Why is scotch so expensive in India

What holds together a gigantic, confusingly diverse country of 1.2 billion people? Three things.

By Manfred Rösch, "Finance and Economy"

Cricket and the "lingua franca" English, these two things hold India together. Thirdly, with some restrictions: whiskey, another heirloom of the British Raj. Only about a fifth of all people in the country are said to drink alcohol (Hinduism and Islam are not suited to it; some states, such as Gujarat, are officially "dry"), but that still adds up to around a quarter of a billion consumers. A huge market that is growing rapidly.


Because of the favorable demographic structure, tens of millions of potential customers are constantly being added, people who are turning 25 and are therefore legally allowed to tip one. More whiskey is enjoyed in India than in the united rest of the world. And also produced; Imported goods are expensive. Whereby «whiskey» is a flexible term: The production mostly does not correspond to European standards, because the local waters are often distilled from fermented molasses instead of barley malt or other grains. At best, such distillates are refined with a touch of real Scotch for advertising purposes.

A well-known brand is called 8PM - it shows the time from which to toast in Agra, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi etc. The day goes, 8PM comes.


This graphic first appeared in the print edition of “Finanz und Wirtschaft”. You can find all graphics in the “What matters” section here.


Keywords: alcohol, F&W, whiskey
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