Carlsberg names Nilesh Patel as new India managing director

Nilesh Patel was most recently the Asia Pacific president for Avon Cosmetic Ltd and comes with experience across Europe and Asia, including six years in India


Carlsberg global CEO Cees ’t Hart said the company’s January to March quarter business in Asia was affected because of policy changes in India. Photo: Reuters
Carlsberg global CEO Cees ’t Hart said the company’s January to March quarter business in Asia was affected because of policy changes in India. Photo: Reuters

Bengaluru: Carlsberg India Pvt. Ltd, the local arm of Danish brewer Carlsberg Group, has named Nilesh Patel as its new managing director for India. Patel replaces Michael N. Jensen, who will now be managing director for Myanmar.

Patel was most recently the Asia Pacific president for Avon Cosmetic Ltd and comes with management experience across Europe, West Asia and South Asia, including six years in India, Carlsberg said in a statement.

Before Avon, Patel was with US-based food firm H J Heinz Co. Ltd and served as the managing director for its India chapter for three years.

Jensen, who joined Carlsberg’s India operations in 2012 and was promoted managing director in 2014, is moving on to “replicate the success of India” in Myanmar, the company said, adding that Myanmar was a very important market.

“He was instrumental in delivering healthy top-and bottom-line growth over the last three years,” Carlsberg said in a statement, adding Jensen will also oversee the Thailand operations.

This announcement comes barely two weeks after Carlsberg global chief executive officer Cees ’t Hart said on a call with investors that the company’s January to March quarter business in Asia was affected because of policy changes in India.

Due to the Supreme Court’s ban on sale of liquor near all state and national highways, the beer market has contracted as outlets falling within the 500m-limit adjust to this change and relocate, Hart said on that investor call on 4 May.

Comparables for the March quarter were also impacted by Bihar’s alcohol prohibition, which came into effect last April. In total, Carlsberg’s India volumes declined by nearly 20% in the quarter. When corrected for Bihar, volumes fell 15% for the period.

While there is pressure from restaurants that sell liquor along the highways, and state governments that are losing revenue because of the Supreme Court’s ruling, the company has not yet seen “the light at the end of the tunnel in terms of a significant change in the position of the authorities,” Hart added.

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