In this global economy, Perlick is proud to serve customers across the United States… and the world! One of our most prestigious international partners is Arcux Bar Zone in India. Arcux sells and installs various pieces of bar equipment. Arcux became a Perlick dealer in 2009 and has worked with us on some impressive projects ever since.
“TOGETHER WE BUILD THE WORLD’S MOST EXTRAORDINARY BARS…”
This is the tagline Arcux lives by. We thought it would be interesting to learn a little more about the company and share with our readers some images of the beautiful projects they have been working on with Perlick. Parikshit Kakkar was kind enough to answer some questions about the bar design industry in India and tell us more about one of their newest projects, the hotel Taj MG Road in Bengaluru, which includes the new brewpub 7Rivers Brewing Company.
Perlick: Hi Parik. Thanks for taking part in our blog! First off, please tell us a little bit about yourself, and what got you into the hospitality and bar industries?
Parik: Hello. It all started back in 2002 when I joined Hospitality Management College and University (Institute of Advanced Management Kolkata) and did my Masters at Queen Margret University in Edinburgh, Scotland. We were introduced to the world’s hospitality sector, so I was always very keen to learn about the food and beverage industry and worked for hotels in Scotland and India. In the year 2004, I joined Hilton Caledonian in Edinburgh as a bar back. A bar back is a person who replenishes bar stock of bottles and glasses during busy hours, and that was when I developed my love for the bar. My journey in the bar industry started from there and within the next 4 years, I was not only managing that bar but also other bar areas in the hotel.
In the year 2009, Piyush Tayal and I started the journey of Arcux Bar Zone. Piyush was my batch mate in college days and in University both of us had that spark to do something big, and we decided to assist hotel and bar owners with not only the consultancy aspect, but with the world-class equipment itself. It took us one year to get our first order in 2010, which was complete underbar and backbar Perlick equipment for the company Tech Mahindra in Pune. From there we got many opportunities and have provided our services to chains like Taj Hotels, ITC Hotels, Hyatt Hotels, Radisson and many more. We have done more than 100 projects in India where Perlick is installed!
THE ARCUX BAR ZONE STORY
Perlick: Wow, more than 100! Tell us a little more about Arcux Bar Zone as a business.
Parik: Arcux Bar Zone is responsible for providing the world’s best brands in the bar area along with bar design services, installation support, and service support. Like we say, “Together we build the world’s most extraordinary bars.” We are located in New Delhi, India and provide our services to various parts of the world like India, Africa, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bhutan. To begin we ask our customers a few questions like, “Where is the bar located? What are customer expectations from the bar? What kind of menu they will be offering? and What age group will this bar cater to?” This helps us to understand which equipment best suits the outlet. We draft all the equipment in AutoCAD software and present that along with elevations, MEP Layouts, 3d layouts. We do site visits to make sure the site is running as per the plan and once the equipment arrives our team installs it. After the installation we provide training and regular service visits when required. For that we have a local team in each state.
Perlick: For those of us in the U.S. who have not been to India, what is the bar scene like? What is the main focus when designing and opening a new bar?
Parik: Bars in India are on par with the rest of the world. The Indian market was valued at $2.3 billion in 2019. In India, pubs, bars, cafés, and lounges constitute a major share of the food and beverage industry. It can be segmented into chain markets and stand-alone markets. India’s cities have a growing nightlife scene that includes everything from pubs to lounges to discotheques and concert venues, along with exciting restaurants. Apart from Friday and Saturday nights, Wednesdays are also popular evenings for partying in India. There will often be free or discounted drinks for ladies at bars and clubs. Bartenders are the new celebrities here! They come up with all the unique drinks for consumers.
Our main focus has always been to understand the concept of the bar and the geographical area. This helps us to understand the drinking patterns. We understand the number of people the bar is going to serve, and factor in any back storage areas. We always follow the 3 and zero-step bartending techniques while designing any bar. We want bartenders’ lives to be easy so that they just focus on dispensing perfect, consistent drinks every time.
ARCUX AND PERLICK: A MATCH MADE AT THE BAR!
Perlick: What made you decide to work with Perlick, and what do you like about it?
