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Arun Kumar and Jackie Matai, directors, Aspri Spirits Private Limited

Team YS
posted on 5th May 2009
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In today’s highly challenging and growing Indian market, Aspri Spirits is a leading name in sales, marketing and distribution of international wines and spirits. And taking the enterprise to such great heights are its directors Arun Kumar and Jackie Matai. A graduate of Bangalore University, Kumar also completed his two-year post graduate resident business administration programme in Australia. Matai, on the other hand, graduated from Mumbai University and did a specialisation in financial management thereafter. Together the duo has stood as pillars to the company weighing risks and acting as buffer. It’s not for nothing that Aspri Spirits has been recording a 100% year on year growth.


With its commitment of ensuring highest quality standards, the company has established itself as one of the most reputed names in the industry. It has developed one of the largest sales and distribution networks in India, covering over 22 states. The company’s core strength lies in delivering consistent growth by monitoring and supporting each of the portfolios/ brands that they represent. The trained professionals, including portfolio & marketing management team, constantly tracks changing customer needs and preferences. Aspri’s growth has been founded on a consistent philosophy: to be able to deliver the range and quality of products customers demand.  


“Aspri’s main objective is to provide a range of internationally acclaimed brands to the traders or the consumers. Going by the distribution mechanics of Aspri, most of the star hotels, retails, clubs and standalone restaurants use the services of Aspri across the country,” informed Kumar. 


What differentiates Aspri from other companies in the fray is the fact that it focuses on the luxury and lifestyle aspects of the business. So when it comes to presenting the international brands, the company banks on the USP of the brand rather on its price. The company directors plan to scale up the business by bringing in more products and offering consumers a wide range to choose from.


Today, the business is more than just successful, but what drove the duo to undertake the venture in the first place? “I have worked for various multinational companies for years, but none of that can ever match the passion that lies in creating an organisation from ground zero and seeing it scale new heights,” said Kumar. To Matai, the thought of working in a nine to five job never occurred. “I was always wanted to be an entrepreneur. I started as one and will continue to be one for the rest of my life,” he said.


The biggest challenge the duo faced during the initial years of the venture was of setting up a pan India organisation in a very short period of time. They had to face innumerable hurdles in terms of excise and state laws, not to forget the high custom duties on imported alcohol products. But they overcome it all by being passionate about their objectives and beliefs. The duo left no room for mistakes, but believes that “every day is a learning process.”


Aspri Spirits has its head quarters in Mumbai with a branch office in Delhi, Bangalore and Eastern India to cover the strategically important markets in those regions. It also has a base in Chandigarh to expand its presence in the North. This apart, the company also operates in Hyderabad, Chennai and Jaipur to cater to the emerging markets of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan, respectively.


Ask Kumar and Matai what their biggest achievement has been so far and they say in unison, “It has been to create an organisation committed to excellence in the field of work we are in, and also to have a team in the organisation that has the same vision as the company. The fact that our customers value Aspri and its commitment on a daily basis is our reward.”


Their vision for the company is to continue to provide growth to the companies and brands they represent, and also to increase the economic value of Aspri. Having achieved that, the directors wish to see the company become a leader and emerge as the largest distribution company for both global and domestic brands.


Tips to share with budding entrepreneurs? “One needs to be resolute and firm in their belief; never let challenges derail your dreams,” says Kumar. Matai advises the aspirants to regard intuition, instinct, patience, belief and ethics as the key ingredients to as the key ingredients to running a successful business.

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