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Alcoholic beverage company Diageo India has announced an investment of 45 crore for a craft and innovation hub in Ponda, Goa. This, it said, is in line with its strategy to accelerate transformational innovation and strengthen its craft and premium drinks portfolio.

The hub, spread over four acres, will have end-to-end capabilities addressing requirements like distillation capabilities for malt, gin and rum; maturation infrastructure and blending capability for spirits; an automated bottling and packaging line for craft spirits and a modern warehouse for incoming and finished products. In addition, it will have a consumer experience centre.

The hub was inaugurated by Subhash Shirodkar, minister, water resource development, co-operation and provedoria, government of Goa.

 It will serve as an incubator for select start-ups, providing them with infrastructure to build their offerings.

When fully operational with a capacity of 20,000 cases a month, the hub will employ 250 people locally. This, it said, will have a long-term focus on driving ‘grain-to-glass’ sustainability, nurturing the craft spirits ecosystem in India as well as continued commitment to the state of Goa.It will have over 40% operations powered by in-house renewable electricity generated by the solar plant and steam turbine.

Over the last two years, the distillery has made a significant improvement of over 45% in water use efficiency through various water conservation, process improvement and utility efficiency processes, it said.

“Goa is a hotbed for craft (liquor), demand for which is growing rapidly both in India and globally, among consumers who are keen to further discover and enjoy fine spirits,"  Hina Nagarajan, MD & CEO, Diageo India said, India’s alcoholic beverages market is estimated to be $52.5 billion dollars, according to the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER). The market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.8% till 2023.

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