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Business News/ Companies / News/  Third Wave Coffee names former head of KFC India Rajat Luthra as its new CEO
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Third Wave Coffee names former head of KFC India Rajat Luthra as its new CEO

Co-founder and current CEO Sushant Goel will join the board once Luthra takes over as chief executive in early FY25.

Luthra has nearly three decades of experience in FMCG and quick-service restaurants. Photo: Devyani International LtdPremium
Luthra has nearly three decades of experience in FMCG and quick-service restaurants. Photo: Devyani International Ltd

New Delhi: Specialty coffee chain Third Wave Coffee has announced that Rajat Luthra will be its new CEO and that current CEO Sushant Goel will transition to board member in early FY25.

Goel is among the co-founders of the chain, which competes with Starbucks, Barista and others in India. The other co-founders are Anirudh Sharma and Ayush Bathwal. Luthra is the former CEO of KFC India & Nepal (Devyani International Limited) and has nearly three decades of experience in FMCG and quick-service restaurants.

As a board member, Goel will continue to guide the strategic direction and develop new initiatives for Third Wave Coffee, the company said.

Representatives of investor companies Westbridge Capital and Creaegis said in a joint statement, “As Sushant transitions to his new role on the board, we are confident that his guidance and strategic insights will continue to steer us towards even greater success. We also warmly welcome Rajat Luthra, who has rich experience with QSRs at scale, and are excited about the fresh perspective and leadership he will bring to the table."

Since its launch in 2016, Third Wave Coffee has grown from a single store in Koramangala to more than 100 outlets in eight cities. Last year the company raised $ 35 million in Series C funding from Creaegis and WestBridge Capital. In May 2022, WestBridge Capital led a $21-million Series B round that saw participation from various angel investors.

Specialty coffee chains such as Third Wave and Blue Tokai have mushroomed across India, raising the competition for incumbents such as Starbucks, as urban consumers experiment with new brews and cafe formats.

Earlier this year, Mint reported that such chains have raised close to $100 million venture capital over the past two years, compared to $22 million in the fours years before that, according to Tracxn.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Suneera Tandon
Suneera Tandon is a New Delhi based reporter covering consumer goods for Mint. Suneera reports on fast moving consumer goods makers, retailers as well as other consumer-facing businesses such as restaurants and malls. She is deeply interested in what consumers across urban and rural India buy, wear and eat. Suneera holds a masters degree in English Literature from the University of Delhi.
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Published: 18 Mar 2024, 07:06 PM IST
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