1. Home
  2. executive-interviews
  3. Manufacturing
  4. That’s the spirit: Shekhar Swarup

That’s the spirit: Shekhar Swarup

Joint Managing Director Shekhar Swarup runs one of India’s largest alcohol manufacturing companies with a team that is motivated and committed to its success.

.

As one of India’s leading alcohol manufacturers, Globus Spirits is renowned for its quality products. It has cultivated a strong client base in regions all around the world, including Western Europe, Western Africa and Southern Africa.

"The quality of our finished product is possibly the best in the industry," says Joint Managing Director Shekhar Swarup. "We are possibly the only company in India to be awarded the Grand Sold Award for our Grain Neutral Spirit."

Shekhar’s experience helps him lead with firsthand knowledge. After joining Globus Spirits in 2008 as an executive in a company division, he worked his way up to eventually be promoted to Vice President of that division.

Next, his role was to focus on the organisation’s core skills in manufacturing and to scale up production in several of the company’s new production facilities. He was later appointed to the position of Executive Director, and once the new capacity expansion projects were completed, he was elevated to Joint Managing Director.

One of his first jobs was to reopen one of the factories that had closed. "I learned a lot about the operations of the plant and the challenges that the operators faced," he recalls.

"We ordered replacement equipment because the factory had been closed for many years. This experience helped me understand the complexity of operations, and I was able to use some of the things I learned to set up the same type of factory in multiple locations across India."

Shekhar’s experience also means that he is accomplished in the company’s sales landscape. "I’ve been in the market, and I’ve spent time with distributors," he says.

"In fact, I’ve been inside shops selling alcohol to customers and getting others to understand what challenges the dealers face, so that we can help service the retailers better. These examples have had a strong impact on how our strategies emerge and how we end up differentiating ourselves in the market."

Globus Spirits is a significant player in the manufacturing space, but the company is looking to expand into consumer brands. "For the past two years, we’ve been working on growing our consumer business," Shekhar says.

"Our products are now available in seven states and, by the end of the year, they’ll be available in 15 states of India. The idea is to continue to focus on the manufacturing side of the business, which has good cash flow, and to use that to invest in profitable alcohol brands in India."

Shekhar believes that the biggest three challenges an entrepreneur or CEO faces are capital, people and policy. "We have unlimited ambition but not unlimited money. We must use the capital to our advantage. We need to get the right people in place. We have incredibly committed and driven people working in our business.

"To keep our staff motivated, we let them play out their ambitions in the company," he continues. "We come across uncontrollable challenges in this business, but these have become the hallmark of the company. Our ability to manage in difficult circumstances and grow profits and revenue is exceptional."

"Our ability to manage in difficult circumstances and grow profits and revenue is exceptional."

Operating profit is essential for Globus Spirits, particularly as a manufacturer, since it helps with cash flow and financial costs. "We had to borrow over the past few years, but now our debt is reducing, which is an important measure too," Shekhar explains.

"We look at the amount of cash that is invested in the company’s consumer business and the returns that the company can generate to achieve short-term targets of distribution and brand launches."

Relationships are also essential to the company’s success. "Some of our relationships have lasted more than 20 years, and we’re able to service and maintain these relationships year after year because of our customer service," Shekhar says.

"Of course, our products are mostly in the commodity business where others can supply the same product, possibly at lower prices, but our service is what makes our relationships last many years."

"Our service is what makes our relationships last several years."

Running a successful manufacturing business requires seamless operations at its factories, along with corporate governance and transparency to all stakeholders."At the core is how we operate these plants; for example, our overhead recovery and our water management," Shekhar explains.

"Our compliance with all environmental laws allows us to run our plants over more days of the year. We can get more alcohol from each grain through every unit of raw materials we purchase."

The plants run 355 days a year. Shekhar believes there aren’t many other players in the industry that can achieve this. "Much of the credit goes to the team because our people are committed," he explains. "They are motivated. They feel ownership and authority over their work, which differentiates us at the end of the day."

Proudly supported by:

.
Inspiring The Business World