The Liquid Truth

Nikhila Palat has a chat with award winning spirits expert, Basab Paul, founder of Octaga Green about his list of award winning products.

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WHAT TO do you get when an Engineer from MIT combines his diverse background in car racing then car sales and hospitality? An award winning spirit! I caught up with Basab Paul founder Octaga Green on his recent winning streak with his whiskey, vodka and rum and his plans for the future.

Nikhila Palat: Tell us a little about the range of products Octaga Green offers
Basab Paul: 
In the last 15 years we have worked at introducing brands with the highest quality and finesse. Our portfolio includes Master's Imperial, a smooth 6 year old Blended Scotch Whisky; a 3 years old French Brandy sharing the same title; An 8 times distilled Russian Vodka - Invincible, Captain's Select a 3 year Blended Scotch Whisky and Grenade Reserve, a XXX Dark Rum.  We are growing our collection at a rapid rate and will soon be introducing new spirits and variants of our popular brands into the family.

NP: Where do you create and bottle the spirits?
BP: 
We house a state-of-the-art factory in Kolhapur. Started in 2009, this bottling plant has the capacity of three lakh cases of vodka, whiskey, brandy and rum. The 3-in-1 plant comprises of a 40,000 litre per day distillery with rectified spirit, extra neutral alcohol and absolute alcohol production from molasses and multi-grains and a 16 MW co-generation power plant for renewable energy from agriculture waste.

NP: You have a long history with hospitality, starting iconic clubs like Vie Lounge in 2003. How has that helped you in your entrepreneurial venture?
BP: 
The hospitality industry in the country is dynamic and every evolving. I have been addicted to this space since establishing Vie Lounge which grew to be rated amongst the world's best bars. Though the brands keep changing interestingly a lot of the people and influencers remain the same, and hence I have over the years gotten to know this F&B segment exceedingly well. This has helped me to identify the gaps in industry and address them. The fraternity have become friends and hence have welcomed by brands into their bars and the overwhelming positive response from patrons towards by products have helped strengthen my bond with colleagues in the business.

NP: What sets your products apart?
BP:
Each brand has its own unique strengths. Take for example Invincible Vodka, made from the finest grains grown in the rich fields of Himalayas with advanced 8 column distillation technology and filtration crafted by experts from Russia.  Masters Imperial is a classic bend of rare grain spirits and 6 year aged imported scotch malt, skilfully blended by some of the world's best master blenders. With each one of our spirits we have spared no expense so that our products can be benchmarked against the best brands in the world.

NP: Your brand Master's Imperial just won bronze at the coveted International Wine & Spirit Competition, London. How does it feel to share space with International icons?
BP:  
Master's Imperial is the highest rated whiskey, Grenade has achieved the position of highest rated rum at the SIP awards, California and Invincible has won gold in its category too. Awards encourage us and make us believe we are heading in the right direction.

NP: What's in store for the future of Octaga Green?
BP:  
As the competition is intense we are focusing on innovation being our key differentiator. We are almost about to launch a new vodka along with some unique flavours of Invincible. We are investing our energies in brand building to directly reach out to our consumer. We are already present in India and UAE and plan on tapping new markets such as New York along with 20 states, United Kingdom and South East Asia. We are confident of our product quality and hope that our brands soon become recognisable names across the globe.

We raise our glass to say cheers to this enterprising entrepreneur in his pursuit of excellence.  


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