Luxury vodka brand Jatt Life has appointed one of the UK drinks industry’s most successful operators and the country’s leading dealmaking legal firm to help it achieve its ambition of attaining unicorn startup status.
Jatt Life, which was launched last year, has added Chris Ellis to its board as a non-executive director and engaged the services of Birmingham-based Gateley Legal after unveiling its plan to break through the $1bn valuation barrier.
Chris is the former commercial director for Pernod Ricard UK, whose brands include Jameson and Chivas whiskies, Beefeater gin and Martell cognac, and during his 16-year career at the firm he drove it to its highest-ever market share in the off and on trade channels.
Gateley Legal, represented by corporate partner Tom Rush, has previously advised West Midlands-based leisurewear firm Gymshark, which achieved unicorn startup status last year, and recently oversaw the floatation of Virgin Wines on AIM, the London Stock Market’s growth market.
The appointments are the latest moves in what has been a meteoric climb for Jatt Life, which was set up in March last year and has sold more than 200,000 bottles of its ultra-luxury vodka across the UK and in Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
Founded by husband-and-wife entrepreneurs Baz and Sunny Kooner, it supplies four different flavoured vodkas and has made waves in the spirits market thanks to an online marketing campaign featuring social media influencers, upmarket bars, exotic locations and supercars.
Jatt Life is now based in a 15,000 sq ft premises in Kingswinford, from where it will bring all of its operations, including distilling, under one roof from January next year, allowing it to significantly increase production.
Baz said: “We said when we set Jatt Life up that we wanted to do things differently as well as bigger and better than anyone else, and we’ve got huge ambitions to create a brand that will eventually earn unicorn startup status.
“It’s a huge undertaking and we’ve made an incredible start, but bringing Chris and Tom on board is a game-changer for Jatt Life, because of their expertise and experience is unrivalled when it comes to turning brands like ours into world-leaders.”
Chris said: “As soon as I met Baz and Sunny and listened to their plans for Jatt Life I felt that I wanted to be involved because their ambition to shake up the vodka market and make it known right across the world is incredibly exciting.
“Jatt Life is a disruptor brand but behind the imagery of fast cars, the high life and influencers there is a sound business that is being built on the strongest of foundations.
“The vodka market is ripe for strong growth driven by disruptor brands like Jatt Life. It is attracting a new generation of drinker who want to see some new names with big personalities offering them a quality product, which is precisely what Jatt Life is doing.”
Tom added: “We’re thrilled to have been invited to work with Jatt Life. Our strength as a company is supporting entrepreneurs like Baz and Sunny to not only to grow and develop their companies, but to help them achieve their huge ambitions.”