Spirited Swinger | Outlook Business
Home  /  C'est la vie  /  Pursuit of Happiness  / Spirited Swinger | FEB 11 , 2018

Deepak G Pawar

Pursuit of Happiness

Spirited Swinger
From being peer-pressured into playing golf to finally being all-in, Varun Berry of Britannia had quite a journey 

Krishna Gopalan

Ten years ago Varun Berry was in Manila on a short break with a group of friends. With 50 golf courses in the city and time on his hands, he decided to give the game a shot. There was little by way of choice since most of his friends were already golfers. “It was a case of peer pressure,” he confides. What he did not anticipate though was how much he would end enjoying the game.

Like most modern day CEOs, Berry has a lot on his plate at any point. As Britannia Industries’ managing director, work gains top priority all the time, leaving little time for anything else. In spite of all that, he manages to play about three Sundays a month. Most of it is at the Karnataka Golf Association in Bengaluru, which is a bit of a drive from the city. That does not bother him a whole lot since it’s not just about golf. There is always an enthusiastic group that ensures there is a beer after it’s all done. “We are there for six to seven hours and there is a lot of camaraderie. It’s really a lot of fun with a bit of competitive spirit that comes with it.”

Berry likes the idea of being fit and used to play squash and as he says, “probably every possible sport.” There is also the time spent in the gym. But it’s quite different with golf, which Berry, who stands at 6’5”, thinks is great as long as one plays with like-minded people. “You make friends and deepen existing friendship on the course. The betting too adds to the excitement,” he quips.

Having spent decades in the food business, the man needs to unwind as biscuits, cakes and rusks continue to occupy much of his time. Berry is a part of many groups on the course given that he is not as regular as most others. “That means there are many last minute changes to my agenda. I plug and play as and when I’m free,” he says.

Berry’s interest in the game has rubbed off in different ways on the rest of the family too. Both his boys have shown interest of varying degrees. “The older one gave up in a hurry saying it takes too much time. The younger one continued and actually got quite good at it but has not played much ever since he headed off to the US,” he says. Speaking for his better half, there is a bit of relief that she has not shown interest, so much so that he almost feared. “Anu was threatening to beat me at the game but got into a start-up a few years ago. Since then, she hasn’t had the time to play,” he signs off with a laugh.

Here's your chance to read the latest issue of Outlook Business for free! Download the Outlook ​Magazines app now. Available on Play Store and App Store
On Stands Now