Whirlpool India’s Managing Director Sunil D’Souza will be the new MD and chief executive officer (CEO) of Tata Global Beverages, the firm said on Friday. The company said Ajit Krishna Kumar would take over as chief operating officer. D’Souza’s appointment is effective April 2020.
The announcement of D’Souza at the helm of Tata Global brings to an end a nearly six-month search for a new captain to steer the company, which is changing focus from being a beverages-only company to one that includes foods as well. Incumbent MD and CEO Ajoy Misra is retiring from the company at the end of FY20.
The change in focus at Tata Global is due to the proposed demerger of the consumer products division of Tata Chemicals into it, announced in May, which will see the turnover of the former increase 25 per cent to Rs 9,099 crore. The demerger is likely to be completed by the end of FY20. For FY19, Tata Global posted consolidated revenues of Rs 7,252 crore with a net profit of Rs 474 crore.
D’Souza, a consumer goods veteran, who has worked in PepsiCo and Brooke Bond Lipton India, besides Whirlpool, will bring strong skills in corporate strategy, sales and marketing, persons in the know said.
An alumnus of the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, D'Souza will be expected to drive both organic and inorganic growth as the firm transitions into a full-fledged food and beverages company. The firm is also likely to change its name to Tata Consumer Products to fully reflect the change, it had said in May.
Tata Global will also step into more categories such as detergents, personal care, and home products as part of strategy to play across the spectrum within consumer goods.
Apart from Tata Salt and Tata Sampann, the demerger will see the transfer of a little-known brand called Tata Dx, a detergent powder, into Tata Global. Launched on a pilot basis in West Bengal in the March 2019 quarter (by Tata Chemicals), Tata Global is likely to push this brand aggressively as it eyes a foray into the laundry category. Entry into personal care and home care will come later.