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DrinksTrade29AugustSeptember2012

InsightAmerican whiskey Untapped potential Ashley Pini speaks to David Segreto of McWilliam’s Wines about work culture, wine and what’s coming up for the dynamic family business. drinks trade: When did you fi rst join the industry? DT: You’ve been out of the country for seven and a David Segreto:You could say I have been in the industry all my life, as half years. What challenges has that presented? I grew up in hotels in Sydney. During my time at Cadbury Schweppes DS: Contacts were my biggest challenge. I had my Diageo contacts, but that in the 90s, I led the NSW Licensed Leisure Business, then moved to business was constantly changing so I found myself tapping into some old Diageo in 1999 as Regional Director of the Asia Pacifi c Travel Retail colleagues who are now in different positions. But we’ve got some great talent business, the last fi ve of those years were based in Singapore. I left in the business already, so it really is just a matter of keeping those people and there two and a half years ago to work for DFS, the world’s leading making sure they are in the right roles for the future. We then benchmarked luxury travel retailer and part of LVMH, based in Auckland. I decided the sales roles in terms of what we needed for attributes and skills set to to come back to Australia in 2011, where I joined McWilliam’s. deliver on the customer piece. We’ve had a thorough search through all markets and all categories, and we’re starting to build a great team of people. DT: You’re a part of a big change within McWilliam’s Wines. DS: Rob’s (Blackwell) vision for changing the performance culture at McWilliam’s DT: Is there a strategy you plan to put into is very clear. As someone from outside the industry with the ability to provide place over the next two years? a different perspective, I think the board and the family members made a great DS: We have our long term plans such as outstanding customer service, choice in placing him. Rob’s brief to me was to come in and see what we which is core to our business. Plans have revolved around fi nding great need to do to change the culture of the company to be much more customer talent and people, and how we can bring other people in who have different focused and sales-performance driven. For the fi rst few months, I simply skill sets and experience that can add to what we already have. We’re then looked around the business and spent time with the team and customers embedding various processes and the culture around the company. in every state to help get a better understanding of what was happening. 24 drinks trade


DrinksTrade29AugustSeptember2012
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