Abhishek Shahabadi, VP and Portfolio Head for Luxury and Premium brands, Diageo India, on his guest wishlist, and other things, for a COVID-free world.
Note to readers: While we accept the reality of the coronavirus, it is important to be optimistic. We must believe that there will be a day when the disease will no longer be the all-destroying scourge it is today. And when that day comes, we will be able to enjoy life, maybe with a few adjustments, the way we did before COVID-19. To that end, we are starting ‘If Covid Vanished ...’, a series of interviews with corporate heads and achievers, where we ask them where they’d like to travel or eat, who’d they like to meet, and so on, if the world became Corona-mukt. Follow the series here.
Abhishek Shahabadi may gladly oblige if Jim Morrison returned to life and said to him, “Show me the way to the next whisky bar.” He is VP and Portfolio Head for Luxury and Premium brands, Diageo India. But after showing The Doors frontman in, Shahabadi himself would prefer to go to the next jungle trek, given the claustrophobia of the lockdown.
In this interaction, the Bengaluru-based Shahabadi speaks about the things he’d do, people he’d meet and places he’d visit if Covid-19 vanished or became manageable.
If coronavirus disappeared or became easily manageable, which city would you like to travel to first and why?
I was planning a trek in Uttaranchal before the lockdown. I would first set out for that.
Which restaurant would you go to first and why?
Yauatcha. We love Asian cuisine and couldn’t go to the restaurant at all during the lockdown.
Which celebrity would you like to invite home and talk to?
Jack Ma. I would like to know his views on the trade relationship between India, China and the US.
Which public performance/ occasion would you like to attend?
Any big carnival or a music festival.
What group activity would you like to participate in?
Rafting in the Ganges.
A new skill that you would like to learn?
I would like to achieve mastery in yoga. I have taken a huge liking to it during the lockdown.
The first song that comes to mind when you think of a COVID-free world.
Wild Boys by Duran Duran.
What habit will you work on eliminating in a world that is open again?
I would not want to restrain or hold back on anything I want to pursue, whether it is travelling to my favourite destination or an outdoor hobby I want to take up.
What would your motto be for life after the pandemic?
Unpause and move forth. There is so much to learn and do, one should make the most of every day.