People are often nervous when they talk about change. But those zen, life-coachy types will always say that outside of your comfort zone is where you’ll learn most – and I hate to say that they’re absolutely right.
It’s been six months since Mangrove was acquired by SPIRIBAM and I’ve got to say, from the outset, it’s been an enjoyable experience. Let’s start off by saying that it’s hard to lose complete control over something you’ve built from the ground up, but you do it because you see even bigger potential, and bigger opportunities for your team and for your brand partners. And once you’ve signed on the dotted line, you accept that change will come – and I’m delighted to say the changes so far have all been very positive.
So what has changed?
Well, first of all, I’m learning French, and I’m currently writing this from St Lucia, as I visit SPIRIBAM’s office there. But there are bigger and more important changes than just that.
Our central services have mostly changed and been integrated into the wider SPIRIBAM business, and to be honest it’s allowing all of us to spend more time doing what we do best – supporting spirits brands.
We’ve also integrated the SPIRIBAM portfolio into our own, and what a portfolio it is. Rums and Rhum Agricoles, each of them well-produced and carrying the provenance of originating in the Caribbean. We’re actually getting set to relaunch Bounty Rum here in the UK, just in time for Carnival Season. And you guessed it – the St Lucian spirit will be up front and centre at Notting Hill Carnival later this month. That’s been great fun to be a part of.
I’d argue that our position in the market has also changed. We’re now part of a global company, with all the opportunities and power to deliver that comes with that. We’re currently working on our planning for next year, and for the first time we’re not thinking about what’s achievable within our resources, but instead we’re shooting for the stars, and figuring out resources after the fact. From an employment perspective, we now have global opportunities, and career paths beyond the scale of what we could offer before. Those opportunities are now also being enjoyed by four new team members who we welcomed last month, and we’ll have another recruitment campaign coming in the next year.
There are also things that haven’t changed.
It’s testament to SPIRIBAM as a business that they have let us continue to do what we do. It really is a very supportive global team and ownership structure. Not much of what we do, day to day, has changed. We’re still Mangrove, we’re still disruptive, and still serving the best independent brands here in the UK.
Our ambition hasn’t changed either. The only difference now is that there’s not really a limit to what we can achieve. We’re dreaming bigger, aiming higher, now that we have the power and resource of the wider group at our back. And our partner brands will reap the benefits of that.
To end with how the last six months have felt to me personally, well I can only thank my SPIRIBAM colleagues across the world for making something that I thought might be quite challenging, very, very easy. Working within a global business makes you realise how talented the people there are, and I have learned so much from my new colleagues, in a relatively short space of time. So, thanks to you all, from myself and #teampurple. Here’s to the future.