Shaw Wallace

Last updated

Shaw Wallace & Company Limited
Public company
Traded as
FateMerged with United Spirits Ltd [1]
Founded British India (1886 (1886))
FounderRobert Gordon Shaw
Defunct1 April 2007 (2007-04-01)
Wallace House, Kolkata,
West Bengal
ProductsBrewery, alcoholic beverages
Website   OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg

Shaw Wallace & Company Limited, abbreviated to SWC, was an Indian liquor manufacturer headquartered in the Wallace House in Kolkata, West Bengal. It was established in 1886 by Robert Gordon Shaw and Charles William Wallace. [2] It was involved in the production and sales of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL). The two biggest brands of SWC were Royal Challenge whisky and Director's Special whisky. [3]

Kolkata Capital city of West Bengal, India

Kolkata ([kolkata], is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. Located on the east bank of the Hooghly River approximately 75 kilometres west of the border with Bangladesh, it is the principal commercial, cultural, and educational centre of East India, while the Port of Kolkata is India's oldest operating port and its sole major riverine port. The city is widely regarded as the "cultural capital" of India, and is also nicknamed the "City of Joy". According to the 2011 Indian census, it is the seventh most populous city; the city had a population of 4.5 million, while the suburb population brought the total to 14.1 million, making it the third-most populous metropolitan area in India. Recent estimates of Kolkata Metropolitan Area's economy have ranged from $60 to $150 billion making it third most-productive metropolitan area in India, after Mumbai and Delhi.

West Bengal State in Eastern India

West Bengal is an Indian state located in the eastern region of the country along the Bay of Bengal. With over 91 million inhabitants, it is India's fourth-most populous state. West Bengal is the fourteenth-largest Indian state, with an area of 88,752 km2 (34,267 sq mi). A part of the ethno-linguistic Bengal region of the Indian subcontinent, it borders Bangladesh in the east, and Nepal and Bhutan in the north. It also borders the Indian states of Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, Sikkim, and Assam. The state capital is Kolkata (Calcutta), the seventh-largest city in India, and center of the third-largest metropolitan area in the country. As for geography, West Bengal includes the Darjeeling Himalayan hill region, the Ganges delta, the Rarh region, and the coastal Sundarbans. The main ethnic group are the Bengalis, with Bengali Hindus forming the demographic majority.

Royal Challenge, commonly referred to by the abbreviation RC, is a brand of Indian whisky, manufactured by United Spirits Ltd (USL), a Diageo Group company. It was launched in the early 1980s. According to Binod K. Maitin, a United Breweries technician who oversees all the liquor blends for the company, Royal Challenge is a grain based whisky, blended with Scotch malts and Indian malts. In an article for The Wall Street Journal, reporter Eric Felton states that, "About 12% of the blend comes from real malt whiskies: some of it made in India, some actual Scotch. The rest of the mix is a neutral spirit distilled from molasses. That means that, strictly speaking, Royal Challenge, like most Indian "whisky", is actually a rum flavored to pass as whisky." The manufacturer has refused to state the percentage of Scotch whisky used in the blend. In the United States, Royal Challenge is referred to as "spirit whisky". Besides India, Royal Challenge is sold in several other countries including the Middle East and the United States.


In mid-2005, SWC's spirits business was acquired by the United Breweries Group (UB Group) and its breweries and beer business was acquired by SABMiller. On 1 April 2008, Shaw Wallace was merged with United Spirits Ltd, a subsidiary of the UB Group.

United Breweries Group an Indian conglomerate company headquartered in UB City, Bangalore in the state of Karnataka

United Breweries Holdings Limited (UBHL) or UB Group is an Indian conglomerate company headquartered in UB City, Bangalore in the state of Karnataka, India. Its core business includes beverages, aviation and investments in various sectors. The company markets beer under the Kingfisher brand, and owns various other brands of alcoholic beverages. It also launched Kingfisher Airlines, an airline in India whose operation has been halted after problems in 2014 that led to its licence being revoked by the DGCA. United Breweries is India's largest producer of beer with a market share of around 52.5% by volume.

SABMiller multinational brewing and beverage company

SABMiller plc. was a multinational brewing and beverage company headquartered in Woking, England on the outskirts of London until 10 October 2016 when it was acquired by Anheuser-Busch InBev. Prior to that date, it was the world's second-largest brewer measured by revenues and was also a major bottler of Coca-Cola. Its brands included Fosters, Miller, and Pilsner Urquell. It operated in 80 countries worldwide and in 2009 sold around 21 billion litres of beverages. Since 10 October 2016, SABMiller has been a business division of Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV, a Brazilian-Belgian corporation with headquarters in Leuven.