Parik: We started working with Perlick in the year 2009 as a dealer, and Perlick is the best brand when it comes to the bar industry. Perlick’s approach is very easy and comfortable. Perlick gave us very good support in our initial years to help us understand the product, and to learn how to design bars more efficiently. I still remember our Skype calls with Mr. James Brown in Sales Engineering at Perlick. He helped us a lot! Timely delivery of orders is Perlick’s forte. We have never experienced any delays in orders from Perlick. The main reason we prefer Perlick is the quality of the product is exceptional. The underbar and backbar units are so sturdy and smart at the same time. We have Perlick refrigerators running for years without a single complaint. Perlick beer systems are very popular in India, as Perlick engineers pay attention to all the little details while planning the beer system, which makes them the best brand in the industry.
Perlick: One of the newest projects we collaborated on is the Taj MG Road. Can you please explain the project a bit?
Parik: Taj is one the most prestigious luxury hotel brands in Asia. Taj MG Road is located in Bengaluru City (Karnataka State). They renovated one of their most popular bars and planned a microbrewery setup. They collaborated with AB InBev and named the outlet 7Rivers Brewing Co. Arcux was responsible for planning the beer system for the microbrewery. Our scope was to dispense the beer from five beer tanks and three kegs from different floors, which came out very good and we poured lovely solid beer from Perlick towers custom-made for Taj.
Perlick: What has it been like working on this project with Perlick? Which Perlick products does it include?
Parik: It is always very pleasant to work with Perlick. All of the planning regarding the routing of beer, calibration of beer lines, etc. was already done at your factory. Perlick always makes sure it is easy to install the equipment on-site. That is why we do extensive planning before ordering. This project included a complete beer dispensing system from five tanks and three kegs, underbar equipment, backbar refrigerators, and kegerators.
MICROBREWERY INDUSTRY IN INDIA
Perlick: We have been reading in articles that AB InBev is launching a new chain of microbreweries in India. Are microbreweries becoming very popular there like they are in the United States?
Parik: Beer is the 2nd most popular alcoholic beverage after whiskey in India according to reports. In the last two decades, market share of beer by value has increased to 25%, says a report by Alea Consulting, a risk mitigation and investigative consulting firm. The growth is driven by a growing middle-class segment, the rising affluence of youth, and urbanization. With the rising demand for craft beer, there has been a shift from industrial producers to local producers, and recently to bottled craft beer. The microbrewery sector emerged in 2009-10 and has grown from 20 microbreweries in 2012-13 to over 200 microbreweries across India. According to Euromonitor, the Indian alcohol market is 3rd largest and one of the fastest growing in the world and it is expected to grow by 25% to $41 billion by 2022. The All India Brewers Association estimates sales of craft beers to grow by 20% year over year, which is higher than the standard beer market. Given the above studies and data, we are sure to have a very good future for not only microbreweries but for whole drink industry.
Perlick: Unfortunately, we are all dealing with COVID-19 right now. How has it affected your businesses, and how are you adapting?
Parik: Projects were on hold and few are still on hold dating back to the lockdown in India last year. Some of our installations are delayed because of this. We utilized this time to think about how we can improve our services and product line. We are focusing more on training our customers on about bars, our equipment, and beer systems. We have also implemented changes while designing the bar. We are offering mobile bars for smaller gatherings, and contactless taps. More handwashing sinks and additional bins for waste, so in a way this has helped us to improve and feel very positive about the future of our brands.
Perlick: What are some future projects we can look forward to seeing from Arcux and Perlick?
Parik: Arcux as a brand provides complete solutions for end users when it comes to the bar. We oversee design, sales, installation, and service. Perlick is the best bar equipment brand, and adding our services makes it the complete package for the end user. It has been a very positive journey so far and the future looks promising. We expect about 15 projects for microbreweries this year, one of which we have completed. We will see more Buffalo Wild Wings chains opening across India. We have one project coming up in Sri Lanka that is again a remote beer system. This would be our second project in that country. You will see Perlick in one of our most awaited projects, Dhirubai Ambani International Convention and Exhibition Center. This project has 3 huge bars along with beer dispensing stations for each. Then we expect a few complete bar projects across India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Africa.
Wow, so much to look forward to! Thank you Parik for taking the time to speak with us and teach us about the bar and hospitality industry in India. At Perlick we are always excited for new journeys, and we are proud to have worked with such a reputable company as Arcux Bar Zone for more than a decade.
By the way, you can learn more about the mobile bars Parik mentioned right on our website.