French Cognac house, Remy Martin, established in 1724, seeks to build up its brand presence in India, two years after setting up base. A certain way to insult any self-respecting cognac maker is to call his product a glorified brandy. Patric Piana, CEO, Remy Martin, however, said that ignorance could work in their favour.
“We don’t have to fight against preconceived ideas and so it’s a great opportunity for us to establish ourselves as modern energetic brand with a 287-year history,” said Piana.
Piana is here on a mission – to ensure that his products, which currently retail largely in the confines of five-star hotels at a minimum price of Rs 12,500 per bottle , find greater acceptance among India’s swish set. “India is on the agenda because of the growth rate,” he said.
The focus on India also stems from the declining growth rates in Western Europe and a tenuous recovery in the US, where it saw a decline of 15% in the revenue during the 2008 economic downturn.
“The major growth areas for us are Asia, particularly China and India, where we are seeing 15-20% and 30% annual growth, respectively, the base in India is still very small,” he said.
For the half year ended September 30, it recorded revenues of € 277.3 million (Rs 1,967 crore) while the group revenue, which includes sales of other liqueurs, spirits and champagne, stood at €475 million (Rs 3,365 crore).
Piana, however, is not counting on the sales through luxury hotels. The company, following its global strategy of reaching out to the consumer to his doorstep, is bringing the concept to India. It will approach the high net-worth individuals, the ambassadors will go to their residences to make a presentation of the product.