Atout France India
Sheetal Munshaw – Director Atout France (The France Tourism Development Agency) in India is passionate about all things travel and lifestyle. She started her career in the travel industry as a journalist with the Indian Express Group. Her job included travel writing for travel and hospitality tabloids and business publications as well as managing India’s first business travel magazine under the aegis of Financial Express. After developing a penchant for the travel industry she got into mainstream tourism establishing her career in international destination marketing. In her capacity as Manager Marketing Western Region, she represented Canada and later worked at the erstwhile Maison de la France office as Promotions Manager and later as Deputy Director. She then founded Avant Garde Consulting which promoted a kaleidoscope of discerning travel brands such as Chamonix Mont-Blanc and the Private Collection of Portugal (including the Ritz Carlton, the Four Seasons and Europe’s first luxury family resort label Martinhal) besides other brand entities. In 2015 she was nominated the first non-French Director for Atout France- The France Tourism Development Agency an arm of the French Ministry of External Affairs in India. Her objective is to promote France as a premier tourist destination and enhance its visibility in the Indian landscape resulting in augmenting the footprint of Indian travellers in France. The focus is on France’s hallmark signature brands and its areas of excellence such as fashion, gastronomy, oenology, sustainable tourism, art de vivre and savoir faire and creating synergies with the Indian travel fraternity, the new age Indian globetrotter, members of the media and brands that imbibe the values that France stands for. She looks forward to forging ahead with successful associations between France as a leading travel destination of choice for the discerning traveler and befitting luxury players to further strengthen the ties between travel, art de vivre and the luxe space which are more amalgamated now than ever before.
In addition to her professional accomplishments, Sheetal has also pursued her interests in oenology. She has successfully completed the WSET Level 2 and is a qualified sommelier and has also pursued a course in wine tasting at the Cape Wine Academy South Africa, as well as CAFA Bordeaux School of Wine. She has also worked in tasting rooms of cellars in premium wine estates in South Africa. She contributed to Verve magazine through her column on wine tourism and also contributed to the Wine Club Magazine. A Masters Degree holder in French literature and a Superior Diploma holder at the Alliance Francaise, she is bilingual and has a flair for languages.
Sheetal is also an honorary member of the Governing Council of the Indo French Chamber of Commerce and a special invitee to the CCEF India Chapter- Conseillers du Commerce Extérieur de la France which is a worldwide network of senior business leaders that was founded in 1898.