Diageo has created an independent advisory panel to help the group's regional and global management make the most of the growing Indian alcohol market.

Led by Deepak Perekh, chairman of Indian finance company HDFC, the group also includes Ashok Ganguly, ex-chairman of consumer goods company Hindustan Lever; Naresh Chandra, former government cabinet secretary, and M A Alagappan, former chairman of the Murugappa Group conglomerate. Former managing director of Diageo India, Ravi Rajagopal, will be Diageo’s representative.

"The India Advisory Group will provide independent counsel on a broad spectrum of strategic matters, including corporate and brand positioning and talent development," a spokesperson for Diageo told just-drinks this week. "The strength of this group is a demonstration of India’s importance in Diageo’s strategy for emerging markets.”

The associated chambers of commerce and industry of India (ASSOCHAM) claims India’s alcohol market is growing 30% annually.