Startups Seek Share of India’s $22B Liquor Market

Shipt Will Deliver Alcohol Now

Banning liquor sales near major highways in an effort to hit the brakes on drunk driving in India is proving to be a bit of a struggle for the country.

With a steady increase of 8.9 percent annual consumption rate increase over the last six years, India’s liquor market size has become the third largest in the world. Out of India’s overall retail $35 billion market on a yearly basis, the fact that liquor sales has reached $22 billion is astounding. What’s helping to contribute to this high number is likely the fact that the drinking age ranges between 18 and 25 across the country. Given this addition to the amount of alcohol consumers, there were 485 million people of drinking age in 2013.

From microbreweries to alcohol delivery apps, there is no shortage of India startups that are looking to cash in on the lucrative liquor market.

One area that’s seeing a major boon is the rise of domestic beer brands. As beer sales in India are predicted to increase 5.7 percent on average between 2015 to 2020, spirits will see only a 2 percent bump. Euromonitor International’s research is predicting that because of this outlook combined with stricter regulations on stronger drink selections, craft beer is likely to see a surge

Technology is also playing a big part in serving India’s alcohol market. Local restaurants and pubs have begun working with companies that offer rewards, discounted rates and games to help keep the fun flowing. On the other hand, there are more ridesharing services popping up to help those who have had too much get back home.

Perhaps one of the more interesting parts about the startup culture flexing its innovation muscle in India is the concept of the post-party hangover offerings. From delivering food and condoms to developing a special hangover pill to help cure any fuzzy mornings, the Indian startup scene has thought of it all.



The September 2020 Leveraging The Digital Banking Shift Study, PYMNTS examines consumers’ growing use of online and mobile tools to open and manage accounts as well as the factors that are paramount in building and maintaining trust in the current economic environment. The report is based on a survey of nearly 2,200 account-holding U.S. consumers.

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