Bengaluru: SABMiller India Pvt. Ltd, India’s second-largest brewer, has appointed Shalabh Seth as managing director (MD), replacing Grant Liversage, who is returning to South Africa after less than 18 months in charge of the company.

Seth, who has held various roles at SABMiller India, including that of sales director, since joining the company in 2003, will take over from Liversage starting January, the company said in a statement. Liversage replaced Paolo Lanzarotti as SABMiller India managing director in August 2013.

With Seth’s appointment, SABMiller India will have had four different managing directors in the past eight years or so. SABMiller India, owner of Foster’s and Haywards beer, has lost market share to rivals United Breweries Ltd and newer entrant Carlsberg over the past few years with analysts blaming management issues.

SABMiller Plc, the parent company of SABMiller India, entered the country in 2000 by acquiring Narang Breweries. It built its business here through more acquisitions, including that of Shaw Wallace and Foster’s India, and emerged as the biggest rival to market leader United Breweries, owner of Kingfisher beer. However, newer entrants Carlsberg and Anheuser-Busch InBev have been quicker in launching brands and spotting consumer preferences over the past few years and along with United Breweries, taken a significant share from SABMiller.

Though SABMiller claims the company’s loss of market share is an intentional move aimed at increasing margins—losses have narrowed in some of the past few years—it has had to follow moves by rivals in introducing brands.

In August, the company said it would launch a pricey strong beer brand called Miller Ace, following similar launches by Carlsberg and Anheuser-Busch.

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