Saloni Kakkar, Manager – Marketing, Royal Stag Barrel Select, Pernod Ricard India, feels that on seeing where some of her friends and colleagues are today, it is fair to say that there are ample opportunities for everyone in this industry. It is all about going after what you want, she says.
Saloni Kakkar was born and brought up in Delhi. She went to a boarding school at Mayo College Girls School and then to Lady Shri Ram College for Women for her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. She did her postgraduation in marketing from IILM. She recalls that her first job was at a sports marketing agency. Here she learnt no matter what, never compromise on your integrity. She began her career in the field of event management. Pernod Ricard was one of her key clients. “They made an offer and I accepted. It seemed natural to move to the other side of the table,” she informs.
Talking about her parents’ reaction towards joining the wine and spirits industry, she says she comes from a liberal background, so joining the industry was never really an issue with her parents. On the contrary, given Pernod Ricard’s reputation, it was a moment of pride for them.
Growing with Pernod Ricard
Saloni is the Brand Manager for Royal Stag Barrel Select which is the premium extension of Royal Stag – a market leader in its segment. On how much her company contributed to her career’s growth, Saloni says, “In my last six years at Pernod Ricard I have worked across three different verticals – experiential marketing for the portfolio, travel retail, and as a Brand Manager now. Each of these roles has been challenging in its own way and added immensely to my repertoire and growth.” She says it is not common anymore to hear that this industry is a man’s domain. “The sizeable number of women in this industry is a testament to this. It is more about who is a good fit and can get the job done,” she asserts. Talking about the difficulties in her career, she says, “when I started out, I wanted to try out multiple things. These experiences have enriched me as an individual and helped me reach the place I am today.” Sharing her goals in life, Saloni feels she would hopefully be her own boss one day. Talking about how she balances work and life, she reveals she never takes stress from work to home. “I have done a fairly good job of being able to compartmentalise my life,” discloses Saloni.