Shaw Wallace & Company Limited was established in 1886 by Robert Gordon Shaw and Charles William Wallace (1855–1916). [2] [4] Prior to 1999, SWC was into diversified businesses, which it shed as part of a restructuring plan. It 1999, it sold Calcutta Chemicals Ltd and Detergents India Ltd to Henkel SPIC. [5]

On 21 March 2005, UB Group increased their ownership of Shaw Wallace to 54.54%. Since Manu Chhabria had died three years earlier, the deal was approved by his widow Vidya Chhabria. [6] [7] [7] SWC's breweries and beer business was acquired by SABMiller. Royal Challenge beer, which is mainly sold in the state of Andhra Pradesh, is with SABMiller.

Andhra Pradesh State in southern India

Andhra Pradesh is one of the 29 states of India. Situated in the south-east of the country, it is the seventh-largest state in India, covering an area of 160,205 km2 (61,855 sq mi). As per the 2011 census, it is the tenth-most populous state, with 49,386,799 inhabitants. The largest city in Andhra Pradesh is Visakhapatnam. Telugu, one of the classical languages of India, is the major and official language of Andhra Pradesh.

During 2006-07, Shaw Wallace & Company Ltd recorded a net sales turnover of Rs 1388.5 million, (Rs 1155.2 million in 2005-06), total income of Rs 2321.5 million (Rs 2933.8 million in 2005-06), while the profit after tax was Rs 820.7 million (Rs 468.6 million in 2005-06). Director S.R. Gupte announced on 29 September 2007 that merger talks would soon get underway between United Spirits and Shaw Wallace. [8] [9] The merger was later approved by the Shaw Wallace board of directors. [10]

Sega Mega Drive

In India, distribution of the Sega Mega Drive was handled by Shaw Wallace Electronics, with the products being sold for 18,000 (US$260). [11] Sega entered the partnership in the northern hemisphere spring of 1995 because it wanted to circumvent an 80% import tariff. [12] The distribution of Sega products was acquired by Maze Marketing (now Mitashi Edutainment) later that year. [11]

Sega Japanese video game developer and publisher and subsidiary of Sega Sammy Holdings

Sega Games Co., Ltd. is a Japanese multinational video game developer and publisher headquartered in Tokyo. Its international branches, Sega of America and Sega Europe, are respectively headquartered in Irvine, California and London. Sega's arcade division, once part of Sega Corporation, has existed as Sega Interactive Co., Ltd. since 2015. Both companies are subsidiaries of Sega Holdings Co., Ltd., which is in turn a part of Sega Sammy Holdings.

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In India, traditional beer has been prepared from rice or millet for thousands of years. In the 18th century, the British introduced European beer to India. Beer is not as popular as stronger alcoholic beverages like whiskey. The most popular beers in India are strong beers.

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White Mischief (liquor)

White Mischief is a brand of Indian vodka and brandy manufactured by Shaw Wallace Distilleries Ltd, now part of the United Breweries Group. United Spirits Ltd, the spirits division of UB Group, claims a market share of 46%, making it the largest selling vodka in India.

Indian whisky

Most distilled spirits that are labelled as "whisky" in India are a form of Indian-made foreign liquor, commonly blends based on neutral spirits that are distilled from fermented molasses with only a small portion consisting of traditional malt whisky, usually about 10 to 12 percent. Outside India, such a drink would more likely be labelled a rum. According to the Scotch Whisky Association's 2013 annual report, unlike the European Union (EU), "there is no compulsory definition of whisky in India, and the Indian voluntary standard does not require whisky to be distilled from cereals or to be matured. Very little Indian 'whisky' qualifies as whisky in the EU owing to the use of molasses or neutral alcohol, limited maturation and the use of flavourings. Such spirits are, of course, considerably cheaper to produce than genuine whisky." Such molasses-based blends make up 90 percent of the spirits consumed as "whisky" in India, although whisky wholly distilled from malt and other grains, is also manufactured and sold.

Anheuser-Busch InBev Belgian-Brazilian multinational beverage and brewing company

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Bagpiper (whisky) brand of Indian whisky

Bagpiper is a brand of Indian whisky, manufactured by United Spirits Ltd (USL), a subsidiary of the United Breweries Group, and launched in October 1976. Bagpiper is sold in a square bottle with black and gold packaging design. The company describes the whisky's flavour as "a light malty aroma and a hint of a smooth woody character, owing to the use of malt spirits specifically matured in pre-identified American oak casks". It is similar to a blended whisky flavored with pot still malt whisky, but the neutral spirits used as base are distilled from molasses instead of grain.

