What are your impressions as a Brand Ambassador of Bacardi portfolio brands? What do you enjoy the most about your time there?
Mr. Harish Acharekar:- I strongly feel that to meet customer demands and create memorable experiences, one needs to stock their bar with Bacardi portfolio. Brands like Grey Goose, Patron, Bombay Sapphire, Bacardi & Dewar’s have already won bartenders as well as consumers heart, mixologist’s take pride in crafting luxury cocktails with them.
Today Bacardi rum ranks among the top 10 most valuable spirits brands in the world. At International whisky competition 2019, Dewar’s has won major awards across all blended scotch whisky categories and Ms Stephanie Macleod is awarded as the Master Blender of the year for John Dewar and Sons. Even our Brand Ambassadors are popular for their advocacy programmes globally. Here in Bacardi, there is the right amount of mentoring in the form of different pieces of training and modules for personal growth. One can always refer to our content hub and upgrade their knowledge and skills, working with industry-leading brands and personalities is what excites me here.
India becomes Bacardi’s second-largest rum market by volume, how do you feel about the news?
Mr. Harish Acharekar:- I am excited but not surprised because globally Bacardi Rum is produced only in 3 countries namely Puerto Rico, Mexico and India. I fell that Bacardi as a company always knew about the potential of expanding in India and neighbouring countries and the result is a successful implementation of the vision.
It sounds like an exciting, glamorous job how do you get started as a brand ambassador (BA)
Mr. Harish Acharekar:- I would be lying if I deny the excitement I have about this profile, To be a (BA) of any brand one needs to be passionate about its existence, belief and vision as these are the values that drive a person to be a representative of the brand. Also, it’s a specialised job hence a detailed understanding of various spirits and mixing methods do help. Ideally one with a competitive bartending background with interest in sharing knowledge and skills is the way forward, most importantly he/she needs to have a strong presence on social media and be a known personality in the industry.
As a Brand Ambassador for Bacardi portfolio what are your major roles to perform?
Mr. Harish Acharekar:- I run the advocacy programme for Bacardi portfolio brands amongst various consumers, bartenders, university students. We create awareness of our brands and share various ways in which they could be enjoyed like cocktails, signature serves etc. We regularly host guest shifts at various venues to promote the cocktail culture amongst legal drinking age. We conduct brand activations and promotions to drive sales.
What would be your advice to the younger population for seeking opportunities in the pathway of becoming a sommelier?
Mr. Harish Acharekar:-
1. Find a good mentor with whom you can work closely. The one who will allow you to taste a lot of wines.
2. Focus on customer service and meeting the guest expectations rather than selling the most expensive wine on the list.
3. Certifications like The Court of Master Sommeliers and Wine & Spirit Education Trust play a significant role in developing knowledge about wines & spirits and its service.
4. Follow various web sites/magazines like Sommelier India, Wine Spectator, Decanter which will keep you updated about the latest happenings in the wine world.
What is the major concern you speak about at advocacy programs in different outlets?
Mr. Harish Acharekar:- With globalisation and exposure to different cultures and trends, there is a certain tendency of binge drinking amongst younger patrons. As an advocate of our brands, we encourage drink less but better and promote responsible drinking and serving. We recommend bartenders to use peg measures to have better control over pours, this reduces pilferages for the bar and the guest exactly know how much they are consuming and enjoy in moderation.
Which one is the most expensive wine you have ever drunk?
Mr. Harish Acharekar:- I lost a track of the most expensive wine I have ever tried, But I particularly cherish an experience, of a wine tasting of 11 wines (30 ml each wine ) which were the best in the world. The cost of that wine flight would be around INR 2 lakhs. It included the likes of Grand vin de Chateau Latour 08, Forts de Latour 12, Clos-Vougeot Grand Cru 11, Vosne Romanee 16, Ch Grillet 13, Clos de Tart 16 etc
What is the ageing process of your products?
Mr. Harish Acharekar:- Every brand has a different style of ageing process and age statement.
For Bacardi we follow the undisturbed ageing method in a tropical climate as ageing is quicker in tropics, the base rum is stored in American Oak cask. These barrels once filled with rum are left untouched, no tapping, no refilling, no blending in the barrel. This allows the rum to develop a layer of flavours which helps the Master blender to create infinite combinations.
Undisturbed ageing involves higher Angels share which reduces the yield making the Bacardi Rums rare & premium in the world.
For Dewar’s we age the scotch in Ex-Bourbon cask, we blend it and again age it for another 6 months. This process helps in marrying the flavours. Hence Dewar’s is the only whisky in the world that is doubled aged as double is better.
What makes Bacardi above all from other brands?
Mr. Harish Acharekar:- Bacardi Limited is the largest privately held family-owned spirit company in the world. We believe in offering the opportunity to the consumers to celebrate moments that matter, one drink at a time. All Bacardi employees which we love to call Primos (means cousins in Spanish) are a part of the ever-growing family. We take bold decisions fearlessly. Bacardi takes care of its employees and they, in turn, take care of the business as their own. These critical foundations in the company make Bacardi Limited a leading company in the world.
Share the features of Dewar’s whisky lounge?
Mr. Harish Acharekar :- Its a concept wherein we convert a space in the restaurant into Dewar’s lounge, We have an exclusive Dewar’s and Bacardi portfolio cocktail bar along with a seating to create a wholesome Dewar’s experience. Well trained bartenders in the lounge guide the consumers in selecting Dewar’s signature serves or cocktails as per their mood and liking. We have Dewar’s whisky lounge at Gillies in Bangalore and Calcutta Punjab Club in Kolkata.
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