Our Story’s different roles
As an entrepreneur, I spend a lot of time repeating the story of why my wife, Anjan, and I, started The Vault – certainly with potential investors to raise funds to grow the vision, with clients and customers so they know how and why we wish to serve them, while briefing new teams coming on board to collaborate on a project, when we are socializing or meeting new people, and occasionally when an industry-related publication or a lifestyle issue wishes to feature us.
After six years, this narrative often unfolds on its own. Like it is embedded within. I wonder whether stories have an equivalent of muscle memory too. I am sure some of you entrepreneurs, understand that feeling.
The grounding it actually is
But every now and then, when we sit down to make important decisions, it is the grounding in this backstory, which has translated into a narrative, that reveals the path we are making with our team, – at times comfortable, many times challenging, few times wondering if I have been stupid, but most times okay being hungry and foolish.
Anjan and I often engage in this grounding in the most challenging times, or the most decisive moments of the business – why did we start Vault? And in such a time, the oft repeated narrative plays a rather different role. We are reminded how, we were and continue to be The Vault’s first customers. When we travelled globally as a part of our film-making projects, or on holidays, like most of you, we were keen to meet the people behind what we love, one such being our love for handcrafted spirits. Most of the craft distillers, who took immense pride in staying boutique, making small batches, shied away from India because they neither had the funds to enter such a big country, nor the team to understand such a diverse and complex market. However, they like all craftsmen had the most incredible stories of pursuing their passion, and one could see it in their creations – be it the whiskies, rums, cognacs, gins, armagnac, calvados and more.
I realized, there were many like us in India, who were keen to explore such fine spirits, crafted by people to this day in small batches, pouring into each bottle, their love and joy of making the spirit.
I wished to share such stories and spirits with likeminded people in my country, so together we could build a culture of fine spirits appreciation in India, that is so easily accessible in other parts of the world.
The story that has only just begun…
We started with ten brands. Today, we represent nearly 40 handcrafted, high quality spirit brands across categories, exclusively in Mumbai, even as we work hard to bring it to other parts of the country. Our fine spirits festival `The Vault Biennale’ in 2019, drew in over thousand people to experience master distillers, industry experts and mixologists, from across the world, putting the festival on par with the world class fine spirits festivals. We are now prepping for the 2022 edition, as the 2021 had to be cancelled due to the pandemic.
Patrons like you, friends and loved ones, our team of investors, the 40 brands, continue to trust our work. It isn’t easy when we have to manage the cash flow of duties and other taxes that are over 60% of the MRP of imported spirits in India and we have to navigate challenging and varied state regulations. At the same time, we continue to work really hard to close the gap between enthusiasts/connoisseurs and the makers of such spirits, and the more we see this happen, the more we stay inspired.
The story we carry, the story we share, the story that keeps us grounded, and the story you are willing to listen and sign into, continues to fuel our dream.
Keshav & Anjan Prakash
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