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NEW DELHI : KKR-backed Vini Cosmetics that sells the popular Fogg deodorant, on Wednesday announced the appointment of Vishal Kaul as its chief executive officer effective February 2022.

Kaul will join the Ahmedabad-based company from PepsiCo India—where he was vice-president and business head for the beverages business for India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bhutan.

In this newly created role, Kaul will work closely with Vini’s board of directors to execute the company’s growth plans, including new products and categories, the company said in a statement announcing his appointment.

Earlier this year, global private equity fund KKR & Co. agreed to buy a controlling stake in Vini Cosmetics from the founders and Sequoia Capital for $625 million. The founders, led by brothers Darshan and Dipam Patel, will continue to hold a significant stake in Vini and collaborate with KKR to drive the company’s growth, the private equity firm said then.

Kaul has been brought on board after a “rigorous" global search process that followed investment firm KKR’s acquisition of a majority stake in Vini in July 2021, the company said.

As Vini’s CEO, Kaul will be responsible for day-to-day operations and executing the company’s long-term strategy. This includes launching and growing new product categories, expanding Vini’s e-commerce platform, broadening its sales and distribution network, and attracting talent to scale up Vini. Kaul will be supported by Vini’s co-founders, Darshan and Dipam Patel, who will continue to provide strategic support and have access to KKR’s global network and operational expertise.

“Appointing a consumer-centric and digitally savvy CEO of Vishal’s calibre who can lead Vini into its next phase of growth was one of our and KKR’s top priorities," Darshan Patel, chairman, Vini Cosmetics said.

Kaul has close to two decades of global brand and general management experience. At PepsiCo India as vice-president and business head for the beverages business for India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bhutan—he turned around the beverages business and led it to a path of profitable growth and share gain.

Kaul holds an MBA in marketing from the Symbiosis Centre for Management and Human Resource Development and an engineering degree from Punjab Engineering College.

Increasingly consumers are looking for lifestyle upgrades, quality products, and services, said Kaul. "In such a market Vini will continue to innovate and provide a consumer-centric portfolio which will serve the current and evolving needs of our consumers," he added.

Founded in 2010, Vini manufactures, markets and distributes its branded deodorants, cosmetics and toiletries through its flagship brand Fogg and other brands such as Ossum and GlamUp. It sells its products through a network of 700,000 points of sale and 3,000 dealers. Vini’s products are also sold in South and West Asia.

Darshan Patel started Vini after his family sold its pharma business, Paras Pharmaceuticals, to Reckitt Benckiser in 2010.

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