Slice of Life Interview – Moji Shand

Moji Shand, Attorney at Law and CEO of Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky, shares the joys of yoga, whisky and her job. Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky is shortlisted for the Best Scottish Artisan Drink Award at the Scottish Rural Awards 2020.

What do you do on a typical day?

There is no ‘typical day’ at Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky, because no two days are ever the same, but that’s a good thing. We like to keep things exciting and interesting. In general, my day starts with a yoga session. I find yoga focuses me and gives me the strength to deal with anything life wants to throw at me. From there, I take on the day which can include reading and responding to emails, to dealing with legal, compliance, Trademarks, working with international buyers, marketing, and/or travelling for work.

What is your favourite part of your job?

I love the travelling part. I fell in love with Scotland when I first came to visit in 2016. That trip also introduced me to the Scotch Whisky industry and led me to meet my husband, Euan Shand (Owner and Chairman of Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky) in Huntly, Aberdeenshire.

In 2012 I decided to leave my day job as a lawyer to join the Scotch Whisky Industry, starting initially as the inhouse council for Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky and eventually, working my way up to the CEO position. Since that time, I have really made it my mission to be a cheerleader for Scottish produce and for the Scotch Whisky Industry. I want everyone to feel, see and taste what I have grown to love and the joy it has brought to me.

My job allows me the luxury to travel around the globe and to meet new people, to learn about different cultures around the world.  Conversely, it allows me the opportunity to introduce Scotland and its national drink, Scotch Whisky to the people I meet around the world. I absolutely love this part of my job.

What is unusual about your business?

The unusual thing about our industry is actually a very good thing. Scotch Industry as huge as it is, it is a very small community. Almost everyone in the industry knows each other or at least know of each other and we tend to work well together. Any competition among us tends to be a healthy one that empowers us as an industry and allows us to continue to thrive and to succeed.

What will you tell the world if you win this award? 

Scotland is not a very large nation by size, but it is a giant when it comes to what it has and continues to contribute to the world. If we win this award, I want people around the world to realise the importance of Scotland in the global market and its contributions to the modern world.

This relatively small nation had a total export value of Scotland’s export value of £81.4bn (2017) with nearly £4.70bn attributed to the Scotch Whisky Industry. I think the world has a lot to thank Scotland for and I think with everything it has offered and has to offer.

What is amazing about the Scotch Whisky is that you can have a lovely conversation with anyone over a nice dram, sitting around a warm fire in lovely Scottish countryside, (or anywhere else in the world) and talk about Scotland’s national drink.