Cristina Carmueja is a woman with wonderful personality and strong opinions. She is the Head of marketing and innovation for Whiskey in Global Travel for Diageo. Travel retail sparked the dynamics and pace of the industry in her.
DutyFreeList in conversation with Cristina Carmueja on the occasion of International Women’s Day!
Your current role and a short brief.
My name is Cris and I am the Head of marketing and innovation for Whiskey in Global Travel for Diageo. I am responsible for everything whiskey across all categories, scotch, American, Irish, Canadian and including brands like Talisker, Singleton, Bulleit, Roe&Co, Cooper Dog and world leader Johnnie Walker.
What sparks passion in you about travel retail, travel and tourism?
The dynamism and pace of change in the industry. It always keeps you on your toes. This industry is only 70 years old and the transformation during those years has been phenomenal both in the way brands have evolved with the development of the channel and how retailers have adapted to the changes, moving from a service provider to experiences and engagement at every touch point.
What is your management style? How do your employees perceive you?
I highly value all those I work with and we work collaboratively, as a team should. Every member of my team has a role to play in driving the business forward and I encourage team members to embrace their ideas and to challenge themselves and others to do better. I look for a truly entrepreneurial spirit, because we are tasked with driving the business forward. As a team we are passionate about our roles and our brands.
Who is your women role model?
My mother is my most important and most enduring role model. She was the first person in her family to graduate from university. And as a working mother she showed me how to be dedicated to family while also building a career.
Advice for young women in your and other industries?
I believe you should always follow your dreams, and be passionate for whatever you do. We all spend so much time at work that it is very important to really love what you do. This will give you the drive to wake up every morning thinking “I am so lucky that today I will be working on these amazing brands again!”
Who would you thank as a mentor in your career?
I am fortunate that all those that I have worked with during my career have made a mark on who I am today. In particular, my previous manager Agustin is a big inspiration for me. He helped me believe in myself .
What celebrities inspire you ?
Always difficult pick up a celebrity, I would probably chose Queen Rania of Jordan as an advocate for global education and youth issues as well as her focus on promoting cross cultural dialogue. She is also a great communicator which is complimented by her use of social media to spread her message across the world.
What was the last gift you bought at duty free and gave someone?
Of course, a bottle of White Walker by Johnnie Walker, an amazing gift to anyone that is a fan of the series and the brand. I can’t wait for season 8 to start!
Innovations that you are looking forward to in technology/ social media (foldable phones, VR, AI, BITCOIN ?)
All the great innovations driven by true insights that can help us market our brands more effectively bringing further category growth for our customers.