IoD Oxfordshire Ambassador Spotlight

We are pleased to introduce you to Tagore Ramoutar, SME and Start-ups ambassador, IoD Oxfordshire branch.

Click here to connect with Tagore on Linkedin.


Co-Founder and Director of the award winning distillery The Oxford Artisan Distillery (Still On The Hill Ltd).

Director of the English Whisky Guild (EWG).

Non-Exec Director Ten Hides Distillery

Author of Craft Drinks Tracking Survey

Describe your current role/company:

THE OXFORD ARTISAN DISTILLERY – I transitioned to a NED role for the company I helped co-found, but my role can be best described as the institutional memory of our business.

TEN HIDES – Non Executive Director supporting our launch as the industry expert.

EWG – Responsible for writing the GI (Legal definition) of English Whisky working with DEFRA, on the BSI committee drafting the British Standard for Whisky.

Previous roles:

Managing Director The Oxford Artisan Distillery, responsible for raising £3.8m and launching the business (our vodka is double gold award winning) and last year we launched our Rye Whisky.

9 years in Nokia start-up Vertu including 6 at board level. In my time I set up a company in Japan, ran the factory and sourcing, and set up offices and stores in Singapore, Paris, New York, Los Angeles and London.

11 years in Shell including a posting in Central Eastern Europe in charge of Business Development for 13 countries.

Other information (eg other positions held, charity roles):

OxLEP Business Support Sub Group Chair

Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society

Won IoD Start-Up Director of the Year for the South and London in 2019.

Outside work (hobbies/interests):

I have written several children’s books (though only sold 5000 books). Currently writing a book about setting up our distillery.

Love reading, whisky (particularly English) and exercise.

How long have you been an IoD member?

Since 2019

Describe your role as an Ambassador

Start-Up and SME Ambassador IoD Oxfordshire.

I see my role as raising the profile of IoD and improving engagement of our members through events tailored to support SME’s and start-ups and by networking with the region with organisations that support those. Key is the programme I am building with Oxford University to link start-ups with Fractional support, plus OxLEP role.

What part of IoD membership do you value most?

I love the combination of live events and virtual that are tailored to the needs of directors and the challenges we are facing; plus the quality of the members I meet.

What are the top three things about your branch area?

Oxfordshire is a dynamic area that is one of the engines of innovation for the UK. There is a vibrant start up ecosystem powered by our world class education sector led by the University of Oxford. But we also have a very strong visitor economy and strong food and drink sector.

If you could give one message to the Prime Minister, what would it be?

Of course the immediate concern (currently) would be about reforming the electricity pricing mechanism to reduce the impact of rising gas prices. But the longer term it would be to stop putting politics in front of making it easier to succeed in business.

Simplify processes and make clear how to get support.

What are you most looking forward to in the next 12 months?

Continuing to develop my portfolio career in spirits/ start-up and the further development of my IoD ambassador role coupled with driving forward my new role as chair of the OxLEP BSSG

Looking back, what advice would you give yourself when you started out in business?

Make sure you balance work with private life / family life. Business particularly as start-ups can be all consuming and getting the right balance means you can actually get more done over the long term.

Better directors for a better world

The IoD supports directors and business leaders across the UK and beyond to learn, network and build successful, responsible businesses.
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