NAO Spirits announces The Jay Dhawan Scholarship

In memory of its late distiller, Nao Spirits and Beverages, the craft gin distillers form India, have announced the Jay Dhawan Scholarship in association with the Gin Guild. 

The distillery will sponsor one student every year from India, with a preference for applicants from the F&B industry, to pursue an MSc in Brewing and Distilling from Heriot Watt University in the UK.

Anand Virmani, co-founder and master distiller at Nao Spirits, said: “Jay was a bundle of energy right from day one. It was clear to him that he wanted to break out of the norm and he saw distilling as the path to make this happen. We consider ourselves extremely lucky to have shared this journey with him and it only makes sense for us to now be able to provide that same opportunity to others like Jay who work in the F&B industry and dream of pushing their boundaries.”

Dhawan started his career behind the bar at Mumbai’s Bombay Canteen, he then took the opportunity to join Nao Spirits and be trained to be a distiller under Dr. Anne Brock, who later went on to become master distiller for Bombay Sapphire. He trained in 2017 alongside Virmani, and went on to produce India’s first craft gins, Greater Than and Hapusa. 

The Gin Guild, the global body of Gin distillers and associates, is supporting the scholarship by contributing 10% of the total amount. 

Pal Gleed, director general of the Gin Guild, said: “The Gin Guild is delighted to support this amazing opportunity for a member of the Indian F&B industry. Jay was incredibly well thought of and known as a real rising star of the gin industry. He was a proud member of the Gin Guild, and loved to learn, so this scholarship in his name is very appropriate.”

Applications are now being accepted for next year’s batch in September 2023, with all information on how to apply available here.