Saturday, July 13, 2024

Hina Nagarajan Wins ET Businesswoman of the Year Award

Diageo’s Hina Nagarajan, the first woman to lead India’s biggest liquor business, emerges victorious at the ET Awards for Corporate Excellence. Over two years ago, Diageo entrusted Nagarajan with the mission to revitalize its Indian business. She successfully sold 32 brands, strategically reshaping the portfolio and redirecting focus to the premium market.

Under her leadership, Signature and Royal Challenge Whisky underwent a transformation, introducing new offerings like Royal Challenge American Pride Whisky. Diageo ventured into Indian malt with Godawan and invested in Nao Spirits, makers of Hapusa and Greater Than Gin. The iconic Guinness beer brand also found a place in the premium segment.

Nagarajan’s strategic shift propelled United Spirits’ growth to nearly 20%, significantly surpassing historical rates. The premium portfolio now constitutes over 90% of overall sales, up from 72%. Last fiscal year, net profit tripled to ₹1,051 crore, and the United Spirits unit’s share price soared by 65%.

Nagarajan’s dynamic strategy, focusing on reshaping the portfolio and promoting premiumization, led to this remarkable success. She also emphasized digital acceleration and advocated for responsible drinking, aligning with the goal to “drink better, not more.”

The highly regulated liquor business in India posed challenges, but Nagarajan’s advocacy efforts, convincing state governments to reduce taxation, played a crucial role. Her strategic choices and focus on market share gains resulted in Diageo India becoming debt-free last year.

Nagarajan’s journey showcases her commitment to realizing Diageo’s mission, making it a top consumer packaged goods company in India. With a background spanning over three decades in consumer packaged goods, she has proven to be a transformative leader, steering Diageo towards sustained double-digit topline growth.

Cheers to Hina Nagarajan, the ET Businesswoman of the Year, and her team for making strategic choices that position Diageo for success in the coming decade.

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