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The experience has opened my eyes to different ways of working and different cultures. It’s thanks to the passion and determination of all our Indian colleagues that we opened the new facility on time.
On 19 September 2018 in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, we opened a new chapter of our company’s history when we bottled our first-ever product in India: Grant’s Distinction.
Tom Young and Drew Ferry headed up the project to create this ground-breaking facility to bottle and package our famous blended whisky.
Every six weeks for two years, they travelled the 4,500 miles from Glasgow to India to find a suitable bottling partner and suppliers for raw materials.
“At times, it was very surreal,” says Tom, Global Quality Supplier and Manufacturing Leader. “We visited Delhi, Goa, Mumbai, Bangalore and factories at the foot of the Himalayas.”
The duo then worked tirelessly with the chosen local bottling company and our Malt Master Brian Kinsman to define intricate quality standards and technical specifications to ensure product consistency in India’s varied climate.
“India’s climate is dramatically different to Scotland’s and can fluctuate from three to 45 degrees over a year,” explains Drew, Head of Technical Development.
“Brian crafted the new variant in Scotland to deliver a smooth raisin cake richness. We then ran trials in India to ensure the whisky wouldn’t be impacted by changing ambient temperatures.”
When the first bottle of Grant’s Distinction rolled down the production line, Tom says it was one of his proudest moments to date.
“It was very emotional, and nice to know that all the effort and travelling was worthwhile.”
The Indian facility is now the only place outside Scotland where Grant’s is bottled.
Drew and Tom are firm believers of just what is possible when you put your mind to it. “The experience has opened my eyes to different ways of working and different cultures,” says Tom.
“It’s thanks to the passion and determination of all our Indian colleagues that we opened the new facility on time.”