Kris and David Banford have spent five eventful years in India and are now preparing to leave for their home in Stellenbosch, writes Reva K. Singh. I first met David nearly six years ago at the London International Wines and Spirits Fair. Sommelier India was at the time a fledgling newsletter.
Since then Sommelier India and The Wine Society of India have had a close association, culminating in the very successful Sommelier India Wine Competition 2009 which was the brainchild of Steven Spurrier who is the chairman of WSI, as both organizations grew from small beginnings to where we are today. In our respective spheres we had the common goal of serving the consumer and nurturing wine culture in India.
The Wine Society of India has been successful in introducing wines to Indians with regular consignments delivered to WSI members at home. It is India’s largest wine marketing organisation with close to 4000 active quarterly buyers. After David leaves, his responsibilities at The Wine Society of India will be shared by Nishant Kapoor as Finance and Brand Director and Danielle D’Lima as General Manager Operations.
Sommelier India in its turn has played a pioneering role in fostering wine culture and wine journalism in India. It has grown into a full-fledged, glossy magazine of international standards, with a loyal following, both, online and in print and is India’s pre-eminent publication in this special interest niche.
With David’s vision and indefatigable efforts in a nascent market, the WSI team has built a strong foundation for the Company. The Society is well set on a path that can only take it upwards, as more and more people become interested in wine.
We, at Sommelier India, and I, particularly, am very sorry to see the Banfords leave. But, to look at the brighter side, they are not going for good. David will be staying on as a non-executive Director of the Company, and will visit India three to four times a year.