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Future rejigs top brass

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FUTURE Group CEO Kishore Biyani has rejigged the leadership team by reassigning responsibilities following the sudden demise of Raghu Pillai, CEO at Future Value Retail.

“We are missing Raghu at the moment as he was one of the key drivers of our growth vision along with me. But in the interim, we have assigned some of the responsibilities,” Biyani said.

Rajan Malhotra, president of retail strategy, has been given the charge of the group’s electronics retailer eZone and neighbourhood supermarket format KB’s Fair Price. As of December end, the company had 43 eZone stores with 0.53 million square feet of space under management and 170 KB’s Fair Price stores in operation. In the second half of the company’s financial year, the retailer plans to add another 98 stores.

eZone — headed by Nitish Tipnis, who quit in the last quarter of financial year 2010-2011 — is in the midst of a restructuring to return to profitability. “In the interim, Raghu had said he

would hold charge and put the business model right after which he could hand over to a CEO. This is the reason we did not hire someone immediately after Tipnis’ exit,” said Vivek Biyani, the family member overseeing electronics and digital businesses.

Expat Mark Ladham, president for home-division of Future Group who used to report to Pillai, will head Home Town, the group’s furniture retail format, which Biyani believes will be the next big thing in organised retail.

Ladham has experience with B&Q in the UK and hence could provide the required leadership to Home Town, which is the same genre. “Damodar Mall, director for food strategy at Future Group, has been given the charge of our rural retailing venture Aadhaar,” Biyani said. Sadashiv Nayak and Sanjeev Agarwal, joint CEOs of Big Bazaar, will oversee Food Bazaar as well.

Pillai was the CEO of Future Value Retail, a subsidiary of Pantaloon Retail (India) and a member of the group’s executive

board. He came on board in October 2010 from Reliance Retail. Pillai had developed the 20-20 vision for the group to set for itself a goal of achieving $20 billion turnover by 2020.

“All CEOs who were earlier reporting to Raghu will now report to me and Rakesh Biyani in the interim,” said Biyani. Rakesh is the CEO for retail business at Future group.

Over the past two years, a number of senior executives have joined Future group’s executive board. V Vaidyanathan, head honcho of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, and Vibha Rishi, formerly from Pepsi and one of the co-creators of the legendary Nothing official about it campaign, joined in the year 2010.

Santosh Desai was handpicked by Biyani to head the group’s brands business portfolio. Some other highprofile executives who joined the board last year included R Radhakrishnan (former CEO, Reliance Hypermarkets) and Devendra Chawla (former Coca-Cola hand, who now steers Biyani’s private label business), among others.

Source : Financial Chronicle

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