agave lux business interview

Business interview with Agave Lux

The many iterations of a growing business

Now a successful agave spirit import and sales business, Agave Lux is a company that has been through many iterations on its journey.

Through a process of constant learning, evolution and, dare we say, pivoting, co-founder Justin Kosmina has taken his business through many different forms – and from Mexico to Australia.

“I was working in hospitality and I fell in love with the agricultural element of agave spirits,” says Justin. I was living in London, working for a wine company, and saw an opportunity to actually educate consumers about agave spirits.”

However, he realised that he needed a platform from which to launch this educational aspiration.

“I actually didn’t want to be a distributor or importer but I wanted to be a brand owner,” he adds. “So we bought into a distillery to start with in 2015 called Estancia Raicilla. The initial intention was to be a brand owner and use that platform to educate consumers around the world of one, how to drink better tequila, and two, that there’s more to the space than just tequila.”

He says that the aha moment for Agave Lux in its current form was the need to create a broader platform.

“To get to consumers around the world we needed to become an important distributor, if that makes sense,” he says. “So Agave Lux was created actually off a strategy of not being a distributor to start with, which is sort of a bit of a conundrum.”

The next step for the fledgling business was setting up a company called Bebidas Global, to import and sell agave spirits to London distributors.

“We partnered with a distributor to get that our drinks to consumers; we were that conduit between distributor and consumer and educating people on agave spirits,” he says.

An international move sparked the next iteration of the business, and the birth of Agave Lux in its current form. This next step was informed by all the learnings Justin had made so far.

“When I moved back to Australia in 2016, the opportunity came about that we set up Agave Lux as a business to bring the product to Australia and sell directly to consumers,” says Justin. “Because the market dynamics of how you get to a consumer is different, it was better to be an important distributor than it was to align yourself to a distributor at that stage.”

Agave Lux took off, then COVID happened, bringing with it yet another pivot (“I really dislike the word pivot, so don’t quote that,” says Justin).

“Pre-COVID, we were an on-premise business. Ninety-nine per cent of our revenue came from venues, and then it shut down. We then set up a direct to consumer platform, which then had an learning management systems side to it, so learning modules and big education play,” he explains. “That was a big step for us in regards to just building our brand awareness in the market.”

Today, Agave Lux is just as focused on the education that first drove Justin, but it also incorporates elements of all the other forms the business has taken over the years: brand ownership, importing and distribution.

“Our business is seeing the fruits of all our labours over the past eight years,” says Justin. And no doubt the success will continue.

Find out more about the Mexican spirts they import into Australia below:

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