Change is the only constant in life for Rashi Lakhotia, Brand Manager, Absolut, Pernod Ricard India. From a freelance journalist to a Brand Manager at the world’s second biggest alcobev company, she is busy writing her success stories.
Rakhi Lakhotia has lived in different cities for the first 15 years of her life, thanks to her father’s transferable corporate job. It was challenging to adjust to a new environment often but she thinks it has contributed towards making her more adaptable to change. Career wise, her first work experience was at the age of 17 when she began working as a freelance journalist for The Times of India. She began her management career as a Trainee with Hindustan Unilever. She reveals that during her advertising days, she had worked on certain brands of Pernod Ricard (Blenders Pride, 100 Pipers) and had really liked the nature of work and the organisational culture of the company. After about six years, when she got an opportunity to work with the company as a Brand Manager, she was more than happy to come on board.
Rashi’s first job was with Ogilvy & Mather. “I feel every marketer should work in an agency for a few years. It strengthens your understanding of brand communication and helps you develop a creative eye,” she opines. She got the opportunity to work with some of the best creative directors, and film makers of India during her stint with O&M and that has really added a lot of value to her, both professionally and personally. Her parents were extremely happy when she landed with a job at Absolut. “I was thrilled to work on such an iconic brand and as my father is a Chivas Regal loyalist, it turned out to be a bonus,” Rashi maintains. Giving an overview of her job responsibilities as the Brand Manager for Absolut, Absolut Elyx, Malibu and Kahlua, she says, “I look after the complete integrated marketing communications for the above-mentioned brands which includes connecting with the creative community, collaborating with strategic partners and driving brand growth.”
As the Brand Manager, Rashi is involved in every big and small function related to these brands. This has resulted in holistic development in her skill sets. For her, “Pernod Ricard India presents a sea of opportunities and it depends upon an individual how much she/he wants to explore and learn.” Rashi feels that every day at work is empowering. “Something that I really enjoy is getting to work with the best in the industry — be it artists, F&B experts, creative agencies.” She rightly feels that the liquor business being a male bastion has become a thing of the past, because there is a massive shift in mindset even from a consumer’s perspective. “I know many men who now relish cocktails and many women who call themselves whisky ladies. The lines have blurred, there is nothing as a man’s job or a woman’s job anymore,” she points out. As far as work-life balance goes, Rashi tries to follow the 8-8-8 rule. “It is 8 hours work, 8 hours my time and 8 hours sleep. Yet to perfect it but that is what I aim at,” she says.