Dr Ariff Jamal was formerly associated with the Bichot family as Export Director living in Beaune, Burgundy. Soon after Maison Albert Bichot, an eminent Burgundy wine producer, received the Pinot Noir Best Red Wine Maker award in 2004, he took a break and then decided to become a consultant, leaving for California to work in the wine industry there. Dr Jamal (who is also a long time contributor and advisor to Sommelier India) subsequently joined Brindco Sales Limited in Delhi.
With the rumour mill working overtime about his departure, we decided to find out the facts. Shivani Dogra spoke to Dr Jamal and discovered that far from leaving the country, he has chosen to devote more of his experience and time to India.
Ariff Jamal has been associated with Brindco ever since its inception – for over 10 years. During that time he visited India from France almost twice every year. Now, with increased responsibilities following his appointment as CEO of Grover Vineyards Limited, in which Brindco has an equity stake, he is here to stay.
“I am now here on a semi permanent basis,” he says, “springing between Delhi and Bangalore.”
His attraction for India and personal relationship with the Dhall family lured him back to join Brindco because of the fast growing and promising Indian market.
At Grover, Jamal has overall charge of the operations and management of the winery and vineyards. He also remains Chief Operating Officer of Brindco Sales Limited which is responsible for the distribution of Grover wines in the Indian and international market. Passionate and experienced in the making of wine, Dr Jamal is involved in the nitty gritty of both companies. At Brindco, he has assumed the additional task of taking the company to the next level, in anticipation of the opening up of the retail, duty free and airline businesses.
“The wine market in India,” says Dr Jamal, “is now ready to run the mile. Once barefoot, but now in a pair of track shoes – it’s a straight sprint!”