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#Newsmaker: Keval Ramraj takes on the world of whisky

Keval Ramraj was recently appointed as brand manager for single malts at Pernod Ricard SA. His career in marketing started with an internship at the Durban office where he worked his way up the ranks, and he's determined to take The Glenlivet brand to the country's number one spot.
Keval Ramraj
‘‘I regard it as a privilege to represent The Glenlivet’s finely crafted whisky range, with its rich heritage and unsurpassed quality. Dedication to excellence underlies our approach to creating whisky, and that has remained unchanged since our founder George Smith started the first licensed distillery in 1824,” he says.

Here, Ramraj tells us what it took to get to where he is today and what he’s looking forward to in his new role…

BizcommunityHow do you feel about your appointment?

This is something I’ve worked towards for many years, and I’m extremely excited about my new appointment. I’m grabbing this opportunity with both hands.

BizcommunityWhat do you love most about your career and marketing in particular?

I love meeting and engaging with people. This job allows me to meet new people from so many different industries every day, whether it be at a networking event or a night out in the trade. It’s what energises me most.

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2 Jul 2018

BizcommunityTell us about your work experience, starting at the bottom and working your way up?

I actually started out as an intern at Pernod Ricard’s KZN sales office, though I joined Pernod Ricard officially in 2013, as an on-trade sales representative. I then worked my way up to regional events manager, before taking a side-step into marketing, where I see myself ultimately playing a key role within the group. I guess from day one the goal was always to join the marketing team. I knew what my goal was and I didn’t allow anything to deter me from reaching it.

BizcommunityAny career highlights you’re particularly proud of?

Being offered the position of brand manager: single malts is undoubtedly my proudest career moment. Another was during my time as assistant brand manager for Ballantine’s Whisky – our team won the Campaign of the Year Award at our annual conference for Boiler Room X Ballantine’s True Music Africa. We worked like demons to roll out the campaign, and I was extremely chuffed when we won.

BizcommunityWhat are you most looking forward to/what do you hope to achieve in your new position?

I’m really looking forward to The Glenlivet JazzTown which we are taking to the Durban July again this year. We’re working on a stellar stage lineup and an exceptional hospitality experience for our guests, and it’s bound to be an amazing success. My plan is to take The Glenlivet JazzTown to cities that it hasn’t been before, to bring the jazz lifestyle experience to new communities where we would love to welcome new friends of the brand to the Glenlivet family.

Glenlivet to bring jazz to Sun Met with its JazzTown Marquee

Glenlivet Whisky will introduce the Glenlivet JazzTown Marquee at the 2018 Sun Met. The Sun Met will be held at the Kenilworth Race Course in Cape Town on 27 January 2018.

12 Jan 2018

BizcommunityWhat’s at the top of your to-do list (at work)?

Finding ways of stepping things up with The Glenlivet. Watch this space…

BizcommunityWhat are you currently reading/watching/listening to for work?

At the moment I’m reading The Essential Guide to Marketing in a Digital World. I’m also currently attending a course on digital marketing to upskill myself and to stay on top of this ever-evolving digital environment.

BizcommunityTell us something about yourself not generally known.

I have a twin sister who lives in Australia. I’m the elder sibling.
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About Jessica Tennant

Jess is Marketing & Media Editor at She is also a contributing writer.