The exhibitor registrations are closed for booth enquiry for next year Contact Rajeev Naresh at NareshR@md-india.com
Charlie McCarthy joined WSET in October 2019, having worked for many years as a
consultant to spirit brands and high-end venues. With a career as a cocktail
bartender stretching back to 2004, Charlie learned his craft behind some of
London’s best bars, going on to develop a specialism in event bartending,
where his imaginative approach and relaxed delivery earned him a stint as UK brand
ambassador for Hendrick’s Gin, in turn leading to more advocacy and
consultancy work for brands such as Grey Goose, Bombay Sapphire, Glenfiddich and
Glendalough. With a wealth of experience delivering master classes throughout
Europe, training bartenders in 5 star hotel bars from Washington DC to Mexico, and
designing cocktail menus, for World Duty Free, Tullamore DEW & many high-profile
international bar openings.
Charlie is qualified to deliver WSET spirits qualifications up to Level 3, and is
delighted to champion WSET spirits qualifications.
He started his career in Computer Engineering and has been involved in professional
training since an early age.
He studied F&B Management and holds the degree of Level 2 Specialist Spirits,
awarded by WSET.
After taking the Sommelier Course at Turismo de Portugal, he became a member of the
Sommelier Association of Portugal.
Specialized in Barismo area with certification awarded by SCA (Specialty Coffee
Since 2011 he has been dedicated to training in the areas of Bar, Oenology and
Restaurant Service at the Hospitality and Tourism School in Portalegre.
He is currently responsible for coordinating the technical area of the school.
Ajit Balgi runs The Happy High a Mumbai based wine & spirit education company. He
is a certified wine educator and the only Official Cognac educator in the country.
He has worked in beverages for two decades spanning India and the UK and has trained
numerous professionals in India, Maldives and Thailand. He is an international wine
judge and has also written for multiple Indian publications.
Sonal Holland MW is South Australia’s Wine Program Ambassador for India. As
India’s first and only Master of Wine, she is a distinguished writer, wine
commentator and a highly respected and in-demand international speaker with ventures
in wine and beverage education, consultancy, consumer research, imports and wine
Born in Nashik, 31-year old Kaushal Khairnar, grew up surrounded by grape growers and
wine producers. His innate curiosity led him to attend an introductory winemaking
course for three years starting in 2008 at Gargi Agriculture Research and Training
Institute, Nashik. During this three-year course, he also had a life-changing
internship at Nashik’s Vallée de Vin winery, compelling him to consider
winemaking as a full-time career. Kaushal also holds a Master’s Degree in
Viticulture and Oenology from Montpellier SupAgro University, in Montpellier France
and Instituto Superior de Agronomia, in Lisbon, Portugal.
In 2015, Kaushal was chosen by Moet Hennessy’s Early Career Winemaker
Programme, and earned the opportunity to play assistant winemaker at Chandon India
and Chandon Brazil, for a year each. After gleaning three years of hands-on
experience, Kaushal was promoted to his current position at Chandon India in 2018.
Karina Aggarwal is a certified beverage professional with almost 10 years of experience. She
is a writer, strategic consultant and juror at various international wine, beer and spirit
competitions. Within the Indian alcobev space she has worked with several homegrown and
global brands to help them establish their presence and communicate effectively with the
right audience. Through her online portal @gigglewater411,
she educates consumers about drink trends, cocktails and brands
Ace mixologist and life of the party, and Brand Director, Short Story - Pankaj Balachandran. Pankaj is a veteran in the bar industry and comes with years of experience. With Pankaj leading the way, a lot of great drinks with a side of wit will be coming your way.
Karan Vasani is Sula’s chief winemaker. He holds a bachelor’s degree in commerce from University of Mumbai and a graduate diploma in viticulture and oenology from Lincoln University, New Zealand. He was awarded the WSET Level 2 Intermediate Certificate and Level 3 Advance Certificate in Wines and Spirits by the Wines and Spirit Education Trust Limited. He has previously worked with CRISIL Limited and Cuvaison Estate Wines in various capacities.
Grégoire Verdin is Sula’s global brand ambassador. Born and raised in Burgundy, Grégoire has worked in numerous vineyards in France. He has been associated with the F&B industry for the last ten years, in Paris (Verjus, John Paul…), Dublin (Mint) and Copenhagen (Noma), and now in India with Sula Vineyards.
Sovna Puri DipWSET, a highly qualified wine educator from WSET, has a rich and diverse experience of the beverage industry having worked both in India and abroad. She conducts tastings and courses and has won multiple prestigious awards. She is passionate about wine and has often contributed articles for magazines.
Mika is a Master Sake Sommelier and a holder of Sake Diploma International from the prestigious Japan Sommelier Association (J.S.A.). Mika also holds the WSET Level 3 (Sake) from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust London. Prior to being a Sake professional, Mika worked in the Financial domain with some top notch global companies.
Mika’s popularity as a Sake coach transcends age and regional demographics. She frequently travels the world to share her expertise of Sake in an effortless and approachable way.
Being a native Japanese with a good knowledge of the English language and a deep understanding of Indian cuisine, Mika is an ideal candidate to bring her passion for Sake from Japan to India.
Ravi is an acclaimed beverage passionate and writer from India with an immersive body of work. A former Army Officer and an IT specialist (this website is his creation), Ravi took to beverages purely out of passion- his first milestone being the coveted Champagne Scholarship to France. After Champagne, Ravi further honed his skills by working at the grassroots with winemakers across France and travelling as a journalist to different wine regions of the world.
In 2020, Ravi was invited by the Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association (JSS) to tour Sake breweries in Japan following which he created Sake Club India along with his co-founding partner Mika Eoka. Discover more about Ravi at his personal website www.ravikjoshi.com.
James Hayman is fifth generation and joint family owner of Hayman’s Gin. He works alongside his sister, Miranda Hayman, overseeing the day-to-day running of the business.
Working across all functions of the business as Managing Director, James’ focus includes new product development of new ideas and different styles of gin as well as those reviving those classic Hayman’s recipes and increasing and strengthening the brand’s international partnerships.
As a key member of this family of gin distillers dedicated to making the best-tasting gin, James is particularly proud of the multi awards Hayman’s Gin has won all over the world – and for the company-wide mission to shape the future of gin.
James spent five years working in marketing agencies before joining the family business in 2004.
Overhex Wines introduces, young, dynamic and in love with South African wine: Ben Snyman, the man behind the popular Overhex Wines portfolio for over 10 years. After completing school in Cape Town, Ben graduated from Stellenbosch University with a BSc Agriculture degree (Oenology and Viticulture) in 2009. Following his studies, Ben travelled to California, USA, where he was offered an internship at Chalk Hill Estate. Upon his return to South Africa, he continued to develop his winemaking expertise by completing several courses at Stellenbosch University, the Wine Judging Academy, and Harvard Business School, with his next set to be a Diploma from the Cape Wine Academy.
Salim Frederic Isler is acting as REGIONAL MANAGER at Familia Torres in Dubai, UAE. He joined the family in 2009, working in both Spanish and export markets, and is about to complete his dipWSET studies.