Sula Wine is one of the most incredible companies in the Indian business ecosystem and they have established such an insane dominance in the wine industry of India that while Fratelli Wines has a total land acreage of 240 acres Grover Zampa has 460 Acres but SULA alone has an acreage of 2 600 acres which is more than its next three competitors combined and what is even more mind-blowing is that the Sula having five to ten times more cultivation while Fratelli has an average inventory time of 595 days Grover stood at 878-day s whereas Sula has an average inventory time of just 465 days which means in spite of Sula producing five times more wine it was able to push its products at a way faster pace then its competitors and Sula has been such a dominating player in India that even the biggest winemakers in the world have not been successful in India as a result Sula today stands as the king in the Indian wine industry with ta market share of 53 percent.
So in this article, let’s try to understand how did Sula Wines go from being a humble startup to becoming the king of the Indian wine market?
This is the story that days back to 1990 Maharashtra, this is where Raji someone was working with Oracle in California and back home his father owned a small 20-acre farm in nashik in Maharashtra and if you know California has some of the biggest wineries in the world and it is literally the fourth largest winemaker in the world that generates a revenue of 114 billion dollars every single year and California alone products 81 percent of the wine made in the United States of America now the reason why California are so so perfect for wineries is that it has the best suited climate for Grapevine production which are warm days cold nights healthy rainfall and nutrient-rich soil and more importantly a free draining soil this makes it an ideal combination for allowing wine grapes to ripen slowly and evenly and guess what by looking at the climatic condition of California Rajiv realized that just like Napa Valley even the Dindori hills in Nashik has the exact same attributes warm days and cool nights healthy rainfall a nurtient rich soil and a free draining soil so after working at his friend’s Winery for three months RAjiv returned to Inida planted his first wine grapes in 1995 and started his quest to make the best wine in their had ever seen now most people will be like yeah so what he was a rich dude California had lands in anshik so he grew grapes made wine started selling them so what exactly is a big deal in this well even I thought so but whne I looked deper into how difficult the wine business is it blew my mind did you konw that if you decide to grow wine grape in your farm today it will take you at least four to six years just to push out your first bottle of wine into the market why because preparing a wine gray farm is an extremely tiresome process first of all the soil should be tested to determine the pH level and nutrient contents and if it has the right level of PH and the essential nutrients like nitrogen phosphorus and potassium you can go ahead with the cultivation but if it does not then the land needs to be amended with fertilizers to chieve the perfect condition for wine grapes and then if the land has not been previously used for grape cultivation it needs to be tilled and gr5aded to create the proper drainage and slow for the wine grapes and this process again takes several weeks to a few months and it is only after this tedious procedure that the wine grape can be planted after that it will take another two to three years for the wine grapes to start producing fruits and then after three to five years they can be harvested for wine making this is the start of the wine making process after that there is the process of fermentaion blending aging tablilizing filtrationa and then finally the wine is bottled labeled and sold in the market this is the reason why even shough Sula planted its first wine grapes in 1995 the first bottle of wine was actually sold in 2000.
Now the question over here is this was the case wilth all the wine makers right then how on Earth Sula become a market leader in wines and get an edge over other competitors well the first thing that helped suls grow was the government policy of Maharashtra in 2001 which was something called the Mahrashtra grape processing policy in simple worlds before 2001 it was extemely difficult for you to get approvals to start a wine company and even if you started one you had to get your approvals for the plot electricity supply and other infrastructure needed for a winery secondly the excess Duty on old wine industries was at 100 of the production expenditure which means even if its costs yo 1 0000 rupees to make a bottle of wine the excise duty on it will be another 1000 rupees so this clearly made it extremely difficult for the winemakers to enter the Indian markets but after this policy came cout the excise duty on old wine industries was reduced from 100 to just fifty precent of the production expenditure and for new wine Industries it was reduced to just 25 percent of the production expenditure on top of that a single window clearing system was established for essential licenses plot electricity supply telephones etc on top of that the government also made financess easier for the wine companies so you see licensing was made easier financing was made easier and the barrier to entry due to taxes was reduced this is what caused a huge incerased in the annual production of wine int he entire state of Maharastra whereby wine prodiction shot up to 20 million liters by 2008
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