Global spirits company Bacardi – known for its white rum – is reshuffling some of its leadership roles, including the appointment of the company’s first female global managing director of its travel retail business.
Lila Stansfield, currently Commercial Sales Director for Bacardi UK & Ireland, will take up the new role from January 2023. London-based Vinay Golikeri is stepping down from travel retail in his new role at the helm after more than a decade at the channel. To hold the position of managing director in India and neighboring countries. Golikeri will replace Sanjit Singh Randhawa as external affairs director for Asia, Middle East and Africa and global travel retailer, who will be moving to Dubai.
India and the United States are the two largest global markets for whiskey – a focus category for Bacardi. In India, the spirit will see a growth of 23 percent between 2021 and 2026, according to beverage analyst IWSR.
Educated at the University of Cambridge, Stansfield has travel experience having previously – briefly – held senior roles at the travel retail channel as finance director (from 2015 to 2016) and marketing director (from 2016 to 2017). Perhaps most notably, she held senior positions in strategy development, reporting directly to the CEO of the Bermuda-headquartered Bacardi Company, where she worked for 12 years.
Stanfield’s extensive strategic planning experience with the travel retail channel could prove invaluable when digging out of a deep hole. For example, airport retailer Dufry’s is merging with Autogrill, and spirits brands are scrambling to capture the attention of travelers as travel numbers skyrocket post-Covid. Stansfield said she will return to travel retail next year and offer “co-winner strategies with retail partners.”
Wine and spirits returned again
After two years of contraction, the drinks business in travel retail has seen a strong improvement this year against Bacardi rivals such as Diageo, Pernod Ricard and Brown-Forman.
For example, for three months from July to September, Bacardi partnered with Gabriel to operate a pop-up whiskey emporium at Istanbul Airport. Heinemann and joint venture partner Unifree Duty Free. The venue featured brands such as Dewar and single malt Aberfeldy, Craiglachie, Glen Deveron and Royal Brackley with steam pots and a waxing service.
“A time of opportunity for change”.
Commenting on Executive Rejigs, Bacardi Regional President for Asia, Middle East and Africa, Vijay Subramaniam said, “Vinay has played an important role in developing the global travel retail business. The past few years have been particularly difficult for this channel, and Vinay has successfully taken on the challenges of the pandemic. Leila brings valuable business skills to our business. This is a transformative time for global travel retail… and she will leverage strategic brand building and business opportunities.
Bacardi, the The most awarded rum brand It has a history of strength in premium gin with Bombay Sapphire.