Salud! How this banker launched a gin & tonic brand and won Rana Daggubatti’s backing

Salud! The Spanish salud translates into “health”, “wealth”, and “security”, but most commonly means “cheers”. And Bengaluru-based gin and tonic brand Salud aims to bring cheer to your life and augment your lifestyle.

Launched in September 2020, at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the lifestyle beverage startup aims to change the way people in India celebrate and consume alcohol.

Founder Ajay Shetty says the focus is on gin, a niche category that’s growing rapidly.

“We are solving a necessity in a market like India, given the increase in gin drinkers and the fact that demand is picking up,” he says.

According to research firm IWSR, only two million cases of gin are sold in a year as compared to 42 million cases of rum and 10 million cases of vodka. But the niche category is growing. Research and Markets projects that the Indian gin market will grow at a rate of more than 9 percent CAGR between 2017-18 and 2022-23.

Ajay wants to tap this market by focusing on the ready-to-drink category and creating a lifestyle around Salud. This began with the launch of G&T 2.0, a ready-to-drink alcoholic beverage in three flavours- Original, Cucumber, and Lavender. Apart from the alcoholic beverages, the G&T maker is focusing on exclusive music and merchandise that augments the feel-food lifestyle.

In January, the Bengaluru-based gin brand raised funds from actor and serial entrepreneur Rana Daggubati.

The size of the investment was not disclosed.

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