Steady Growth for Canada's Wines
The Canadian wine industry is seeing steady growth says a BMO Capital Markets report released today. Analyzing information over the past decade, the report shows that the industry, although small, has grown at an average annual rate of 7.6 per cent since 1998.
The wine industry in general in Canada accounts for only 0.3 per cent in manufacturing and .03 per cent in overall economy. In the beverage industry it has had a 9 per cent average output share in the last five years while sales reached $897 million in 2010.
But its growth is almost opposite the lower manufacturing trend. In comparison to the beverage sectors average 1 per cent growth annually, 7.6 per cent shows people’s faith in potential for expansion.
What led to this change? In the 1990s, Canada’s wines had sluggish growth, but a switch from a native grape species to wine-quality grapes, the initiation of the Vinters Quality Alliance standard to enhance quality, expanded efforts of Canadian wine promotion and industry consolidation helped the industry develop further than before.
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The industry is up against uneven odds. With Canada’s adverse weather, wine-quality land availability, and other limitations, wineries can be held back in production capabilities.
The Canadian wine industry is mainly located in Ontario and B.C. This is because of their respective climates that favour grape cultivation. Overall, half the industry is stationed in Ontario, with one third in B.C. and less than 10 per cent in Quebec—where production largely surrounds bottling and blending imported wines.
In sales, the industry relies completely on domestic opportunities, although it is not dominant in sales in Canada. In a highly competitive industry, Canadian wines compete with international imports from France, Italy, the US and Australia. Sales conducted through exports are largely sent to the United States, which is the largest foreign market for Canadian wines totaling 40 per cent of exports last year. Sales to the US have increased at a quick rate, a contrast in the lower sales trend for wine exports from Canada.
BMO believes that industry activity will continue to strengthen alongside economic improvement. To enhance prospects, BMO recommends the industry to focus on gaining market share at home and abroad. Extremely important for the wine industry is raising consumer awareness of the quality of its products. Additionally, BMO Capital Markets believes the Canadian wine industry should potentially focus on grape varieties more suitable for the Canadian climate and on new innovative technologies to offset it.
Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl
Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.
With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.
You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?
I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.
We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.
What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?
I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.
The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.
I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.
What does success look like to you?
I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.