The Rs 45 crore ($5.6m) hub is part of the company’s strategy to strengthen its craft and premium portfolio. Describing Goa as a ‘hotbed’ for craft in the country, the coastal region also has potential as an export hub, notes the company.
The Hub will produce 20,000 cases a month, provide local employment to 250 people and act as an incubator to accelerate the alcohol beverage start-up ecosystem.
The Craft and Innovation Hub, spread across 4 acres, offers end-to-end capabilities addressing various requirements such as distillation capabilities for malt, gin and rum; maturation infrastructure and blending capability for spirits; an automated bottling and packaging line for craft spirits and a modern warehouse for incoming and finished products.
It will also host a Consumer Experience Centre.
Diageo has a 52-year-old relationship with Ponda in Goa with the acquisition of Kesarval Beverages in 1970 which was renamed as McDowell’s and Company Limited and its subsequent acquisition by United Spirits Limited.
The company recently acquired a minority stake in Goa-based, emerging craft-gin company, Nao Spirits & Beverages Private Limited, the makers of ‘Hapusa’ and ‘Greater Than.’
Diageo India says the hub will further its contribution to Goa’s economic and social goals while continuing to be a key centre for exporting its brands globally.
The hub uses 100% renewable energy for distillation, while more than 40% of the operations are powered by in-house renewable electricity generated by the solar plant and steam turbine.
Diageo India has also announced the launch of an employability-linked skills training program in association with the Skill Development Mission of Government of Goa. This programme will train 1,000 local youth over 3 years for employment/self-employment roles in the hospitality, tourism and allied industries.
Hina Nagarajan, MD & CEO, Diageo India said, “Goa is a hotbed for Craft, demand for which is growing rapidly both in India and globally, among consumers who are keen to further discover and enjoy fine spirits.
"Today we celebrate another significant step forward; the launch of the Craft and Innovation Hub in Goa, which builds upon our local insights and combines those with Diageo’s expertise to delight the next generation of consumers.
"Our Hub will serve as an incubator for select start-ups, providing them with sophisticated infrastructure to build their offerings. We are excited about the innovative possibilities this facility could bring not just for us, but the entire ecosystem as well.”