Keeping in mind his outstanding contribution to the Scotch Whisky industry, Amrit Kiran Singh, Executive Chairman, International Spirits & Wines Association has been inducted as a life member of ‘The Keepers of the Quaich’– the Scotch Whisky industry’s hall of fame in Scotland.
‘The Keepers of the Quaich’ is an exclusive international society that recognises those that have shown outstanding commitment to the Scotch Whisky industry. In establishing the Keepers of the Quaich, the industry pooled its influential resources to build a powerful society working together to recognize stellar contributions to the industry. This prestigious society takes its name from the traditional two-handed drinking cup which is described in the ancient Gaelic language of Scotland as a Quaich, a vessel long associated with friendship and the enjoyment of Scotch Whisky.
“Scotch Whisky was, and remains, the first global spirit and Keepers of the Quaich exists to recognise and celebrate the exceptional contribution of people promoting the cause of Scotch Whisky, all over the world,” says Peter Prentice, Chairman of the society.
The Scotch Whisky industry has developed its own tradition of ensuring that all those demonstrating dedication and outstanding achievements are given apt acknowledgement. The Keeper of the Quaich is a semi-secret society that you may only join if invited. You don’t choose it; it chooses you.
Amrit made a significant contribution to the industry in his role as Chairman of the International Spirits and Wines Association for almost 12 years, leading industry efforts to normalize alcohol through building its reputation by getting its members to sign up to a strict ethics code and promoting a culture of responsible consumption.
He has passionately advocated that governments work in partnership with industry to curb irresponsible consumption through education and enforcement of strict laws. The Road Safety and Stop Underage Drinking campaigns have become more visible as a result in recent times. Progressive state governments are now beginning to adopt a more balanced approach to alcohol – not seeing it as only a source of significant revenue for their development programs but also understanding and playing a larger role in curbing irresponsible consumption to ensure sustainability of this revenue stream.
He has been passionate about changing the image of the Indian spirits and wine industry and unshackling it from the excessive regulation to which it is subjected. He has already had some successful wins such as mitigating the impact of GST on the alco-bev industry, freeing the Duty Free market from excessive regulation, working with FSSAI to ensure that the new product and additive standards are fair and practical and getting states like Karnataka to set a trend by slashing duties by 40 percent on imported alco-bev products, to highlight a few.
Amrit was previously the Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce (the Chamber of the approximately 500 companies that have invested in India – Coca-Cola, Pepsi, GE, American Express, Citibank, Motorola, Boeing, Walmart, to name a few.
The 700-year-old iconic Blair Castle with its Scottish baronial architecture has been the home of the Atholl family for over seven centuries and has had a rich and diverse history. Serving as the quintessential centre for this award ceremony, the arrival ceremony of the new Keepers was marked by the grandly decorated castle and the great highland bagpipers’ music in their traditional highland dress. This was the beginning of more than just an award ceremony. It was a glimpse into the well-choreographed Royal Scottish lifestyle.
In a ceremony not open to the public, each keeper swears with his right hand resting on a giant handmade silver quaich to uphold the spirit and aims of the Keepers of the Quaich. All that is accompanied by a laudatory speech, and the signing of the members list, which already features illustrious names such as the former US President Ronald Reagan; Prince Charles; Prince Albert of Monaco; and Princess Anne. Other luminaries on the list include F.W. de Klerk, Former President of South Africa; journalist Vir Sanghvi; Guillaume Girard Reydet, Managing Director, Pernod Ricard; and James Pennefather, Managing Director of William Grants & Sons.