Skip to main content

2022 Star Women in Grocery winner Lisa Nanakdewa (Q&A)

Rising Star
Lisa Nanakdewa

Lisa Nanakdewa

Business Unit Director, Snacks
General Mills Canada


How did you get into the grocery/CPG business?

I completed my bachelor of business administration at Wilfrid Laurier University, where I was fortunate to land three incredible co-op placements at Novartis Consumer Health, The Hershey Company and Mattel. During that time, I fell in love with working on brands I knew could make a difference in people’s lives. I get so much joy out of not only getting to physically see the products I work on, but from hearing stories from consumers about how they’ve played a role in their lives.

What do you like most about your job?

In addition to the traditional responsibilities of a marketer, I love that I have business management embedded into my job with accountability for related finance, supply chain, strategic revenue management and more. In my role, I am like a general manager of the snacks business, and am responsible for delivering today’s business results and for crafting our vision and strategies for the future. In doing this, I get to lead an amazing team of direct reports and cross-functional team members who are experts in their field and who help me build my skill set every day.

What’s the best career advice you’ve received?

Run your own race. There is no use comparing yourself to others or thinking there is a “right” career path to follow or timeline for advancement. Your journey should be based on your learning/development needs and goals for where you want to go in the future. Stay true to that and success will come—you are not ahead or behind, but exactly where you need to be.

What do you think is your best quality?

My ability to balance my drive for results with my care and compassion for the people I work with. I’ve established my personal brand as a positive force, a passionate leader, and someone who shapes high-performing businesses and high-potential talent.

What has been a career highlight or one of your greatest career achievements so far?

I was awarded the highest honour in General Mills Canada with the Team Canada year-end award to recognize my leadership over Team Canada Culture. I formed initiatives and plans across the organization to fuel performance and positive culture, which contributed in part to General Mills Canada earning the highest engagement scores in North America.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

I travel whenever I can. I have been fortunate to have travelled all over the world, visiting every continent (except Antarctica, which is on the list!). I’ve travelled solo, with friends, with strangers and with family. All those trips taught me that I am extremely fortunate for the life I have here in Canada, but also that there is so much more out there to see and experience.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I am very fortunate to be doing what I love to do, and I hope I make a difference to the people around me because they have a profound impact on me.

Click here for the full list of 2022 Star Women in Grocery award winners.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds