Celebrating Britain's 101 Most Influential Asians 2022

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Ivan Menezes


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WITH Ivan Menezes at the helm of the multinational beverage group Diageo, the world’s largest producers of spirits and beers are seemingly unstoppable.

Not even the ongoing coronavirus pandemic could stop the business in its tracks. In 2020, the group was among the leaders on London’s FTSE. Despite the FTSE clocking its worst year since the 2008 financial crisis, Diageo was one of the businesses which gave the biggest boost to the index.

With more than 200 outstanding brands (sold in 180 countries) under its belt, the drinks maker’s success is hardly surprising.

The portfolio – which includes Guinness, Baileys Irish Cream and Captain Morgan rum – continues to grow too. In August 2020, the company announced it had purchased Aviation American Gin, a brand partly owned by Hollywood actor Ryan Reynolds. The deal was estimated to be valued at $610 million (£441m). It is not the first A-list brand that the business has snapped up – they bought Casamigos tequila, which was co-founded by George Clooney, in 2017 for an estimated $1 billion fee.

In October 2020, the multinational beverage group purchased the UK’s Chase Distillery (an award-winning gin and vodka company, which uses potatoes grown in Herefordshire within its products) for an undisclosed sum. “We want to keep adding to the growth and margin profile of the business by acquiring fast growing brands with high margins at the premium end of the market … and we’re on the hunt for more. But it is about finding quality brands that we can see growing well over a decade,” Menezes says.

Diageo’s contributions to its customers cannot be ignored either. The brand launched a $100 million recovery fund for bars and pubs to support them to welcome back customers and recover following the Covid-19 pandemic. The company also pledged more

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