to buy the expensive spirits from duty-free shops abroad,” said Rawat.
Assocham said in its report that growth in the sector has also been fueled by rising income levels, increasing young population, growing number of working women, increasing media penetration and expanding exposure to western lifestyle amid people in the upper-middle income group in India for whom serving expensive liquor reflects their lifestyle and status symbol.
Market for imported liquor has huge scope for growth in India and a dramatic increase in foreign brands can be witnessed if the stiff regulatory environment together with state levies and high import tariff on imported spirits sold through retail stores and bars across states in India is relaxed to some extent, highlights the industry body's study.
Citing India as one the most significant growth drivers, various multinational liquor companies are likely to invest hugely in marketing, brand innovations, expand to new markets within India and are managing their portfolio as per the local needs.
The study says that an accelerated level of growth in sales of liquor in tier II and tier III cities is likely to happen as companies are focusing on retail channels like bars, restaurants and pub joints across these towns apart from huge investments in infrastructure, supply chain, bottling facilities etc. which will also open employment avenues.
Sales of imported liquor are rising rapidly despite constant threat from counterfeit spirits which have been trying hard to dent the growth of the market in India.
According to Assocham, the overall liquor consumption in India is growing at about 30 per cent CAGR and is likely to reach about 20,000 million litres by next three years from current level of about 7,000 million litres.
Besides, in terms of revenue the alcoholic beverage market is currently estimated at about Rs 52,000 crore and is likely to reach about Rs two lakh crore during the course of next three years.
Wine consumption in India is likely to reach around 14.7 million litres (in volume terms) by the end of 2012 from around 4.6 million litres in 2008 registering a growth of 35 per cent during the course of past 4 years, according to Assocham.
The Indian wine market (in value terms) stood at Rs. 800 crore as in 2008 is likely to touch Rs. 2700 crore mark by the end of this year.
The vodka market in India is growing at about 25 per cent annually and is likely to reach about 10.2 million cases by the end of 2012 as vodka is emerging as a starting drink of choice for the youth at metros and tier II centres.