By SM.09 Jan, 2018
NEW DELHI: If somebody even breathes the word ‘rum’ in an Indian’s ears then the image of Old Monk leaps into the mind. The Chairman and MD of Mohan Meakin Ltd, the company which makes iconic rum ‘Old Monk’ among other liquors and non-alcoholic beverages, passed away on January 6 at the age of 88. The reason behind this death is believed to be a cardiac arrest. Mohan had not been well for some time and took his last breath in Mohan Nagar Area in Ghaziabad. His last rites were reportedly performed on January 7. Kapil Mohan took charge of the Dyer Meakin Breweries and gave the company an entirely new look.
On December 19, 1954, the iconic Old Monk rum was launched. After its launch, the company developed three distilleries, two breweries and a wide range of new franchises across the country. One of the cheapest rums being sold in India, Old Monk is brewed in the Himalayas by Mohan Meakin. The company has, over the years, spread itself into various businesses including malt houses, breakfast food, fruit products and juices. Old Monk is a vatted Indian dark rum which has a distinctive vanilla flavor and is blended and aged for a minimum of 7 years and has an alcohol content of 42.8%.
It is interesting to note that the man who is believed to have been the brain behind the Old Monk, Solan No 1 and Golden Eagle was himself a teetotaler. Mohan once famously said that he will not advertise as long as he is at the helm of affairs of the company.
For a long time, Old Monk was one of the best selling rums in the world and the biggest Indian Made Foreign Liquor brand as well. However, between 2010 and 2014, there was a decline of over 50% in its sales.
Mohan Meakin reportedly sold only 3.9 million cases of the rum in 2014 which were a quarter of what they were in the 1960s. This led to the rumours that the company might take its best selling liquor off the market. Currently, Mohan Meakin Ltd is a multi-faceted business house with a turnover exceeding Rs 400 crore.