Story Of Lisa Srao, Founder Of Fastest Growing Liquor Brand
- JWB Post
- September 21, 2015
Lisa Srao is the woman behind the upcoming liquor brand – I Brands Beverages Ltd.
We read her exciting business story first on SHEROES, and believe us, it is worth knowing. Check out the excerpts that can help you gain some inspiration.
About the venture
I met my husband in the UK and moved to India following my marriage in 2003. I took some time off and was raising my two lovely children. It was when I could find some free time away from them that I decided to set up a business of my own.
When I first moved to India, I noticed that the premium liquor segment in India’s mass market was completely under-utilized. This is when I envisioned building a liquor business in this country that provided the market with value for money products. I wanted to start a company that propagates a culture, which is steeped in delivering higher than customer expectations with a great focus on the people involved in achieving it.
About I Brands Beverages Ltd.
It was started in August 2010. My job as the Chairman and Managing Director is to steer the company towards sustainability. I want to make products of international standard quality in terms of blend, design, and look and feel and make it affordable to our consumers. It is what sets us apart.
I can recall when I was growing up my family always treated me as the son of the family as we were only two daughters. I would be given responsibility for getting things done; be it household errands or important documentation or achieving in my career. It shaped the way I am. Owing to strengthened leadership and management fundamentals, I am a motivational leader today and bring out the best in my team.
Being a woman in a male dominated industry like this, most thought it was impossible and told me that. When I approached the trade they would tell me I wouldn’t be able to make it here. Nobody took me seriously. During meetings with distributors, they would address my manager and talk to him only because he was a guy. I am glad that is changing now. I love the challenge of being the only woman having created a spirits business from scratch.
Being an unknown company, we had a hard time getting distributors to work with us. Regulations in each state is also very different from the other in terms of excise duties, licenses required etc., which makes this business incredibly challenging. We took a slow and steady approach, following a semi urban – village route in distribution developing a solid base foundation in the states that we are present in, before opening up other states.
Top 3 qualities for an entrepreneur
Great determination & Drive, Patience and Innovator.
I once read an Albert Einstein quote, “The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has been before” and through the years, I feel that this has been etched in me to move ahead in life.
Top 3 thoughts for women in business
1. As a twenty first century woman your choices are limitless in how you can make a difference in yourself and the world around you.
2. Maintaining a work-life balance is very important – Working during the day and putting in the extra hours early in the morning gives me some quality time with my family in the evenings. The key is to organize and prioritize tasks. I think women can have it all, a successful career and a wonderful family. As long as you have a supporting network. We can do whatever we want to if we put our heart into it. In this day and age, you have unlimited choices and you always figure a way out.
3. Blaze new paths and don’t allow yourself to be restricted by outdated traditions (like how I was said that ‘alcohol industry is not a place for women’). Pay attention to details in your business and know your strengths. I take on challenges and look to learn constantly and I have great motivational spirit and drive. Live your life with passion and boldness and don’t take a job for the sake of it. Love what you do!
I have always been inspired by Steve Jobs. Something he said has almost become my mantra in my career. “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do”.
Enjoyed reading? We bet, you did!
If you know any Jaipur-based female entrepreneur who is doing business in an unconventional field, write to us!