Views from the Top: Stephen Russell


Ever wondered who’s behind the brands that you sell? Here’s the first of nine of Scotland’s drinks bosses, Inverarity Morton Managing Director Stephen Russell with his plans for 2020, including a steer on what he thinks you should be doing with your business.

Stephen Russell

Managing Director

Inverarity Morton

You’ve been in your current role since 2005 – what do you most enjoy about it?

I’ve been in the business – and this Company – for 45 years, I love having the autonomy to shape our direction of travel.

Why the drinks industry and what do you love about it?

That’s a story! Back in 1974 my uncle died and he owned a bar (long gone) and I was a business studies student. I took over parts of running the bar. Then, early 1975, there was an advert for an Assistant Accountant and experience in the Drinks Industry was an advantage. I worked on the basis that my pub knowledge gave me the necessary ‘experience’ – and I got the job. It was a very different business back then. It’s a fantastic business where everyone can relate to the products we sell in every bar, lounge, airport etc – imagine selling nuts and bolts!

How do you plan to drive the business forward in 2020?

We continually strive to provide our customers with an ever-evolving product range and innovative concepts. 2020 will see the Company launching a new a state-of-the-artsystem embracing an eCommerceplatform.

What is the best stress-buster when things get particularly challenging?

Walking, fast. I could bore you with the health benefits of a daily 30-minute walk! But it’s not a stroll and I usually aim to do 5km in 40 minutes immediately after I get home.

Which piece of advice would you pass on to licensees that are looking to grow their business?

Invest your own time in it, understand how everything works, look at market trends. Trust your gut feeling.

If you had a pub what would you call it and why?

I’d have to pass on answering that – or trademark it in advance! Honestly, I would never have a pub – I like my weekends too much.

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