Nov 30: Noi Cecilia Oldne, the ever-so-charming, on-the-go International Brand Ambassador and Vice President, Marketing is today quitting Sula Vineyards and Sula Selections after a decade of working on a myriad of assignments and plans to be an independent consultant in areas of her expertise within India, while Ken Pritchard, a British from Barcelona reporting to COO Nick Pringle will be taking over her responsibilities among many others, writes Subhash Arora
The rumour of Cecilia leaving the company was a murmur a couple of months ago but Ken Pritchard who joined as VP Marketing and International Sales in October, had informed delWine that he would be looking after the marketing activities among other assignments as the Vice-President, implicitly confirming that she would be leaving the biggest wine producer in India, though this company loyalist continued to remain evasive until Rajeev Samant confirmed to me during the Kadu Launch (India's first wine for a cause) in Bangalore earlier this month that she would indeed be leaving within this month. “She has been a great persona to work with and has done a lot for Sula, working with sincerity and purpose for 10 years. But a time comes when a person wants and needs a change. I am sure she will do well whatever she does and my best wishes and blessings will continue to be with her."
She did confirm she would be leaving Sula soon after the ‘Globe in a Glass’ roadshow in Goa, Pune and Mumbai which incidentally ended on November 16, the same day as the Indian Wine Day which she attended on behalf of Sula along with Robert Joseph, exporter and producer of Le Grand Noir wines from France.
Cecilia bore the mantle of being the Brand Ambassador of Sula very well - be it a wine dinner at China or a wine show in Hong Kong, London or Dusseldorf (ProWein) or a SulaFest where she had become the face of Sula - taking the onerous responsibilities from Rajeev Samant, the founder and CEO and the inimitable all-time global Brand Ambassador of Sula.
Cecilia talks about her new assignment, ‘I have spent a decade advocating Sula and the Indian wine industry. I have been dedicated to encouraging Indian wine consumption internationally and also the awareness, consumption, quality and availability of wine here at home in India. I take great pride in representing India and have zero intention discontinuing any of this. I however now want to conquer new challenges.’
Dispelling rumours that she might be going back to her native land Sweden, she tells delWine that she will remain in Mumbai and in fact the same house in Bandra where she has lived for many years. She says, ‘India has become my home and will continue being my base. I have learnt so much about India as a country, its people and needless to say the F&B industry. As much as it is a challenge to work in what is one of the most complicated markets in the world to operate and succeed in - in particular when it comes to the alcobev industry - I love it.’
What would she be doing specifically? Skirting around the question, she says, ‘I will be freelancing and will continue to work only with brands, companies and individuals that resonate with me and I will be very selective with my future assignments. Quality before quantity and good people before anything else!’.
When I asked her to be more specific, she would just say, ‘My expertise lies in wines and spirits, food and beverage, brand management, marketing, international business, hospitality, wellness and business with purpose - so you will see more of me in these fields. I am stepping down from my current role at Sula but rest assured this is not the last you will see of me - on the contrary this is the beginning of the world seeing even more of me!’
Looking at her slim and fit body it is easy to comprehend that Cecilia was at an earlier age a top level gymnast and is today an avid practitioner of yoga. She has also been one of delWine’ Top Ten WOW (Women in Wine) in India in 2013 (the premier edition for the biennial recognition) and 2015 and is a strong contender for the Recognition to be announced next month.
One will miss her at the SulaFest (she might come as a guest) during the first week-end of February, 2018. But it will be Ken Pritchard who you would be seeing more of as head of marketing. We wish Cecilia (today is officially her last day at Sula) and Ken Pritchard good luck for the new assignments respectively.
For earlier related Articles, please click,
WOW 2015: Cecilia Oldne- VP and Global Brand Ambassador of Sula
WOW: Top Ten Women of Wine in India 2013-Cecilia Oldne of Sula
Wine India Ascents: Heads up for Sula's Oldne
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