Wine lovers swirling new world wines: Sula Vineyards AVP Marketing, Shraddha Nathani


By Papri Das

Since time immemorial we have been seasoned to believe that a bottle of good wine can only come from European nations, or the ?old world? wine as it is popularly connoted by wine connoisseurs. However, this notion has seen a gradual transition with wine connoisseurs increasingly giving the ?new world? wines a swirl as well, observes Sula Vineyard AVP marketing Shraddha Nathani.

Eloquent, dynamic with a soft spot for adventure, Nathani?s colourful and diverse career in advertising, media and marketing started with Lowe Lintas, where she had the opportunity to work with a number of brands like Close Up, Pepsodent, Lifebuoy, Wheel, Vim and Domex, primarily working on insight mining tools, new product development and creating communication strategies for South-East Asia markets. She later honed her marketing skills under Bloomberg TV (then UTVi) and Bisleri, where she successfully carried out the ?Stay Protected? and ?Kiss to Drink? campaigns, catapulting the company into the social media space.

Now with Sula Vineyards, which is rightly hailed as India?s leading winery, Nathani has taken up the challenge to build Sula as brand at par with international wines. Exec Lifestyle caught up with her to find out the challenges in marketing wine produced in India, her tryst with Bloomberg TV and her adventure filled travel experiences.


In an industry where European wines are favoured, was it challenging to market ?Made in India? wines?

Before we delve into marketing techniques, it is important to note that the world is increasingly shifting its attention towards New World wines ? wines from areas such as United States, New Zealand, Chile and India to name a few. This is because the quality of the wines that these regions produce have been at par with the Old World regions.

Sula has invested in ensuring that we provide the right information to consumer. The world was unaware about the fact that India too can grow wine grapes. Sula has put Nasik on the world wine map, thus not only bridging the gap on this perception, but also competing internationally. The fact that Sula is the market leader in India and the top exporter for Indian wine goes to testify that we understand consumer psyche, global and Indian wine consumption trends and market nuances.

What is your marketing strategy for Sula Wines?

For a brand such as Sula, marketing plays a very important role given all the rules and restrictions on the alco-bev category in India. Our wine portfolio is broadly classified in categories like Elite, Premium, Economy and Value. Each segment caters to a specific target audience, with distinct and unique marketing strategies. We ensure through strategic brand alliances, events and cross promotional initiatives that we maximize brand recall.

How does Sula cater to it?s premium patrons? What range of Sula wines is exclusive to the elite?

Yes, we have a dedicated portfolio for the evolved wine lovers.

Our Elite and Premium portfolios contain the following wines:

  • Sula Raza Shiraz ? Limited Edition
  • Rasa Cabernet Sauvignon ? Limited Edition
  • Sula Brut
  • Sula Brut Rose
  • Dindori Reserve Shiraz
  • Dindori Viognier
  • Sula Riesling

Do you think that the liquor industry is male dominated? Have you done any marketing targeting women patrons of wine?

It?s not just the wine and liquor industry, which is male dominated, but the entire corporate universe that has seen more men in decision-making roles as compared to women. However, in the last few decades industrious and ambitious women have risen to the forefront acquiring indispensable roles in organizations. This has made cosmopolitan India open up to the idea of women being at par with men. 

As for Sula?s marketing, certain brands may appeal more to women depending on personal preferences. However, wine as a category is flush with women consumers ? not just in India but also across the world.

What is your favourite wine experience?

One of my most memorable trips was a couple of years ago to Spain. But the highlights of the trip truly came down to some of the simplest of things - getting lost on our road trip from Seville to Cordoba, eating eating Gambas al Ajillo and paella on the Las Rambla streets and sampling the lovely Spanish wines.

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