Sula Vineyards (A): Indian Wine – Ce n’est pas possible!

Case Solution

Claudia Zeisberger, Dhruv Narain, Romain Kapadia, Elizabeth Scott

The case focuses on the risks and rewards of investing early in a successful consumer startup in an emerging market (ie, non-tech), from seed funding in 2004 to raising expansion capital in 2019. We are looking at the founder of Sula Vineyards, a Nasik Valley winemaker in India while making external fundraising decisions. Case (A) takes the perspective of the initial investor. He is followed by Deepak Shahdadpuri, who continues to invest in Sula for 13 years, gradually reducing his shareholding. Cases (B) and (C) follow the company as it gradually increases funding rounds to fuel its growth and international expansion. As the Sula brand and CEO Rajeev Samant rise in popularity, the company is attracting the attention of a number of investors, including European family offices, Asian institutional investors, venture and growth capital, and sovereign wealth funds. Given the emerging markets environment, the case can be used to investigate investment risks from political and regulatory uncertainty, as well as currency risks for US dollar-based institutional investors.

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