TRI-POD Episode 6: Ignacio Vazquez Guerra, Bacardi Global Head of Marketing Travel Retail

INTERNATIONAL. Episode 6 of TRI-POD, the Moodie Davitt Report video podcast series in association with The SEVA Group, features a fascinating discussion with Ignacio Vazquez Guerra, Global Head of Marketing Travel Retail at Bacardi.

TRI-POD is hosted by The Moodie Davitt Report Founder & Chairman Martin Moodie and Roger Jackson, Managing Director of Dubai-based The SEVA Group IMEA and Organico Solutions, the Dubai operation of The SEVA Group.

Ignacio assumed his role in September 2020, a profoundly challenging time as the global pandemic brought travel to a near stand-still in many parts of the world.

“It almost looked like one of those case studies that you read in Harvard when you have the perfect storm forming and then an impeccable answer to that comes and effectively you have a great resolution. This is the way I envisioned it,” Vasquez recalls. “And while that incredible resolution is not there yet… we definitely see things much more clearly now. I think it’s definitely a huge opportunity – that’s the way I look at it.

“Once COVID is behind us, there was mutual agreement [in our team] that the top priority was going to be omnichannel and digital. So in the year that I’ve been  running the team, we have been single-mindedly focused on driving this huge transformation in terms of moving from a product and physical space-led operation to a digital and physical omnichannel operation. And as well, of course, focusing on the opportunity that we have with Hainan in China, which is probably the best example of an omnichannel market.”

Travel retail might have had it hard but better days are coming, Vasquez insists. “Businesses have a very short memory,” he says. “The reality is that maybe today it’s a bit of a struggle, but I can tell you that the moment that we start delivering double digits over the past year for three to four quarters in a row, and this becomes the norm, you will all of a sudden become the hero.

“If you accompany this return to growth with a new model that we know is going to work, I think we can take global travel retail to a limit that has not been seen before and that’s what we’re working towards.”

Ignacio Vazquez: “I think we can take global travel retail to a limit that has not been seen before and that’s what we’re working towards”

But as always with TRI-POD, it’s not just about business. Find out how a strong Norwegian influence in his personal life has shaped Ignacio’s intriguing choice of music to play on our resident desert island. And discover his eclectic choice of ideal dinner companions on the island ranging from a famed bullfighter to a visionary technology entrepreneur to one of the most notorious (and fearsome) empire builders of all time.

It’s a warm and insightful conversation that places a welcome spotlight on the critical role of the marketing function as travel retail emerges gradually from the greatest, most sustained crisis in its 74-year history.

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