After stepping down as the managing director of United Spirits (USL), Vijay Rekhi is no less a busy man. With a 15-year stint as MD full of accomplishments, Rekhi is only out of operational activities of USL and will stay associated with the company as a mentor and advisor to determine its future course of action.
“After retirement, I am the chairman of USL’s executive committee, which has the mandate to decide the future strategy of the company. The committee will also determine the course of action for its new businesses,” Rekhi says.
Reminiscing old days, Rekhi says the company’s sales volume was at 14 million cases (a case has 12 bottles of 750 ml each or nine litres) when he joined as MD way back in 1996. It has grown more than eight times to 114 million cases in the last 15 years. Turnover of the company has risen more than 10 times to Rs 8,500 crore, while the growth in profitability has been 20 times during the period. Rekhi has undoubtedly played a significant role in driving this growth.
An MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, Rekhi has been associated with USL for more than 30 years now. A man who takes calls on consensus, he is also known for his hard-nosed business decisions. Rekhi’s role was instrumental in big-ticket acquisitions like Shaw Wallace and Whyte & Mackay.
Besides his strategic role in USL, Rekhi now also plans to follow his passion for writing and painting. “I will try my hands at oil painting, in which I am good. Also, I will try to finish my autobiography in the next six months,” Rekhi says.