VLCC appoints Sayed Safawi as managing director amid IPO preparations

Prior to joining VLCC, Safawi was the CEO at telecom infrastructure company Viom Networks–now known as ATC Telecom Infrastructure


As of 31 July, 2015, VLCC had 187 centres in India and 49 in 10 other countries and employed about 4,000 people.
As of 31 July, 2015, VLCC had 187 centres in India and 49 in 10 other countries and employed about 4,000 people.

New Delhi: VLCC Health Care Ltd, which runs a chain of weight management and beauty treatment clinics, on Monday said it had hired Sayed Safawi as managing director and group chief executive officer, a move that comes ahead of a planned initial share sale.

Safawi replaces Sandeep Ahuja, who has been with the company since September 2002 and worked in different positions. Ahuja will move to a new role at VLCC Group, according to a company statement.

He joins VLCC at a time when the company is preparing for an initial public offering (IPO). The company received approval from capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) last year to raise about Rs.400 crore in September 2015, according to a 4 January report by the Press Trust of India.

Prior to joining VLCC, Safawi was the CEO at telecom infrastructure company Viom Networks–now known as ATC Telecom Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd, since 2012. Safawai is known for turning around Viom Networks from a loss-making company to a profitable firm in which American Tower Corporation (ATC) bought a 51% stake for more than Rs.7,600 crore. When Safawi joined Viom Networks, it had posted a net loss of about Rs.325 crore in 2011-12. The company reported a net profit of Rs.525 crore in the fiscal year ended March, according to a 3 May report by The Economic Times.

“As VLCC starts a new chapter, the Board and I are confident that Syed will lead the company successfully into its next phase of global growth,” VLCC founder and vice chairperson Vandana Luthra said in a statement.

“He brings valuable experience as a leader with proven ability to create strategic clarity, ensure disciplined execution, drive innovation and growth, thereby creating stakeholder value. His track record and value system make him an ideal choice to lead VLCC to a value unlocking event,” Luthra added.

Prior to Viom Networks, Safawi was with Anil Ambani-controlled telecom service provider Reliance Communications Ltd (R-Com) as president and CEO of the wireless business and chairman of Reliance Management Board.

Before his two-year stint at R-Com, Safawi had worked with the country’s largest telecom service provider Bharti Airtel Limited as executive director. At Airtel, he was responsible for the east and west India operations, along with the international wireless and global calling card operations.

Safawi has also worked with The Coca-Cola Company as the country manager and CEO for Vietnam, managing the business for Indochina, and then moved to Coca-Cola in India. Safawi is an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

VLCC, which is backed by private equity firms Indivision India Partners and Leon International, has operations across 11 countries. As of 31 July, 2015, VLCC had 187 centres in India and 49 in 10 other countries and employed about 4,000 people, the company said.

VLCC’s consolidated revenue stood at Rs.816.34 crore in the year ended 31 March, according to the company’s draft initial public offering prospectus.

The overall beauty and personal care market in India is estimated at Rs.74,700 crore by retail sales value, according to a June report by market research firm Euromonitor International.

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