New stop-gap head for Yum Restaurants

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After the departure of the top management from fast food retail chain Yum! Restaurants, which owns the Pizza Hut and KFC brands, Niren Chaudhary has taken temporary charge as the India head. Further, it is learnt from a reliable source that Vinod Mehboobani, an expat from its global ranks, is expected to take charge as managing director, India, in April 2007. Just over a month earlier, in January, the company had lost three key members – India head Sandeep Kohli; Ajay Bansal, director (operations); and CFO Anupam Bhattacharya.

The $26-billion Yum! Restaurant International has three master franchisees in India, with Ravi Jaipuria-promoted Devyani international (DIL) as the biggest one. DIL is the Pizza Hut and KFC franchisee in north and east; Mumbai-based Dodsal Corporation has the franchisee rights for Pizza Hut for Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and the city of Mumbai, along with the franchisee rights for KFC in the cities of Mumbai and Bangalore; Pizzeria Restaurants is another franchisee with operations in south and west.

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