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WOW: Top Ten Women of Wine in India 2013-Cecilia Oldne of Sula

Posted: Saturday, 31 August 2013 13:38

WOW: Top Ten Women of Wine in India 2013-Cecilia Oldne of Sula

Aug 31: Indian wine industry is at a nascent stage but many women have taken the plunge in the field of winemaking, marketing, education and journalism, with varying degrees of success. We bring you the first-ever list of Top Ten WOW in India 2013. We have refrained from ranking them and chosen to keep it generally in alphabetical order. In this issue we feature Cecilia Oldne, Global Brand Ambassador of Sula and the Communications Head of the company

Click For Large ViewSonia Gandhi baiters might find fault with the inclusion of Cecilia Oldne in our Top Ten WOW list, only because she is a foreigner-from Sweden. But in the world of delWine there are no national boundaries so long as the relevant performance has been over five years in India. A trained Sommelier with a background in International Business and Marketing, a wine writer and a judge, Cecilia joined Sula in 2007 (and thus meeting our specification of minimum 5-year engagement with wine) and went head-on into various aspects of wine except production.

Cecilia earned her stripes to become the Global Brand Ambassador and the company’s voice and face today, representing Sula in India and across the globe. She also looks after Sula’s international business including Exports and Imports which are carried out under Sula Selections. She also supervises Communication- including Social Media, Training and Tastings.

Her tryst with Sula began 9 years ago when she met Rajeev Samant at Cape Wine 2004 in South Africa. ‘Rajeev was carrying a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc which we tasted. I was impressed to know that India had potential in producing great wines and I started to read about India as a wine producing country and the growth of the industry as a whole,’ she says.

She kept in contact with Samant and was offered to join Sula in 2007 to look after its international business. ‘I could not say no to the offer to join one of the world’s most interesting and fastest growing wine companies in one of the fastest growing wine industries when the industry was stagnating in Europe,’ says Cecilia.

Over the last 6 years she has helped Sula successfully introduce wines in new markets such as Canada, Belgium and the Middle East, with emerging markets like China in the pipeline this year. She is helping the soon-to-open unprecedented new channels of distribution internationally and an expansion in the digital space.

Her wine journey started 10 years ago on her return home to Sweden in 2003, when at the age of 23 she joined a wine company where her role was to help with sales, imports and marketing. She got the opportunity to travel to wineries around the world and meet inspiring people. Wanting to be a step ahead of competition, she decided to become a Sommelier and graduated from Vinkallan Swedish Wine Academy, in 2005. She started her own business in which she also consulted for various companies with one of the assignments being supervising the wine service at a Nobel Banquet.

Since Cecilia joined Sula, the company has under their import arm Sula Selections, initiated partnerships with several producers like Remy Cointreau, Cono Sur and Grand Chaise de France, helping make Sula Selections India’s fifth largest importer in 2011-12 (behind Brindco, Aspri, Moet Chandon and Pernod Ricard-editor)

Cecilia says it is an honour to be the Global Brand Ambassador and promote a company which is not only pioneering the growth of the Indian wine industry but doing so in a way that combines sustainability and benefits the local economy.

You can tell she is a fan of Rajeev Samant when she says, ‘working with him is very inspiring. He is a great leader and I have learnt a lot from him. He is always one step ahead of the game, anticipating changes in the market and economy. Rajeev is also one of the most empathetic and intelligent men I have met.’

The well-grounded Cecilia is not an Indian citizen but well deserves to be one of the WOW Top Ten women 2013 of delWine in the field of international marketing, brand image promotion, education and several other non-production wine activities. "I've become Sula. I've become Indianized and I've changed in many ways. I have no plans to leave," she says matter-of-factly.

We welcome Cecilia Oldne as a part of our WOW List.  

Subhash Arora

Ealier articles

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WOW: Top Ten Women of Wine in India 2013 -Ritu Dalmia of Diva

WOW: Top Ten Women of Wine in India 2013 –Violet d’Souza of Terroir India

WOW: Top Ten Women of Wine in India 2013 -Dharti Desai of FWM

Tags: Indian wine industry, Cecilia Oldne, Sula, Sula Selections, Rajeev Samant , WOW



Jagdish Holkar Says:

I really appreciate the way it has been taken up . Now may I suggest to elaborate the Top Ten stories of indian wine . It could be Top ten wine destinations , Brands ,varietals , selling Outlets , famous Indian personalities who loves wines , passionate people ,Someliers , Top ten success stories etc etc .. Mr Arora , plz keep it up ! Jagdish Holkar , Chairman IGPB - Mofpi

Posted @ September 06, 2013 12:04


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