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Madiza Wines: Starting Small-Dreaming Big


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Madiza Wines: Starting Small-Dreaming Big

June 13: There is nothing new in an importer starting small and dreaming to make it big as a leading importer, but when Hyderabadbased Madiza Wines, importing wines from only one winery in Italy, has sold around twelve hundred cases in the first full-year of operation, it is a breath of fresh air for the choking imports and a warning to the established importers that the owner Ravi Kanth Popuri means business, writes Subhash Arora
Started in Nov ember 2011, Madiza notched a sale of around 1200 cases of wine, says Ravikanth, MD of Madiza. According to the Hyderabad Excise Records, Madiza sold 1133 cases of imported w ine-with no duty-free sales at all, thus brushing past Aspri with a sale of 1072 that includes DF sales as w ell. With deals in the process of being clinched w ith ITC, Park Hyatt and a couple of other hotels w hich would not be fair to disclose on the part of delWine, he hopes to triple his sales this year - a much better batting performance than other rookies and recent entrants. Bangalore sales w ere opened up but due to material shortages, we have had to slow down in that market. We hav e permissions from both APBCL (Andhra Pradesh Bev erages Corporation Ltd.) and KSBCL to market w ines through them, he says. If these figures are impressive for a first full year of operations, get this! He is selling w ines from only one Italian company in Friuli - Cantina San Martina - as its sole importer and distributor. The w inery has 3 flagship brands 12 labels of w hich are being sold in India, namely La Corte (4), Corte Sassonia (2) and Pitars (4)-the high-end luxury wine named after Pittaros, the Italian ow ners. Rav i has no wine background. In fact he had been a banker and a financial consultant for the past 15 years. Due to foreign trav els he got the bug of starting w ine imports as a business, he says. Today it has become my life. He trav elled to Europe visiting sev eral wineries. I had ev en contacted you, perhaps you dont remember. I studied the Indian Wine Academy w ebsite thoroughly before I started reaching out, he tells me unabashedly. If the importers in Delhi are fed up with the gov ernment interv entions and bureaucratic procedures choking them, they should take solace w hen he tells delWine that Hyderabad is a much tougher market than Delhi and Mumbai in terms of government interference. There are hurdles and extra costs at ev ery step of the w ay, but he is determined enough to face the challenges. 'It cannot continue forev er, he says, hoping that 'the gov ernment will realize one day that wine is not the usual alcohol and w ill relax its unfair and irrational policies towards w ine. How ev er, fed up of the process delays, he ordered 3 container-loads of w ine and has enough stocks to supply the hotels without interruption-that seems to be a perennial problem in Hyderabad, according to him. Besides reviv ing the Bangalore market soon, he is getting geared up to mark his presence in other important locations of the country Chennai, Goa (the next two markets),Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, etc and is hopeful to be operational in these markets w ithin 2013-14. Ravi seems to have planned a two-pronged attack to increase his market share. On one hand he has priced his products v ery low compared to the competition. His cheapest w ine sells for less than Rs.1100 AI; and this includes 33% taxes to APBCL and a ridiculously high VAT of 70%! A close competitor agreed with delWine but wondered how he could give such low prices. By hav ing razor thin margins, he insists. On the other hand, he has been working v ery hard, almost exclusiv ely, to promote Brand Pitar and Madiza. He has been organizing ev ents which most of the big importers would think thrice to touch. He organised 35 wine ev ents in 2012. Before ev en starting the sales, he brought in an Italian sommelier for 3 months, w ho w ent to v arious places educating potential customers. The recent Monsoon Ball at Park Hyatt w as a roaring success, he says. Rav i does not mind sharing that he is in final stages of signing a contract with a hotel for 500-1000 cases sale for the year; no doubt an ambitious target but signifying the huge untapped potential of the IT city population. Using successfully the social media-@ bottledpoetry in Facebook w ith ov er 7000 members in a short time and @bottled_poetry in tw itter, he has been creating a lot of interest in his products. A catalogue-cum diary that I received from him just this morning, is perhaps the best form of communications or PR and Branding I have seen and is truly of top international standards (ev en though I suspect it has been sponsored by the Pittaros to focus on branding Pitars). While most importers struggle to promote the difficult sounding Italian grapes and w ines, he says his La Corte Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso has been selling v ery well. Simply know n as Refosco, this fruity red wine is a specialty of Friuli and the palates of Hyderabad seem to hav e been impressed by the wine. While our beginnings are small, our dreams are big says Rav ikanth Popuri, adding in the same breath that he plans to be the leading importer of India. While ev ery importer has the same secret ambition Rav i seems to be acting with professionalism and a strategy and it w ould be fair to w arn the Brindcos and Aspris of India that the future holds challenges to them in terms of holding the market share but a lot of excitement for the wine market and consumers. If you want to size up Madiza Wines, visit www or their FB and Twitter pages. Subhash Arora Tags: Madiza Wines, Italy, Rav i Kanth Popuri, Friuli, Cantina San Martina, Refosco


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9/24/2013 1:23 PM

Madiza Wines: Starting Small-Dreaming Big

DN Raju Says:

You have excellent taste


Very happy to read about the way Mr Rav ikanth has gone about building his w ine v enture ! Especially kicked to see this new kid on the block from south's name being mentioned along side Brindco and Aspri !. All the best Rav ikanth keep up the good spirit and may you reach your goal. D N Raju Mg Director Soma v ineyards Bangalore.
Post ed @ June 18, 2013 11:50

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Ravikanth Popuri Says: Thank you sir. You really make us feel proud ! Memoirs/Diary Idea, Concept, Design, Production, etc is all done by Madiza..including the payment ??Thanks again for the kind words, appreciation of our w ork and motiv ation through the article. This only makes us more strong and reinstate the faith in our w ork. Warm Regard. Ravikanth
Post ed @ June 15, 2013 16:43

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