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DDL supports anti-alcoholism drive; new Chairman to focus on international marketing

Yesu Persaud (left) hands over DDL Chairmanship to Komal Samaroo.

Newly appointed Chairman of Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL, Komal Samaroo on Monday said the company would revive a campaign against selling rum to underage persons and would be willing to contribute to the rehabilitation of alcoholics.

“Some parts of the country we ran into a particular challenge in getting retailers to subscribe to that programme and one of the things that we want to do this year is to take that programme, rehash it a bit and be a bit more aggressive in promoting it,” he told reporters.

Samaroo assured that DDL would remain a socially responsible company that encourages the responsible use of alcohol even as it pursues its business goals. He said the company would assist organisations that are engaged in rehabilitating alcholics.

“I think we will be supportive of any well-managed effort to provide rehab services by any social organisation in Guyana,” he said.

Samaroo’s comments were made shortly after he formally took over the Chairmanship from veteran entrepreneur, Yesu Persaud.

“It is neither in the interest of DDL nor the industry we operate in for people to abuse alcohol and damage their personal bodies and damage other people,”

Persaud assured that the growing company of DDL was now in good hands under the leadership of Samaroo who served as the company’s Managing Director for the past 30 years.

He described his successor as someone who “knows the business” and has in recent years been busy creating a viable market in North America.

“I want to assure you that DDL is in capable, competent hands and we have some of the best people available in Guyana,” said Persaud

The outgoing DDL Chairman said that although he has stepped down after being at the helm for more than 40 years, he would be available as an advisor Samaroo and the board. Persaud also intends to remain engaged in entities like the Institute of Private Enterprise Development (IPED) and the Guyana Unit Trust.

 “I won’t be totally, totally vacating the scene. I will remain also as an advisor to DDL so I will also be available to give any advice to Komal or the Board,” he said.

DDL is not only a spirits producer but is also engaged in shipping, distribution, cash and carry, fresh fruit juices as well as being a franchise holder for well-known international beverage brands.

Reacting, Samaroo said his major task in the coming years would be to further build DDL’s international market now that the company has crafted a methodology to access those markets and register increasing growth. “This is the future of the company to build its brands internationally and that will be the main focus of my job over the next few years,” he said.

In 2012, DDL grew by 23 percent and is expected to register growth of more than 30 percent in 2013.

The company has moved on from not only selling bulk rum but also bottled products for major international markets in North America, Asia and Europe including Russia.

Currently, the company has four warehouses of spirits being aged to be processed by the most modern distillery in the Caribbean.