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BW Businessworld

The Man Responsible For Bringing Diversity And Re-Defining The Status-Quo In The Liquor Industry: Anand Kripalu

“The important thing is the resilience to get up and run again after failing and saying that I am not a loser but a winner. After my biggest failures have come my biggest successes.”

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Anand Kripalu, MD & CEO, Diageo India has a vast experience of spearheading diverse brands like Cadbury, Ponds and Diageo. He believes that life is about taking a bit and mostly giving back. His mantra for life is adaptability and going through different cultures by being happy. 

In the 4th episode of officially unofficial, the other side of a successful leader, Anand Kripalu had an intriguing conversation with Annurag Batra, Chairman and Editor in Chief, BW Businessworld and exchange4media group and Sunandhan Bhanja Chaudhury, Managing Partner, Executive Access India Pvt Ltd. 

When asked about how it feels to be a successful and celebrated leader, Kripalu said, “I would never have dreamt I would be where I am today. I have stopped being disappointed about anything now. I am still ambitious about a lot many things in life.”  

Working hard, good values and the right conscience has helped him in his journey and in becoming what he is. “The early formative years are very important for an individual’s character as work ethic actually gets born and set during the early years,” he added. 

Kripalu is responsible for bringing diversity to Diageo and re-defining the status quo in the liquor industry. He shared, “As a company, we have tried and built an inclusive culture and have tried to respect personal choice. The alcohol industry has been a man’s industry in India but the case is not similar in other countries like the US and UK. In Diageo, diversity of thought and inclusion in a broader sense is absolutely necessary. The spotlight for the brand is on gender equality because we still have a lot of catching up to do.”  

Speaking about the role of sports in a leader’s life, he said “The one thing that you learn from sports is that you either win or lose but you cannot hang in the balance. Winning and losing is something that sport teaches you.” 

The role of your first manager at work in shaping your work ethics is absolutely necessary as he is the one who introduces you first to the corporate world. Kripalu also believes that the first boss really does impact a person a lot as you go to him for everything, be it coaching or advice. “I have had 2 first bosses at Ponds which was not an easy situation. But I do share a very endearing relationship with both of them even today.” 

Elaborating the role of failures in a leader’s life, Kripalu said, “The important thing is the resilience to get up and run again after failing and saying that I am not a loser but a winner. After my biggest failures have come my biggest successes.”

The CEO stated that Diageo runs by purpose-driven leadership. When you find the link between the individual’s personal purpose and the organisation’s purpose then it is not like work anymore but magic. The brand has had a similar people’s approach and a leader who has lived his life and career thinking that the best is yet to come. 


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Diageo India anand kripalu liquor industry