Enzo Visone is the chairman and co-founder of Quintessential Brands

Enzo Visone is the chairman and co-founder of Quintessential Brands

This week, we speak to the chairman and co-founder of Quintessential Brands, and just-drinks subscriber, Enzo Visone.

  • How long have you been working in the drinks industry?

It's been 28 years. I was with Gruppo Campari for 20 years and was CEO from 2004(/news/new-face-on-campari-board_id77354.aspx) to 2007. Today, I'm the chairman and one of the founding partners of Quintessential Brands.

  • Who was your mentor when you started? What did they teach you?

When I was at Campari, I was fortunate to work with many great professionals. The main lesson I learned was to excel in whatever we do.

  • How has the industry changed during your time in it?

The industry has been characterised by consolidation. There are now fewer companies having to work harder and this gives us the opportunity at Quintessential Brands to become an international player within the European drinks industry but not necessarily with the same business model of our peers.

  • What do you like most about your job?

I like defining strategic direction and identifying the many opportunities that exist within the industry today. Our recent acquisitions of First Ireland Spirits and Lafragette & Legier in France have resulted in a broad portfolio of production, distribution and marketing capability and we are continually assessing opportunities to take the group in the desired direction.

  • What are the main challenges facing the industry today? How would you combat them?

I think the main challenges are the fast-changing consumer tastes and preferences. I'd combat them with a lean and mean organisational structure and look to be extremely quick in our decision-making.

  • What do you think has been the most exciting innovation in the industry?

Innovation will accelerate tremendously going forward becoming a general characteristic of the industry. This in turn will also greatly increase the number of failures together with making life more difficult for the traditional brands that will continually be attacked from all directions.

  • Which drinks company (apart from the one you are employed by) do you most admire?

We admire all spirits companies in different ways and have respect for all our peers. I have always believed that humility is a fundamental element of success as it lowers any barriers to learning, and to learn from our peers is the basis on which we build.

  • Who or what has been the greatest influence on your career in the industry?

My greatest influence has been my passion for the drinks industry.

  • What's your favourite drink?

Berkeley Square London Dry Gin on ice.

  • And your favourite drink that is not in your company's portfolio?

There are too many to mention. There are many great brands and great products out there.

  • Where do you see yourself in ten years time?

We see Quintessential as being a significant international group within the spirits industry, both as a branded company and, with the development of the Essential Drinks Co, as a major provider of production capabilities for third parties, be they major international spirits groups or private labels.