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Vijay Mallya bullish on China venture

India's United Spirits Ltd (USL), the world's second-largest alcohol beverage company, will launch five brands in China as part of its entry into the communist country's market.

business Updated: May 23, 2007 16:14 IST

India's United Spirits Ltd (USL), the world's second-largest alcohol beverage company, will launch five brands in China as part of its entry into the communist country's market.

Formally announcing USL's entry into China in Shanghai, Vijay Mallya, Chairman of both USL and its parent firm United Breweries (Holding) Ltd, said the company has made the Chinese market a top priority.

"We will offer a complete range of alcohols of different flavours," Mallya was quoted as saying by China Daily in the eastern metropolis.

Initially, USL plans to launch five alcohol brands in China, including the Bagpiper Deluxe Whisky. USL markets more than 140 brands, among of them 15 have an annual sales of over 1 million cases, the report said.

Mallya said he is optimistic about the Chinese market.

"I believe the taste of Chinese people and Indian people are very similar. Our products will be enjoyed, especially the first five products we are going to launch," he said.

"We are looking forward to successful business in China. We will start in Shanghai and then extend to other parts of the country," he said.

USL also plans to bottle locally here in China.

"I don't think any other international companies have offered to bottle their products locally," he said.

"When you go to a market as important as China, you have to prepare to do whatever it takes... And USL is in China for the long-term," he said.

Mallya said major manufacturers in the spirits business are stocking their products because they expect high demand from China and India.