Bacardi Limited is one of the largest family-owned corporate in world by Mahesh Madhavan, which was founded in 1862, today Bacardi employs 6,000 people, with sales in more than 150 countries. Bacardi limited’s current CEO Mike Dolan named Indian Born Mahesh Madhavan as its next CEO.
Mahesh Madhavan Born on Sept. 6, 1962 in a middle-class family, had his primary education in campion school at Mumbai, after completing his bachelor of engineering in Mechanical from M S Ramhaiah Institute of Technology.
Mahesh’s first company was Mazagon Dock Ltd in Mumbai, where he was part of a team that built offshore oil rigs for Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) his salary was Rs.700 per Month.
Mahesh’s life took a turn when his father suffered a heart attack, and passed away in his arms as both his brother and mother were out of town during that period he alone managed the last rights and overnight he assumed the role of head of the family.
He left his job at Mazagon Dock Ltd and started working in Tata Electric in Trombay, he had to work in shifts, as he was staying in Colaba he had to leave his house at 3:30 am to reach office at 6am.
He made big decision when decided to continue his masters while he was the only bread earner in the family, he used family savings and applied for an MBA at the SP Jain Institute of Management and Research in Mumbai.
The first job he joined after completion of his MBA was at wipro’s Consumer Product Division in Mumbai as Management Trainee, his role was to sell santoor soap to small (Kirana) shops in interior Maharastra.
Mahesh Madhavan worked with Bottom of Pyramid
His first target was Khurar village – a very large slum area – in Malad, he used to leave the distributor premises early in the morning with a van full of FMCG goods like Wipro Shikakai, Santoor, Sunflower, and Vanaspati etc. and visit the villages deep into the interior of Maharashtra to sell the products to small kirana shops, he was not supposed to comeback without selling all the goods.
He used to spend his entire day in travel for six months, he used to manage his food with vada pao, missal or bananas, Madhavan says this experience helped him to understand the value of relationship and money.
He then graduated to the job of a sales manager for the next six months, whereby he managed a team of about 50 people – including six sales supervisors, eventually he became a flag bearer for the entire state.
Madhavan moved to Ulka Advertising in 1992 in Mumbai, where he serviced clients such as ITC Sundrop and he gained experience in branding.
Mahesh Madhavan and Bacardi ..
He moved to Diageo in 1994 to head their entire white spirit portfolio in India, which included brands such as Smirnoff and Malibu,In 1997, he joined Bacardi as head of marketing in Gurgaon, and was personally appointed by then managing director Jayant Kapur. Since then he hasn’t looked back.
In small period Madhavan became Managing Director of India then Managing Director for Thailand and the Philippines, and Managing Director of South Asia and Southeast Asia.
Mahesh Madhavan, CEO of Bacardi
Madhavan now 54, is named as next CEO of Bacardi by current CEO Michael J Dolan, and will officially assume office from April 1, 2018. He is currently serving as the regional president for Asia, Middle-East and Africa and is located in Dubai, UAE.
Madhavan will immediately assume role of Regional President of Europe of Bacardi, and will be based in Geneva until he assumes the role of CEO. He is then expected to move to the company’s global headquarters in Bermuda.
Journey of Mahesh Madhavan from selling Santoor soaps to becoming CEO of 155 years old company Bacardi is inspirational and proves that hard work will never fails.