Views from the Top: Mark Riley


Ever wondered who’s behind the brands that you sell? Here’s the fourth of nine of Scotland’s drinks bosses, Edrington-Beam Suntory Managing Director Mark Riley, with his plans for 2020, including a steer on what he thinks you should be doing with your business.

Mark Riley

Managing Director 

Edrington-Beam Suntory UK

You’ve been in your current role since 2015 – what do you most enjoy about it?

 There are so many things I love about my job, from our portfolio of amazing brands to our fantastic customers we talk about daily, but without doubt the most enjoyable part of my role is the remarkable team I’m lucky enough to work alongside. Across all functions I’m surrounded by a group of passionate problem solvers who drive our brands forward every day. I particularly love to see individuals grow professionally and realise their career ambitions with us.

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

It’s very easy to fall in love with the drinks industry. Consumers have a visceral relationship with the brands they enjoy and the outlets they spend time in with family and friends creating great memories. Once you’ve witnessed the connection between brands, outlets and consumers, the decision to stick with our industry and build a career here is an easy one.

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

Three words – people, premium and partnerships! We always focus on our people first, building engagement and developing Edrington-Beam Suntory UK as a great place to work. Then it’s about investing in growing our premium portfolio with great trade partners.

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

Switch off from work at the weekends and relax with family and friends.

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

Focus on your people! You can have the best location, the best range and the best cocktail list, but if your team is not engaged and supportive of what you are trying to do, you are wasting your time and money.

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

‘The Black Cats Whiskers’. We all have a cross to bear and mine is supporting Sunderland Football Club – also known as The Black Cats.


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Tags: Edrington-Beam Suntory, Mark Riley