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Monday, November 16, 1998

SWC to expand its portfolio, tap low-end market 

Arijit De  
Mumbai, Nov 15: Shaw Wallace & Co (SWC) has decided to expand its product portfolio and launch new flavours in segments where it was till now absent. The decision taken by the company top brass is based on a recent nationwide market-development study.

The Manu Chhabria flagship company also plans to target the mass segment in a major way by launching low-priced products. Excess regulation and periodic excise hikes over the last of couple of years have resulted in the price enhancements of standard brands, resulting in the emergence of a strong price-conscious segment, the company feels.

The lower-end of the market is also where its competitors, namely the UB group and other transnationals, are absent and is dominated by single-unit operators lacking brand-building ability.

Shaw Wallace officials said that market and product development has become an important part of the liquor business owing to sweeping changes the industry has experienced over the last several years with the advent of almost allmajor multinationals. At the same time, it had become essential for the 112-year-old company, which has been equally busy over the last two years grappling with a huge outstanding debt liability, to make its product portfolio contemporary.

Shaw Wallace has tasted success in what was a precursor to the portfolio expansion plan: the recent launch of the DSP Black whisky, an extension of its most popular Director's Special brand which marked an entry into the deluxe-whisky segment. The company says that it has managed to notch up a 20 per cent share in its price segment. SWC has 40 production units across the country and has also entered into production tie-ups with several regional companies that has given it instant access into regional markets.

Copyright © 1998 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.


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