Beer lovers in India have a task to do. The next time you are drinking Mahou Beer, you must figure if it tastes different because the Spanish beer brand claims so.

Fernando Bustamante, CEO, Mahou India, in a chat with GW, shared about a secret ingredient that makes its beer tastes different and better.

Keeping the description of this special ingredient crisp, the top boss termed it as the “secret ingredient yeast” produced at the Mahou plant in Spain.

“The USP of our products is the secret ingredient – yeast. It is what makes our products unique. We stress upon innovation to produce quality products and therefore we use state-of-the-art machinery and quality raw materials to ensure that we produce good quality products”, Bustamante shared.

Fernando Bustamante, CEO, Mahou India

“Our brewery in Rajasthan is one of the eight we operate, 7 of which are in Spain. We are in India for the long term, and we want to do it right. The pace depends on the application of our learnings, based on consumer insights”, he added.

Mahou India, a 100% subsidiary of Spanish brewing major, Mahou San Miguel, a Spanish-owned family company with a history that dates back 128 years, was launched in India in 2012. The foray was a key strategic move. Bustamante informs, “India is a key strategic pillar for the growth of our business. It is the only market outside of Spain where we have a subsidiary and also the only one outside of Spain where we operate a brewery.”

The brand is now focusing on becoming the first go-along choice with food in India and is being aggressive when it comes to an association with Football. It has partnered with La Liga India and making efforts to popularize football in the country.

“Our focus is to create the Spanish culture in India through the ‘Cañas y Tapas’ (Translation: Snacks and Beer). These will soon become a regular practice for Indian party enthusiasts and Mahou will be an essential companion to the food.”

“Football forms an important part of our marketing campaign. Continuing our strong legacy of association with La Liga and being official sponsors of Real Madrid and Atlético de Madrid, we are now partners of La Liga India as well. We have also organized corporate football tournaments in the past where corporates like HDFC Bank, Deloitte, etc. have participated. We are committed to the sport and are making consistent efforts to promote football in the country.”

Presently, Mahou offers four products from their overall portfolio in India – Mahou 5 Star, Mahou Clásica, Dare Devil and Dare Devil Royal Export, each created with techniques to delight the Indian palate.

Fernando Bustamante with Vikas Khanna at Cook For Smile

The brand recently participated in Smile Foundation’s Cook for Smile event where Chef Vikas Khanna hosted the cook-off amongst CEOs of various organizations to create awareness nutrition for underprivileged children.

“It was a rewarding experience for me, not only because I was able to share ideas and cook with Vikas Khanna, but also because the greater cause close at to my heart”, Bustamante said.

Mahou has its presence in 14 Indian markets – Delhi, Rajasthan, Haryana, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, Punjab, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Odisha, yet the company considers itself the “start-up” in the category.

Brushing aside the competition from home-grown beer brands like Bira91, Bustamante said there’s enough potential for everyone to co-exist. “We consider ourselves a start-up in the Indian beer industry. We treat our challenges as strengths and prepare ourselves every day to meet with them. We have the utmost respect for our competitors; they have done a great job over the last few years considering the speed at which the beer market in India is growing. Looking at the numbers, we feel there is huge potential in the Indian market. Therefore, we are confident that we will find our space in the market by doing things differently along with various other players.”

Going forward, the brand hasn’t denied of a possibility where its Indian portfolio sees additions.

“Mahou San Miguel has a wide portfolio including beer, non-alcoholic beer, mineral water and juices. At Mahou India, our strategy is learning from the market and the consumer acceptance and insights to increase our portfolio with other brands and products from the international range of Mahou San Miguel.”

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