Sales will bounce back rapidly once things open up, said Anand Kripalu, MD & CEO (outgoing) of Diageo India, on Tuesday.
Speaking in an interview with CNBC-TV18, he said, “The thing about our category (spirit) is that it’s very resilient, it bounces back very quickly. Therefore, when there are lockdowns and barriers to the ability to access our products and brands then obviously sales get impacted, but the moment the shutter open or home deliver starts the category bounces back and bounces back rapidly.”
On cash flow, he said, “Cash was an important part. Cash is king or queen in today’s parlance and it’s even truer during the pandemic, but for me cleaning up was more than the business. It was the ability to prove that business can be done with the ultimate standards of governance, ethics and transparency.”
“We have been very focused on cash. We had debt of almost Rs 8,000 crore and now it’s down to just over Rs 500 crore when we started this journey,” said Kripalu.
Diageo acquired a controlling stake in Bangalore-based United Spirits Limited (USL) in 2014.
Talking about his biggest learnings, as he steps down from the post, Kripalu said, “My biggest lesson, through these 7 plus years, has been to be clear about your purpose and vision of what you are trying to create with the company and if you are clear about that then you can take a lot of the speedbumps that come in stride.”
For the entire interview, watch the video