#Personal Stories

How This Woman Entrepreneur Found Her Calling In Jamun Wine

As a dreamer, I’ve always had many ideas for starting a business and uniquely establishing an empire. As an engineer by qualification, I managed human resources for an IT firm before reinventing myself in a new avatar as a Jamun Wine entrepreneur.

Seven years ago, a trip to the popular hill station Mahabaleshwar left me high on life with entrepreneurial ideas. During the trip with my husband, one of our friends served us a Jamun cocktail. This sparked a discussion about the fruit and its benefits. Although it is a healthy and widely cultivated fruit in India, I learned that Jamun is a very delicate fruit, grown only 15 days a year. While it grows abundantly, 90% of it decomposes in forest areas since it’s not consumed. This planted the entrepreneurial seed in me and I reconsidered my position on staying in IT and focused on a new aspiration to become a wine-entrepreneur.

The decision to become an entrepreneur in wine was unusual, even more so as a woman in India, because the industry has traditionally been male-dominated. Also the glass ceiling was tough to break due to being part of a traditional family set up. Any family would not be comfortable seeing their daughter/sister for that matter any woman holding a glass of wine or just being associated with the wine business. Adopting alcohol in all its forms and drinking openly for women is a relatively recent phenomenon in India. Due to my husband’s constant support and a positive outlook in life I was able to carve my niche. That’s when I began to see the opportunities that existed in the market for a Jamun Fruit wine since it has numerous benefits. To preserve the benefits of Jamun in the form of wine, we founded Resvera in 2015. The name is derived from Resveratrol, an anti-ageing agent found in abundance in Jamun.

The decision to become an entrepreneur in wine was unusual, even more so as a woman in India, because the industry has traditionally been male-dominated.

Wine is a complete lifestyle drink; it’s a gourmet adventure and about experiencing different lifestyles. The changing consumer preference of the modern Indian has given wine a new lease of life. Earlier most Indian consumers were unable to relate themselves to wine but gradually it has changed the trend. The health-conscious Indians have embraced it as an extension of their persona due to its benefits. The sentiment of the present is unapologetically Indian who is all about increasing health consciousness and thanks to disposable income the spending on corporate and personal entertainment has given a boost to the wine industry. They are embracing the Made in India sentiment, gone are the days, products made elsewhere, was more credible than their home country

To make an entry in the nascent wine industry was not tranquil. The decision to make a strategic shift to explore a career in wine was tough which was faced with many failures. Since Jamun, is one of the most seasoned fruit & we get a minimum amount of time to make the most out of it. We had to seize the limited time if not it would cost us another year to begin again. It required a tremendous amount of research, in-depth study and perseverance.

The decision to make a strategic shift to explore a career in wine was tough which was faced with many failures.

Over the next five years, I dedicated my life to make this dream come true. With the passion in my heart to bring a different variant of fruit wine in the country and to break the stereotype of the male-dominated industry, I kept working on my dream. I always believed in empowering women and changing their financial status. This  allowed me to provide employment to women across social strata. Finally, after five long years and with the help of a Canadian winemaker it was a successful venture.

The entrepreneurial spree, I admit, was difficult but exhilarating. I encourage all women to take a risk and immerse themselves in the world of entrepreneurship. Finding your own dream and always embracing your inner power to fulfil your aspirations is more rewarding than any job.

Komal Somani is the Founder & CMO Rasvera Wines the views expressed are the author’s own.