In the Spirit of Business

Firms in the industry are looking for managers who fit worldwide settings

Published: 28th April 2014 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th April 2014 10:39 AM   |  A+A-


Being a huge industry, B-Schools are under constant pressure to reinvent themselves. While an MBA in spirits marketing and management might not be new to the management world, it is new to the stable of INSEEC Business School, which has campuses in Paris, Chicago, London, Bordeaux, Monaco, Lyon and Alpes-Savoie. Edex in conversation with Laurent Bergeruc (in pic), Director of MSc and MBA programmes at the Bordeaux campus to dig more.


Why the need to introduce a new MBA in spirits marketing and management?

There is a huge potential for our future graduates in this sector. The global retail turnover of the spirits industry, $300 billion in 2013 alone, is close to double that of the wine sector. Firms in this industry are looking for managers and marketing professionals able to work on a global scale. Firms demand perfected and up-to-date knowledge of consumer behaviour, marketing strategy, plus the ability to deal effectively with the challenges of international logistics and supply chain. The new MBA was designed to respond to the specific needs of the spirits industry. This programme is available at our Bordeaux (October to January 2015) and London (February to March 2015) campuses.


What modules would

students undertake?

Under Production and Techniques, you would learn about Spirits Tastings; Web 2 Digital Tools, Media Press Relations and Communication and International Advertising and Event Management under Communication; Management phase will take you through Management in the Spirit Industry, Supply Chain Management, Finance and Economy in the Spirit Industry, International Negotiation and Law, Regulations and Policies and Marketing will deal with Consumer Behaviour, New Product Launches, International Marketing and Brand Management in the Spirit Industry, Distribution, Customer Relationship Management, Brand Marketing and Strategy, Distribution, Marketing Studies and Research and Packaging Design.


Who can apply?

We look for students who have basic knowledge in the spirits and wine industry, a first experience in the sector (work or internship) and of course, motivation to work in this industry. The admission is done in two steps — examining the application and three written exams with general questions based on the spirits industry. Application requirements include an updated resume, academic/professional recommendation letter, university transcripts, proof of English language proficiency like TOEFL, TOEIC and IELTS, two passport-sized photographs and a copy of passport. You are required to attend a phone/Skype interview. Course fee is €12,200 (approx `10 lakh). For international admissions, you can contact Marinella Amato at Details at


Sandeep Arora, Director of Spiritual Luxury Living, a high-end premium liquor enterprise in Delhi gives the dope on the role profile of fresh graduates in the industry:

Taking up a role in the spirits industry is now perceived by youth as a startup assignment. With the advent of international brands in India, people in this business have evolved from being mere salesmen to handling roles such as marketing, strategy planning, wine sommeliers and beverage portfolio managers. Opportunities in the sales and marketing domain are huge and so are the challenges. To just put forth one, advertising for spirits and wine industry is strictly regulated by the government. Students have to think of creative ways of reaching people at the same time not affecting the sentiments of anyone. Outlook towards the business has changed and in order to do well for yourself, you need to even concentrate on things formerly considered as trivial such as sharpening your communication skills.


Industry intake

Says Bertrand Plessis, President DRDA (Brand Marketing Strategies) and Vice-President MEDIANE Paris (Brand creation and Brand management) and previously Group Marketing Director and Regional Director for a number of leading companies in the wine and spirits industry, “The spirits industry has dramatically  changed for the past 10 years, both in terms of size and sophistication. We now need experts, with an international dimension combined with a good understanding of the different spirits categories and of the dynamics that make them grow so fast. Ahead of us, we have much potential growth for the brands, be large ones or niche ones.” He says that before the creation of this MBA, they did not have specialists and had to hire talented people from other industries. “As we are dealing with brands where the cultural dimension, the heritage and the savoir-faire is so important, hiring people with this background means gaining time and efficiency at all levels,” he says


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