New Bacardi Boss Aims to Win AU Market

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Bacardi Limited, the largest privately held, family-owned spirits company, sets its eyes on winning over the Australian market and intends to do so by appointing a new leader to make this happen.

Luiz Schmidt, a 45-year-old Brazilian expert in the spirits industry, was named the new boss of Bacardi Australia. As a managing director for Bacardi Australia and New Zealand, Schmidt will be responsible for penetrating the Australian market.

With over 20 years of international experience, Schmidt will utilise his skills to support Bacardi Australia’s sales, marketing, finance and supply chain functions. He will also be responsible for expanding the company’s premium portfolio and market shares.

Bacardi’s Regional President for Asia, Middle East & Africa and Global Travel Retail, Vijay Subramaniam, noted that Schmidt possesses a unique qualification as he is a dual Australian and Brazilian national on top of his wealth of experience.

Subramaniam added, “The appointment of Luiz Schmidt as our new Managing Director marks an exciting chapter for Bacardi in Australia and New Zealand. Thanks to his extensive international experience leading both developed and emerging markets with the company and more broadly within the industry, Schmidt brings a deep and nuanced understanding of the global premium spirits market.”

Schmidt’s ambitious goal is to raise Bacardi’s Australian revenue by about fivefold, around $500 million. Schmidt noticed that many cities besides Melbourne and Sydney had been steadily developing, which he would want to bring the company to.

The new boss noted, “People are looking for great experiences. People are looking for brands with a heritage. I feel that people are still trading up.”

The new boss will face many challenges in achieving his ambition, as inflation is one of the most challenging hurdles any company handles. According to Schmidt, the company had to increase average prices by about 10% in the previous year to keep its profit margins intact.

And with the government’s push to gain more profit by increasing alcoholic beverages’ taxes, the company will have to be creative with their tactics as many consumers are tightening their belts and becoming more conscious of their spending.
Indeed, Schmidt’s goals are ambitious, as the challenge of increasing the company’s revenue coincides with the recent cost of living crisis the country is experiencing.

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