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Updated: November 1, 2013 20:37 IST

A sparkling tale

NIKHIL VARMA
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Ajay Shetty
The Hindu Ajay Shetty

Ajay Shetty quit his high flying job to indulge in his passion for food and wine

Ajay Shetty was just another investment banker with a high flying career based in US and Hong Kong, chasing crazy deadlines and handling massive sums of money till he decided to return to India and start Myra wines.

“I used to travel a lot. I loved wine and food. I wanted to do something tangible in the agriculture business. I realised that wine making is a new industry in India and offers a lot of potential.”

Though the plans to start the business were afloat for a while, it did not kick off till Ajay came to India on a project. “I started to research concepts and held a series of meetings, where I met my sommelier and wine maker. They helped me understand the industry better especially with regard to pricing and quality, vital measures in the hospitality industry. We realised that having vineyards was vital to have a long term plan in the sector.”

After floating a rough idea, Ajay quit his job. “It was a tough choice. You must be pragmatic when you make such career choices. I am happy it worked out well.”

Ajay says his company believes in educating people about wines. “We must talk about wines in non technical terms. We are trying to cater to people needs. People want to experiment and we plan to open mindsets to the concept of drinking wine. The only thing that you need to know about wines is whether it is red or white, smells good or not.”

He also plans a resort like concept near his vineyards. “Drinking wine is an experience. You need to have a nice place where you can have a good time and drink wine. It is a new concept in India and has not caught up.”

Ajay says that the explosion of eating options from Europe and the rest of the world has ensured that people’s understanding and appreciation of global cuisine has increased.

“This was not the case some years ago. It is a great development. As more people travel and become aware, I am sure wine will also gain popularity and we would be able to break out of the elitist mould that wine often finds itself trapped in.”

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