"We share a strong message of legacy"
Valérie-Anne, how does an engineer end up working for Moët Hennessy?
I loved all the science you learn as an engineer but I was far too curious and had to experience more. After 3 years working as a Supply Chain specialist at Lancôme International, I enrolled for an MBA program and later started a new career as a marketeer at Moet Hennessy Russia, which was only a Representative Office at the time. It felt like working in a start-up with a small but strong spirited team!
I get the feeling you are a bit of an explorer?
Yes I am! When Moet Hennessy asked me to develop the Ukrainian market, I went as an explorer to Kiev. I started developing our business with our local distributor and then took more responsibilities, continuing our development in eleven of the former republics of the USSR. After that, the next challenge was in Moscow where I took the lead of the Communication and Corporate Portfolio Management in 2011, the position I still hold today. It's exciting to work with our exceptional brands!
What drives you the most?
Creativity! I like to build from scratch as I did along my career creating a Moet Hennessy structure in Ukraine and the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) as MH Area Manager or supporting Natalia Vodianova's charity work and managing her Naked Heart Foundation in London.
So the Hennessy 250 anniversary project fits you perfectly!
Absolutely. I loved the challenge, the uniqueness and ambition of the Hennessy Tour! I especially enjoyed the fact that it was meaningful, sharing a strong message of legacy and of course working with top level individuals from various spheres: respected curators, artists, agencies as well as our international and local teams. We all learnt a lot!
How did the Russians react to the exhibition?
They were very impressed with Hennessy. Starting from its tradition and culture all the way to its synergy with contemporary art. I love the quote of one visitor who said: “before the exhibition, Hennessy was for me a respected leader such as Winston Churchill, but now I see Hennessy as a great visionary of today's world….”
What are the main challenges awaiting Hennessy in Russia in the next 50 years?
Cognac is a traditional drink in Russia, sometime too traditional. Hennessy does a lot to shake the status quo. The main challenge will be to successfully continue crafting the future and to resonate genuinely with the new generation of Russian consumers