Shweta Jain, Vice President – Key Accounts, Luxury and Banquets, Diageo India, has spent over a decade in the wines & spirits industry and knows a lot about it. She feels the industry has been a rich and fertile soil for her to sow & reap.
Having spent her early years in 14-odd small towns in Madhya Pradesh, she has had the advantage of a very nuanced and evolved cultural sensitivity and loads of awareness on world view, thanks to books & travel. Her father navigated the Indian judiciary system of which he was a part of. Making iconic global brands work in the dynamic & challenging Indian market has been the core motivation for Shweta’s entry into India’s alcobev space in circa 2007. She had worked as an agency partner on early plays for Bacardi Breezer’s India launch & 100 Pipers’s re-positioning.
Her first job was as a Management Trainee in account management and this outlined the importance of last mile detailing & implementation rigour. When her family came to know that she had entered the alcobev industry, her mother went into denial and has not come to terms with it even now. As for her father, he is pleased as punch. She says, “Diageo has been a tremendously rich & fertile soil for me to sow and reap.” Shweta personally have stood for work ethic & strong value system, which she believes in everyday and every moment.
Evolution in Attitude Needed
She says she has had to contend with the idea that a career in the alcobev sector is men’s preserve and according to her, “it is like an inverted pyramid from 2007 till now – but a pyramid nonetheless”. Elaborating further, she feels the industry is sometimes subject to certain pre-conceived operatives which is not an updated reflection of what it has evolved into. “I believe that the vibrancy and the opportunity to make Indian consumers enjoy their celebratory occasions better is a key driver for me,” Shweta opines. Spelling out some of the traits women need to grow in this sector, she asserts that “ balanced and confident selfview is needed”.
The Essential Balance
Talking about how she strikes a work-life balance, she goes on to say, “I integrate the two and a trade-off is always followed by a make good on either side.” She adds that her biggest achievement so far is the fact that she has managed to be many people in one: marketer, business leader, mother, inclusivity activist, homemaker, influencer and an individual, all rolled into one. Her goal in life is “to make each & every day better and wholesome than the last”.