Views from the Top: Ewen Mackintosh

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Ever wondered who’s behind the brands that you sell? Here’s the sixth of nine of Scotland’s drinks bosses, Gordon & MacPhail Managing Director  Ewen Mackintosh , with his plans for 2020, including a steer on what he thinks you should be doing with your business.

You’ve been in this role since 2014 – what do you most enjoy about it? 

I’ve been in the business since 2001, and I have been MD since 2014.  This a great business – we have great people, great products and passionate customers.  Our business is involved in all aspects from field to glass and that glass of whisky may be savoured in Elgin, London, New York, Taipei or Tokyo.  This allows us to see all perspectives, opportunities and challenges.

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

No particular reason to why I ended up in the drinks industry but I’m glad I have.  It is almost unique in how we collaborate together and share knowledge and experience, there is a real respect between businesses.  Yes, we all want our individual brands and products to do well, however we also want to the overall sector to be successful.  I have also met some wonderful people over my career, many friends for life.

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

This year will be our 125th anniversary and will be marked by the construction starting on our second distillery in Grantown.  This will be a key milestone for the business and will sit perfectly with Benromach and the Gordon & MacPhail whiskies.  We have some exciting projects for Benromach and G&M which we look forward to revealing in 2020.

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

Switch off the phone and the laptop and take a break.  A game of golf is the ideal tonic for me, although can result in a different kind of stress!

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

My career has been exclusively in the whisky business where we are always looking at the long term.  As in all businesses, there will be ups and downs – never lose sight of what you set out do.  We don’t always get it right, however we roll with it, learn from it and get back on track.

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

“Blether”, because that’s what it should be about.  Whether you’re there with friends/family or whether it’s you first visit, the pub is the original “social network”.

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