A food and drink consultancy that works with companies, hotels and even individuals to ‘educate’ them about the fine-dining experience
Nikhil Agarwal, 32, was working in a telecom company when a friend received a call to join Sula Vineyards. “She wasn’t interested but I literally grabbed the phone from her and asked for the job. Working with Sula really opened me up to enjoying wine,” he says of a move that sparked off a decade-long career in the wine industry. During his stint with other liquor companies, Agarwal persuaded his employers to send him on training courses to gain a formal education in wine. “Real education in wine comes from actually tasting it and experiencing as much of it as possible.”
Wine dine: Nikhil Agarwal says the cost of organizing an event is very high. Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint
It came as the project head of a sommelier competition. “I really wanted to connect with people and bring them together in appreciation of food and drink,” he says. He started the consultancy in January 2010. Today he has four people working for him.
Agarwal chose to invest his savings so he would own All Things Nice outright. After starting the consultancy, he waited three months before launching the company in April with a 10-course, sit-down dinner with wine pairings.
All Things Nice also handles company gifting and has now started importing wine. They work with wineries to create custom blends with
personalized wine labels, based on client requests. “I wouldn’t say the idea has changed, but we saw the potential and added more services. Importing wine was always on the cards but we’re doing it earlier than initially planned,” says Agarwal.
Partnering as a sommelier for an importer of dry goods such as cheese, Agarwal also conducts training programmes for staff at some of Mumbai’s best hotels and runs classes for hotel management courses in colleges around Mumbai.
“People told me that it would be tough starting my own business, but I had no idea of the emotional roller-coaster it is,” he says. “We didn’t actually seek to attract luxury automobile companies and others but they started coming to us. We do wine appreciation classes in Nature’s Basket in Bandra, Mumbai, classes for companies, and for small groups of people in their own homes. We do single malt masterclasses,” he adds.
“I don’t know, I can’t really see myself doing anything else now,” says Agarwal. “If I can’t do it independently, I’d want to work for a company that I really believe in.”
What really sets All Things Nice apart is the passion it brings to the table. Extensive product knowledge, paired with the constant quest to surpass expectations, has made the consultancy, says Agarwal.