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May, 22 2018

Pernod Ricard starts laying off employees In India Rejig

The layoffs are attempted to address the redundancies and building a younger workforce with downsizing the company.

French liquor giant Pernod Ricard has laid off nearly 5% of its workforce that could cost around 50 people their jobs in India following a restructuring underway in the local outpost.

The layoffs are attempted to address the redundancies and building a younger workforce with downsizing the company. Pernod's local unit was letting go people mostly in sales and in consumer insights teams, among others.

World’s second-largest spirits maker, including premium spirit brands like Chivas Regal and Absolut has around 1,100 employees in India. An email sent to Pernod Ricard India didn’t elicit a response till the time of going to print. Incidentally, the layoffs come at a time when Pernod has rolled out new brands like Imperial Red rum and reintroduced Something Special, a locally bottled scotch whisky.

“Although we were expecting some fallout from the not-so-good results, we didn’t expect the company to take this step. It happened without a warning and people just about had a week to leave,” a senior executive at the company said.

The liquor industry was dealt severe blows due to demonetisation and the Supreme Court’s ban on liquor sales along highways. Pernod, which follows a July-June calendar year, reported 9% sales growth in India between July and December 2017. The company witnessed a slowdown in sales in Punjab and Haryana due to regulatory hurdles.

Pernod, which is only behind Britain’s Diageo, reported a 14% increase in sales for the first nine months of its fiscal, compared with just 1% in the year-ago period. Pernod’s growth in India has been driven by its focus on premium and midpriced whiskies, helping it maintain a lead over

Diageo, which has been also shifting its focus on similar categories due to meatier margins. Pernod Ricard India sold 43 million cases last year, including Imperial Blue (18 million), Royal Stag (16 million) and Blenders Pride (6.2 million).

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