Anand Virmani calls himself a brand curator with a serious passion for F&B (Food and Beverage). After successfully managing and executing marketing strategies for premium spirit brands before going on to co-conceptualise and launch Delhi’s first and only stand-alone wine bar, today Anand Virmani is better known as the co-founder of Nao Spirits & Beverages, the company behind Greater Than, India’s first craft gin brand. YourStory caught up with Anand for a quick chat on what goes into building a man of character.
YS: Creating India's only craft gin brand was no doubt an exciting idea, but it took you and your partner almost three-and-a-half years to launch it. We hear you were taking masterclasses in Goa to learn. Did that come easy, the decision to go back to learning?
AV: There weren't, unfortunately, any classes we could take officially. We invited a master distiller from London to come and teach us all she knew on-site. The decision to learn something new is always exciting for me, not just when it is an absolute necessity as was the case this time around.
YS: What core values drive Anand Virmani?
AV: I believe the single-biggest value that drives me is humility. Simply because, it is a value that is not generally associated with running a business. That is why we need to set the benchmark.
YS: How do you define success? Especially at a time when men are looking at success beyond material wealth and status. Instead, they believe in building a character with strong values like humility, courage and perseverance.
AV: Everyone's definition of success is different and this goes back to your core values. For me, it probably comes from creating something that brings out passion and excitement from those who help create it as well. Creating something that excites!
YS: What quality would most people who know you associate you with?
AV: I think they would say I am mostly easy-going.
YS: How do challenges in your journey shape you and your character?
AV: The answer to this question is quite long. But, to put it briefly, I would say it is important to struggle to truly appreciate the end result. I try and remind myself that I am not the only one struggling. This helps keep things in perspective, even if only slightly.
YS: Who are the new-age role models you look up to and why?
AV: I can't think of one person who I would burden with the tag of being my role model. That is because there are many values I admire. More often than not, I find them in everyday people around me. That’s why in the end, I look up to them and not just one person. This includes simple aspects such as managing time and being organised, which are areas of improvement for me.
YS: What according to you goes into building a Man of Character?
AV: For me, there are four key aspects which influence the person you are. Clarity of thought and effective time management are the first two aspects which need to be equally balanced with being thick-skinned. And, lastly, being surrounded by good friends.