Home >companies >news >Sanjeev Chadha to head PepsiCo’s Asia, Middle East, Africa business

In his new role, Chadha will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the food and beverage company’s businesses across 90 countries, including those in Asia such as China and India, West Asia and North Africa, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the beverages division in sub-Saharan Africa, which together generated over $6.6 billion in revenue in 2012.

The appointment comes after Saad Abdul Latif, PepsiCo’s CEO for the AMEA business, died in August.

Chadha will report to PepsiCo chairman and CEO Indra K. Nooyi.

“Sanjeev is one of the most respected senior leaders in the PepsiCo family and he has a strong track record of success," Nooyi said in the statement. “His leadership, experience and deep knowledge of the business, the region and its people will help to continue to drive success in AMEA."

Chadha will also be responsible for the India business, formerly headed by Manu Anand, who quit the company in June.

For the time being, the unit heads of PepsiCo’s beverage and foods business in India—Gautham Mukkavilli and Praveen Someshwar—will report to Chadha till a country head for India is appointed.

“India needs a hands-on manager since it is a very diverse market with varied consumer choices," said a beverage industry expert on condition of anonymity.

The appointment is likely to boost the company’s business operations in India.

Over the past three years, market share for PepsiCo’s beverage portfolio that includes brands such as Mountain Dew, Pepsi, Mirinda and Tropicana, has been eroded on account of competition, especially with the Coca-Cola Co.

According to reports from research agency Euromonitor, Pepsi’s market share in beverages dropped from 39.6% to 36.4% between 2008 and 2012 while that of Coca Cola, inched up from 57.8% to 60.9%.

Simultaneously, the company also pushed its food portfolio with the launch of various snack brands such as Quaker, Frito Lay and variants of Kurkure.

While the company’s snack portfolio has been growing strongly, competition from local rivals has eroded market share. “As you grow in a new category which is a high margin play, you tend to attract a lot of competition," said a former employee, who didn’t want to be named.

Chadha’s appointment is being viewed in positive light for the food and beverage maker in India.

“Chadha is a hands-on sales and distribution guy, those are his core strengths; he has the ability to rally everyone across different levels of an organization," said a former executive who also didn’t want to be named. “It will help re-focus the momentum of the organization."

Chadha has been with PepsiCo for more than two decades, having started out as the founding member of the PepsiCo business in 1989 in India, where he stayed till 1996.

Subsequently, he spent 12 years in Asia based out of Hong Kong, during which he was PepsiCo’s leader for different markets and functions, before returning to India in 2007. In 2009, he was appointed as chairman and CEO of the company’s India business. He moved to the Middle East and Africa business in 2010.

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