Pernod Ricard’s Indian arm are have announced their intention to build a new distillery in Nagpur, India, which is set to become one of the biggest whisky producers in the country.

The new facility in the Maharashtra region will produce up to 60,000 litres of spirit daily. This would see its annual output be among the largest in the world, producing more whisky per year than many of Scotland’s distilleries.

Pernod’s plans will be a major boost to the local economy. The distillery will need 50,000 tons of barley for their operation and they aim to work closely with the local government to procure locally sourced barley for the operation. Beyond that, the distillery will look to employ between 700 and 800 people during the construction and operation phases.

The as yet unnamed distillery is part of Pernod Ricard’s planned €200 million investment in India over the next ten years. Pernod already has a substantial presence in the county; the group has 24 other production sites in India that employ 1,650 people. These facilities produce some of the best selling Indian whisky, including Imperial Blue, Royal Stag and Blender’s Pride.

Jean Touboul, CEO of Pernod Ricard India, celebrated the announcement, highlighting how it demonstrates Pernod’s “continuation of [their] dedicated efforts to make and innovate in India.”

India as a market for whisky has almost limitless potential. There has long been a demand for the product in the country, both in terms of premium, high end spirit and cheaper blended whisky.

A recent report by the Scotch Whisky Association noted how Scotch exports to the country fell in 2023 compared to 2022. Imports to the country face steep tariffs, making them expensive in comparison domestically produced whisky. As such, Indian whisky dominates the local market, so much so that Indian brands consistently outsell whisky made elsewhere in terms of total global sales.

Pernod’s new facility marks another step in the French firm looking to further increase their foothold in such a lucrative market.

Touboul has stated that Pernod Ricard has a long term commitment to “elevate India’s standing on the global map, as a key player in the production of high-quality malt”. Whether or not the whisky produced at the new distillery will enjoy a favourable reputation outside of India in the same way that brands such as Paul John or Amrut have remains to be seen.

Regardless, Pernod’s latest project will no doubt have a positive impact on India’s whisky scene as well as the country’s wider economy.