The sales of imported spirits in India is to reach around 55 million litres by 2015, according to a study ‘India’s emerging imported spirits market’ by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

With a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25%, the Indian imported spirits market, which includes duty-free travel trade, is estimated at about 28 million litres and about 3.1 million cases.

Similarly, the CAGR for overall liquor consumption in India stands at about 30%, which is likely to reach about 20,000 million litres by 2015 from current figures of about 7,000 million litres.

In terms of revenue, the alcoholic beverage industry is currently expected at about $9.447bn and reach to $36.338bn in next three years, reported the trade body.

The figures could further increase if the stiff regulations like taxes and import tariffs are brought down to some extent.

ASSOCHAM secretary general DS Rawat said growth of imported spirits in India is largely driven by the spurt in tendency amid young Indian professionals and entrepreneurs to migrate from local brands to international brands.

"With more number of Indians travelling abroad for studying and other professional reasons, their fondness for imported liquor is also rising which is certainly leading to growth in the business as they acquire taste for imported liquor and can afford to buy the expensive spirits from duty-free shops abroad," Rawat said.

"Besides, growth in the sector has also been fueled by rising income levels, increasing young population, growing number of working women, increasing media penetration and expanding exposure to western lifestyle amid people in the upper-middle income group in India for whom serving expensive liquor reflects their lifestyle and status symbol."