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United Spirits appoints Abanti Sankaranarayanan as business head

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MUMBAI: Spirits company United Spirits Limited (USL), a subsidiary of Diageo, has roped in Abanti Sankaranarayanan as business head for luxury and corporate relations, India.

With this move, Sankaranarayanan joins the executive committee of USL. With over 20 years in the consumer industry, she has been managing director of Diageo India since July 2012, leading Diageo’s business mandate for international spirits in India. Under her leadership, Diageo’s brand portfolio in India delivered strong double-digit growth and high market share gains coupled with robust equity results.

USL MD & CEO Anand Kripalu said, “We are delighted to have a leader of Abanti’s talent and global caliber to lead our luxury portfolio and drive our corporate relations efforts in India. Her extensive leadership experience and expertise will add strong momentum to the growth of USL’s business in India.”

A new luxury unit is being set up in USL for the premium brands of the portfolio with the objective of maintaining Diageo’s premium brand leadership. Creating a center of luxury excellence will provide focus behind the fastest growing segment of the Indian alcobev market. The luxury business will encompass Diageo’s iconic brands such as Johnnie Walker, Ciroc and the Single Malts.

In addition, Sankaranarayanan will lead the new corporate relations function that has been set up to drive USL towards strong leadership and execution on public policy, regulatory, tax and trade affairs, alcohol policy, corporate reputation & brand, and sustainability & responsibility.  In this role, Sankaranarayanan will build key stakeholder relationships with regulators, government, industry bodies, NGO partners and relevant members of civil society.

Sankaranarayanan said, “I am delighted to take up this new position at USL as we continue the journey to make USL the most trusted and respected consumer goods company in India.”

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