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Assam’s Radiant Manufacturers set sight on RS 200-crore turnover by 2026

The company aims to diversify its product range with innovations like rice beer and rice wine, while also exploring export opportunities to Scotland, Nepal, and Canada

Assam’s Radiant Manufacturers set sight on RS 200-crore turnover by 2026

Assam’s Radiant Manufacturers set sight on RS 200-crore turnover by 2026

Can you provide us with a brief history of Radiant Distilleries?

In 1969, the picturesque town of Kohima, Nagaland, witnessed the inception of a modest liquor retail shop. Back then, its origins were unassuming and very few took notice. However, destiny had bigger plans for this shop, and its Founder and Chairman Dani Chand, took a trajectory that redefined the alcobev industry in the North East. Today, Radiant Manufacturers stands as a testament to entrepreneurial spirit and regional pride in the North East.

As a result, in 2001, Radiant Manufacturers Pvt Ltd was founded in KhatKhati, Karbi Anglong, Assam, focusing on producing regional in-house brands and products at the bottling plant. Two decades later, the Radiant brand portfolio has grown, anchored by a commitment to consistent blends and quality. We launched the Distillery division, our first agro-based ENA plant in 2012, which was also the first grain based distillery of Northeast India.

What are the challenges of manufacturing in Assam?

So far, we have been operating without many issues. While there were a few teething problems in the start, we never let our morale go down and overcame them with high spirits. In the current times, a major challenge that lurks for every distillery is the shortage of manpower coupled with the exponential startup ethanol units in India. This can turn out to be a major industry wide challenge that needs intervention.

How important is the East as a market to your company?

The East holds a special place in our hearts, not only for its economic potential but also because it is our home. We see the East as our stronghold, and it's essential for us to build a robust defense to ensure our enduring presence and success

Is the Eastern market big enough to attract big players?

With the starting up of many greenfield ethanol plants, it is a possibility for the eastern markets to attract big players to set up here, however, the Northeast of India is a very environmentally sensitive community. Hence, any red category unit will have to undergo strict scrutiny from the public as well as the respective regulatory authorities.

What is your company brand strategy?

The distillery division is on an ambitious expansion plan aimed at increasing the production capacity by 50 per cent and tapping into the rapidly growing ethanol market. To facilitate this growth, significant efforts are put in place recently. We have also acquired the consent to establish for an expanded unit, which will include a CO2 unit, a micro distillery, in addition to a visitor center, and a maturation facility.

At the heart of our expansion efforts lies a focus on the maturation and production of very special grain spirits. We are keen to explore this niche segment further, leveraging our expertise to craft exceptional spirits with distinctive character and flavour profiles. Additionally, our enhanced capabilities open up opportunities to supply specially crafted small-batch spirits from the distillery level. These spirits can be tailored to meet specific brand applications, catering to a diverse range of clientele.

We are capable of developing multiple distilled filtered wheat mash spirits for Vodka, botanicals infused spirits for gin along with mixed grain mash spirits of corn, rice, malt for whiskies. We are also researching to create a grain mash incorporating elements of Jaggery or sugarcane juice. Although this endeavour has not yet yielded success, we remain committed to the pursuit of innovation and are determined not to give up.

Which are your markets and what markets are you looking to explore?

We most certainly aim to get into Rajasthan, Goa, Maharashtra along with Odisha and other corporation markets as they are safe bets. Ideally, a one nation one tax model would have allowed every independent craft spirits manufacturer to exponentially expand their reach, however, that is not the case with India. Therefore, until excise is a state-to-state matter with different policies and ever-changing landscapes it is quite difficult for brands like ours to expand optimally.

What are your plans for the export market?

Over the years, we have been working extensively in Scotland, Nepal and Bhutan. At present, we are in talks with a unit in Nepal to develop brands for them and supply our specially crafted matured and unmatured spirits to them. Additionally, we are also in talks to take our Castle Hill Dark Knight Small Batch Whiskey there. We are also in active discussions to develop and set up a sales and marketing team in Scotland and Canada. The outcome of these discussions remains uncertain, and only time will reveal their eventual outcome.

Do you have any new products in the pipeline?

Currently, we are focused on developing rice beer and rice wine within the heritage liquor category and aim to develop products aligned with the traditional liquors of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, and Sikkim, honouring their cultural significance and heritage. Alongside these endeavours, our product range encompasses a diverse array of spirits, including matured and unmatured variants, gins, whiskies, white rums, and wines. With numerous projects currently undergoing, we sense a significant evolution not only within our own company but also within the broader craft spirits industry of India. This period feels like an exciting unfolding of possibilities, marking a pivotal moment for innovation and growth.

What is the production capacity of your distillery and your group turnover?

With our expanded capacity, which is set to increase to 70 kiloliters per day, we anticipate significant growth in our operations. We further project our turnover to soar over 200 crores by the year 2026. This substantial increase in both capacity and turnover reflects our commitment to scaling our operations and meeting the growing demands of our customers and markets.

How do you plan to grow in the Indian alcobev market?

Our growth strategy revolves around two key pillars. Remaining relevant in the dynamic landscape is the first as we understand the importance of staying attuned to industry trends and consumer preferences, to ensure our offerings continue to meet dynamic market. Simultaneously, we are committed to strengthening our moat by continuously innovating and pursuing research.

Vincent Fernandes
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