Utsava Kasera is an entrepreneur and investor with interests in luxury brands, fashion, art and tech. Most recently, his attention has turned to new Prosecco brand Ombra Di Pantera. Here, he tells us about this latest investment, finding a gap in the market and his new year ambitions
1. How did you first come across Ombra Di Pantera?
I always wanted to be involved in the drinks industry and the stars aligned when I met the other promoters of Ombra Di Pantera over a lunch through a common connection. The opportunity looked very good and we are on an exciting journey now.
Our inspiration for ‘Ombra’ is delivered from a unique heritage and a fabled history which stretches back to the Roman wines of antiquity. In ancient times, traders who served wine in Venice’s Piazza San Marco would follow the shadow of the Campanile to cool their wine as there was no refrigeration, and the Venetian expression, ‘Ombra de Vin’, meaning ‘Wine’s Shadow’, is still used to order Prosecco in its original heartland. Another interesting fact about Prosecco is that typically a glass contains fewer calories than wine and there is a town called Prosecco nearby Venice, where the name of this bubbly comes from.
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2. What drew you to invest in the business?
The huge demand for Prosecco in the UK and lack of branding around it gives an opportunity to fill a missing gap in the market. The sales of Prosecco have overtaken champagne in the UK, which is now the second biggest market in the world after the US. Besides that, it’s a delicious Prosecco which embodies the elegance of Italian luxury and I believe it has the potential to make its mark in the sparkling wine world.
3. What sets Ombra Di Pantera’s Prosecco apart from other brands?
Ombra is traditionally crafted from a single vintage, using superior Glera grapes from our delicately cultivated Conegliano vineyard, to deliver a pure expression of the very finest Prosecco. The Prosecco is created ‘in bianco’, meaning the fermentation is without the skins creating the delicate sparkle that is captured over 60 days to produce a fine, persistent perlage. The steep hills of the vineyard provide the perfect conditions to grow Glera grapes, which require cultivating and harvesting by hand relying on traditional methods refined over a thousand years. Ombra Di Pantera is dedicated to celebrating the traditional heritage and craftsmanship of Italian viticulture to deliver an authentic, exclusive Prosecco experience and can stand up to any high quality champagne or sparkling wine in blind tasting.
4. How does the company fit into your wider investment portfolio?
My investments are across a wide spectrum of industries from tech to hospitality. I particularly invest in industries and projects, which I am passionate about rather than just looking at the numbers. Having said that, Ombra compliments a couple of my investments, which are in private members club, one called 1880 in Singapore and a wine bar chain in London called Vagabond.
5. What are your ambitions for 2020?
I would like to focus on making Ombra di Pantera bigger by aligning with more luxury partners and concentrate on strategic growth of the brand. I am also a co-founder of ‘Sidehide’, which is a tech app for hotel booking, providing a seamless experience for users and I will be involved in the launch and marketing campaign during 2020. Lastly, I would like to do some volunteering work with one of the charities I am involved with, and learn to play the piano.
6. How do you switch off?
I have a passion for whiskies and cognac. Enjoying a dram of Springbank 21 years whisky or Louis XIII cognac in company of friends relaxes me. Recently, I have started taking out time to cook and I am enjoying it at lot. Travelling is another passion and therapy of its own kind for me.
For more information visit: ombradipantera.com