United Spirits Limited is an Indian company that manufactures alcoholic beverages and is the world’s second largest exporter of alcoholic beverages. Diageo PLC, a world leader in the spirit’s market, holds 54.8% if it’s shares.
Founded by Angus McDowell in 1826 as McDowell & Co., the company catered to the needs of the British in India. They imported alcoholic beverages, tobacco and other products for the British. In 1951 the UB Group took over Mc Dowell & Co. The owner, Vittal Mallya started the first distillery in Kerala and began manufacturing Biscuit Brandy and Darville French Brandy. The first ever in-house product, the Golden Grape Brandy was launched in 1962. In 1963, the company began manufacturing its McDowell’s No.1 Brandy. In the same year Mallya took over Carew & Co. with distilleries in Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
In 1968, the Iconic Mc Dowell’s No.1 Whisky was launched, and it proved to be a hit among the whisky lovers. This was also the year when the Hyderabad distellery was established, followed by one in Goa in 1971 and another in Bihar in 1973. Mallya acquired the Herbetsons in 1973 and announced that his son Vijay Mallya would be taking over as Director of the group. In the years to come, there were distilleries springing up across country in Udaipur, Alwar, Pondicherry and Serampore. In 1983 Vijay Mallya took over as Chairman on the UB Group, focussing on product development and strategy.