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Beam Suntory sets sights on India and China

Jim Beam owner Beam Suntory is seeking to dramatically enhance its presence in emerging regions and has set “billion-dollar goals” for China and India by 2030, according to the firm’s new CEO.

Albert Baladi became president and CEO of Beam Suntory earlier this year

Speaking to The Spirits Business, Albert Baladi, who assumed the role of Beam Suntory in April this year, said the group will focus on “scaling up” in its strategic markets.

“We are big in the US but we want to be even bigger, and the same in China and India,” Baladi said. “These are big emerging markets and we have a small presence but big ambitions – we have set billion-dollar goals for each of these markets by 2030.”

By that time, Beam Suntory is hoping to become a US$10bn company, according to Baladi. But principally, the firm will centre its efforts on becoming the “most admired and fastest-growing” international spirits producer.

The CEO also wants to see 50%-60% of Beam Suntory’s portfolio in the premium sphere by 2030, growing from its current 35% share.

With regards to brands, Baladi highlights the “incredible” potential of Hornitos Tequila, which recently passed the million-case mark, and his plan to turn Courvoisier into a “house of luxury”.

“We have started that journey, but there’s still a long way to go,” said Baladi. “We have big ambitions [for Courvoisier] in the US and China, and we have a strong presence in Russia. Two years ago we opened our business in South Africa – again, a very big Cognac market.”

Another brand focused on growing its global audience is Maker’s Mark Bourbon, which passed the 2m-case sales threshold in 2018, and recently hit 100,000 cases in Japan alone.

“Japan is really putting this brand on the map,” said Baladi, “and we’re doing the same in places like London and other key cities around the world.

“We think there’s a very bright future for Maker’s Mark. It’s made [in] the same [way] today as it was when it was founded [in 1953] and we have been very protective of this legacy.

“Therefore, we have an ability to scale up on a global basis but also maintain transparency in the way the liquid has always been made.”

To read Albert Baladi’s full interview with The Spirits Business, see our August 2019 issue, out now.

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