From Career Pivots to Beverage Industry Leaders | International Women’s Day 2024

It’s very exciting to see more women emerge as prominent figures in the beverage industry – from restaurant ownership and beverage program leadership to bartending
and spirit brand founders. With International Women’s Day around the corner, here’s shining a spotlight on new-age entrepreneurs who have pivoted careers and are now driving innovation in the beverage space.

Kasturi Banerjee – Founder and Director, Stilldistilling Spirits

As a banker for almost 18 years, Kasturi faced a significant transition when she left the stability of the financial services sector to delve deeper into the alco-bev

She was always curious about the artisanal rum market, given the undercurrents taking place globally and India’s abundance of sugarcane, which acts as the foundation for any great rum. With a significant market opportunity within the premium rum category, she
knew a rum revolution was on the horizon. Thus, she launched a homegrown brand, Make Zai, to provide a premium drinking experience through high-quality made-in-India rum.

With Maka Zai, her mission has been to consistently challenge and transform the conventional stereotypes and assumptions surrounding rum. Historically, rum in India has been viewed as a non-premium dark spirit, which is made for novice drinkers and always requires
a mixer. Kasturi is reinventing rum in India as a versatile, tropical, and modern spirit that can be enjoyed by everyone.

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Divya Jayashankar – Founder of Beachville Coffee Roasters

With a background in management consultancy, Divya was fuelled by her love for coffee to start Beachville Coffee Roasters – with the idea of promoting good quality
specialty coffee and educating people about the beverage. This shift in careers allowed her to bring in a meticulous and scientific approach, coupled with her knowledge and passion, to the company. As a female entrepreneur in the coffee industry, Divya is
setting herself apart by driving education in the space, given that conversations are typically led from a technology standpoint. With Beachville Coffee Roasters, Divya looks to deliver exceptional coffee, while also fostering an appreciation for the intricate
art of roasting.

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