Royal Stag

Royal Stag, also known as Seagram's Royal Stag, is an Indian brand of whisky launched in 1995. It is available in many countries across the world in various pack sizes. It is Pernod Ricard's best selling brand by volume. It is a blend of grain spirits and imported Scotch malts. It is commonly available in 1 L, 750 ml, 375 ml and 180 ml bottles and also available in 90 ml and 60 ml bottles. The brand is named after a species of deer famous for its antlers, that is also featured in its logo. It is produced in several company-owned as well as bottler-owned distilleries. It was the first whisky brand launched in India that did not use any artificial flavours.

Blenders Pride

Blenders Pride is a brand of Indian whisky, owned by Pernod Ricard, and launched in 1995. It is a blend of Indian grain spirits and imported Scotch malt and contains no artificial flavouring. It is available in 5 different bottle formats. GQ magazine described the whisky as "smooth and smoky", and gave it a rating of 6/10.

Antiquity (whisky) brand of Indian whisky

Antiquity is a brand of Indian whisky, manufactured by United Spirits Ltd (USL), a subsidiary of the United Breweries Group. It was launched in 1992. It is available in two variants - Antiquity Blue and Antiquity Rare. Antiquity Blue is made of Indian and Scotch malt whisky blended with grain spirit.

Directors Special (whisky)

Director's Special, commonly referred to by its abbreviation DSP, is a brand of Indian whisky, manufactured by United Spirits Ltd (USL), a subsidiary of the Diageo Group. It is molasses based. Shaw Wallace won a legal battle in US courts against the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) to sell the product as "whisky".

United Spirits

United Spirits Limited, abbreviated to USL, is an Indian alcoholic beverages company, and the world's second-largest spirits company by volume. It is a subsidiary of Diageo, and headquartered at UB Tower in Bangalore, Karnataka. USL exports its products to over 37 countries.

Radico Khaitan Ltd. (RKL), formerly Rampur Distillery & Chemical Company Ltd., is an Indian company that manufactures industrial alcohol, Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL), country liquor and fertilizers. It is the fourth largest Indian liquor company,. Radico brands are sold in more than 60 countries, including USA, Canada, South America, Africa, Europe, South East Asia and the Middle East.

McDowell's No.1 previous Asare-Takyi distilleries is an Indian brand of spirits manufactured by United Spirits Limited (USL), a subsidiary of the Diageo. It is USL's flagship brand and the largest umbrella spirits brand in the world, comprising three categories - whisky, brandy and rum. The brand also has bottled water and soda. The brand began with the launch of McDowell's No.1 Brandy in 1963-64. The brand's slogan is Mera No.1.

Beer in Sri Lanka

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Officers Choice

Officer's Choice commonly known as OC, is an Indian whisky brand which is owned by Allied Blenders & Distillers (ABD), formerly BDA. It is considered to be one of the largest spirit brands in the world. In 2015 Officer's Choice overtook Smirnoff vodka to become the world's largest selling spirit brand. In calendar year 2014, the brand sold 28.4 million cases, higher than any other spirit brand in the world. Compared to the other Indian whiskies which are mainly made from molasses, OC is made from grain.

Pincon Spirit Limited (PSL), formerly Sarang Viniyog Ltd., incorporated in 1978, is an Indian company that manufactures industrial alcohol, Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL), country liquor and desi darus. Monoranjan Roy serves as the chairman and managing director of the company. It is listed with the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and the Securities and Exchange Board of India.


  1. "United Spirits Ltd". IndiaInfoline. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  2. 1 2 "Get In Touch." Shaw Wallace. Retrieved on 2 November 2011. " Please Send us your Feedback on : Shaw Wallace & Company Ltd. Wallace House 4 ,Bankshall Street Kolkata-700001"
  3. "Radico, Mason, BDA in fray for part of SWC liquor biz ICICI Bank talking to suitors". Business Line. 31 May 2005. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  4. "Charles Wallace India Trust Scholarships | British Council". Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  5. "Henkel SPIC mulls reverse merger with Calcutta Chem". Business Line. 3 December 2003. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  6. "Mallya bottles Shaw Wallace". The Telegraph. 22 March 2005. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  7. 1 2 "Shaw Wallace braces for final battle". The Telegraph. 25 April 2008. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  8. "Shaw Wallace, United Spirits to discuss merger". Business Line. 30 September 2007. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  9. "Shaw Wallace to merge with UB Group". Business Standard. 29 November 2007. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  10. "Shaw Wallace board okays merger with USL". The Hindu. 30 November 2007. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  11. 1 2 Zachariah, Reeba (19 August 2011). "Game for success". The Times of India . Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  12. "Screen digest." Screen Digest Ltd., 1995. Retrieved from Google Books on 2 November 2011. "Sega tackles Indian market with local maker From spring 1995, Sega will start manufacturing video games consoles in India with local partner Shaw Wallace. Move will circumvent 80 per cent import tariff on games units which currently[...]"