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SLIABH LIAG DISTILLERS

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We aren’t waiting (for New Normal)

It’s a strange time for sure and the only thing that is clear is that the political classes are floundering – in a world of soundbites and faux certainty where no one ever wants to deliver bad news- the idea that we can have certainty at the time of this pandemic seems pretty alien to me.

I remember when the global financial crisis hit more than a decade ago. Roland van Bommel the CEO at William Grants asked all of us on the board how long the impacts of the global financial crisis would last.

The consensus (from all the optimists on the commercial team) was at least 2 years but certainly less than 4. Only Roland who had lived through the Japanese financial crisis a decade earlier said 7 to 10 years. He was right of-course and we all learned a lesson none of us would forget.

The pandemic has hit everyone and hit hard, and these are scary times, the scenarios we are looking at I’ve never wanted to consider but financially we have to countenance everything, I have lists everywhere and some of the lists have impacts to people we just do not want to think about yet.

Its times like these that leaning on the Board feels reassuring. John (leaning sagely against the fireplace and calmly giving a considered view), Dom (with a glint and a smile asking a question you knew you weren’t prepared for – it’s a sixth sense) and James (with whom we have weathered all manner of storms leaning into the tiller with us) have all got such depth of experience and they have made themselves available to Moi and me all the time – we are now having a formal weekly call with the board. Staying connected, staying together, making sure we don’t get overwhelmed and that we think properly.

There is so much talk about new normal, too much talk about how quickly it will return but much as it pains me to think it – this is here for 2 years minimum and frankly vaccines take five plus, the government’s so weak we will just have to get used to this.

We are in this, we have to stay together, stay connected, we’ve got this.

First thoughts:
Rigorous focus on cost
Double down on selling – broaden the distribution footprint (land USA), focus on the off trade, launch online shop, innovate, fast
Community – quickly get the sanitiser out there, give it away where we can
Phase the Capex and reduce the fund raise – phase the build, how can we raise finance in this environment (???), can we keep the brand investment, reduce cost. I know Moi has offered and supported moving the gin to Ardara in Phase 2 not phase 1 and the logic all stacks up, but this decision will hurt her more than she shows, need to watch out for her.

So then, this is new normal … we must turn our minds not just to surviving this period but ask the question “is it possible to thrive???”

Dark Silkie on the online shop only?
Can’t do a launch – let’s see what happens

Oh oh …. twitter’s gone nuts for Dark Silkie!