India’s start up ecosystem has grown and has garnered increased attention during the recent years. The indefatigable efforts of entrepreneurs saw a rise in the number of start ups during the last decade.

The budding enterprises, armed with cutting-edge and out-of-the box ideas are now being widely recognised as important engines for growth and jobs generation. It is believed that through innovation and scalable technology, start ups can generate impactful solutions, and thereby act as vehicles for socio-economic development and transformation.

According to a study on startups in India, some startups were founded in the 2000s, but the ecosystem was still immature in the country
as only a few investors were active then and the number of support organisations such as incubators and accelerators were limited too.

The number of startups in the country has increased fast and more support has become available in all dimensions. Bengaluru has emerged as India’s primary startup hub, but significant activity is also taking place in Mumbai and the National Capital Region (NCR), as well as in some smaller cities of India, in the starup realm.

In India, the road of startups witnessed both highs and lows throughout; many made it to their goal posts while some perished midway. The new decade brings new hope…However the ongoing economic slowdown could have its impact on the fortunes of new enterprises.

Scanning through the startup ecosystem on Indian space, one finds that while most of them chose to play safe and opted to go the way other companies have succeeded but some had the requisite fortitude to defy the trend and treaded on to the unconventional paths. This is true for our alco-beverages industry too.

Take the case of daredevil Desmond Nazareth of Goa. He spend 18 years researching and working in the alcoholic beverage space, and he is credited with several firsts to his credit—from making home-grown agave-based spirits to manufacturing artisanal cachaça-style sugarcane spirits. Now, he has made his mark by romancing with Mahua.

On the other side of Vindhyas, another young man is busy scripting a success story with his untiring & focused approach. Gautom Menon launched a startup for making a quintessential Indian liquor brand and created the much applauded global brand Wild Tiger Premium Dark Rum.

It is a mixed feeling when we find that millennials leaving their well paid jobs or job offers and jumping into the startup bandwagon of alcobev space. It is a felling of happiness and of trepidation for them as India’s liquor industry is so complex, risky and politically unstable. Shivam Ginglani found his calling in creating a quality blended whisky, Black Bow, and is now wowing the market. The trio of Sakshi Saigal, Rahul Mehta and Vidur Gupta ventured into craft gin space with their Stranger & Sons brand. The brand has now crossed the national boundary to reach London.

Other notable startup entrepreneurs like Arvind Singla, Hridesh Chopra(from Amara Breweries), Abhinav Jindal (Kimaya Himalayan Beverages) and Avneet Singh(Medusa Beverages) went on to create their niches in the crowded beer market of India and clocked good sales number in a short span of time.

ADS Spirits’ Sikandar Mann has created a new benchmark by making his Royal Green whisky as the fastest growing millionaire whisky brand with a growth rate of 92 percent. Kavinder Singh of Bottmac India has done remarkably well since the company’s inception in 2014 and is looking at expanding his footprints pan-India.

In the wine space, KRSMA Estates has created its own mark with its incredibley quality wines. The passion of its founders, Krishna Prasad and Uma Chigrupati, is truly reflected in the company’s wine brands.

It is not difficult to deduce that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ campaign has hardly helped these alcobev startups; their journey was rather made difficult by heavy taxation, unfriendly policies, corrupt bureaucracy and more so by the ongoing economic slowdown.

But notwithstanding such impediments, these entrepreneurs are committed to reach their goal post and thereby encourage more young people to realise their dreams.