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World-Class Team



A World-Class Development & Distilling Team

Put their global experience to work for you

ESD has a world-class R&D and Distilling team, supported with a group of sales, marketing, logistics, and financial professionals.

Victor De Benito

Head Distiller

Victor as the Head Distiller at ESD has been responsible for curating and distilling the world’s first award winning Indo-Japanese Gin DOJA (www.do-ja.com) in collaboration with a 90 year old distillery in Wakayama, Japan.

Victor has 10 years of rich experience in distillations and tastings of spirits. He is adept in strategic development of new premium spirits and design of technical & supplier risk strategy. He has worked as a senior executive at Thames Distillers, London where he supervised 120 production lines of drinks from raw materials, distilling, blending & bottling to finished product and dispatch. He developed 200 premium spirits from concept to final product launch out of which 38 liquids have won awards in international competitions. He also created and implemented quality systems in line with international standards and managed suppliers of 108 ingredients and 48 packaging items. Victor has also worked in quality assurance where he led the company’s sensory team and chaired over 600 tastings.

Victor has a MSc. in Global Product Development & Management, Cranfield University, UK. He has a second MSc. in Agricultural Engineering, Politecnica University, Spain. He is a licensed spirits educator with the Wine & Spirits Education Trust(WSET). Victor has HACCP Level 4, Wines Level 3 and Spirits Level 2 certifications, and is fluent in 6 languages.

Shaji Thomas

Senior Production Manager

Shaji has over 14 years of experience in the curation, distilling & production of a range of spirits. Currently he plays a key role in the distilling of DOJA. His prior role included the development and marketing of Makazai, an award winning India Rum. Shaji has also worked in a Remy Cointreau JV in India to create a 100% pure grape brandy. There he handled batch distillations in an pot still Choudronnerie Cognacaise Constructer from Cognac, France. The unit had maturation of grape spirit in imported French Oakwood barrels. He has also supervised complete production & quality control of blending, bottling and dispatch. He is trained on 20,000 ltrs per day continuous molasses fermentation and multi-pressure distillation with PLC to make Extra Neutral Alcohol (ENA). Shaji has a M.Sc. in Microbiology and a Post Graduate Diploma in Industrial Fermentation and Alcohol Technology. Shaji has experience in blending of whiskies from different geographies and ages. He is experienced in SAP, Production Planning and Distillery operations.

Vikas Ghule

Senior Production Manager

Vikas comes with 16 years of rich experience in Quality Control, Production & Management in alcoholic beverages. He is adept in manufacturing excellence practices viz. Six Sigma, TPM, 5S, Kaizen, Visual Management, Focused Improvements, Sustainability Programs, Inventory Management, Material Planning & Production Scheduling. Vikas is experianced in spirit development, pot and column distillation, oak maturation and sensory evaluation. He is also skilled in Compliance, Safety, ISO9001 & ISO22000 certifications, CAPEX, and MIS & Documentation. During his tenure at Grover Zampa Vineyards, Vikas was responsible for Production Planning, Manufacturing, Packaging & Quality Control of White & Red Wine. Past experience includes a tenure at DIAGEO in Quality Control & Process Improvement of the Malt Plant. He has an MBA in Production & Material Management and has “FSSAI” food safety supervisor certification of Manufacture Level 2.