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Puneet Gulati, CEO, Barista Coffee Company Limited

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Differentiate or die. Cliched as it may sound, this mantra has helped multi-facet his career across verticals in media and retail sectors.

Puneet Gulati, CEO, Barista Coffee Company Limited

He has an extensive experience in media and retail sector. In the past he has had successful stints with Zee Turner, WorldSpace and Outlook Publishing. Before assuming his current leadership role at Barista Coffee Company, he spent eight years with Aircel, as National Head – Media & Retail Marketing, being responsible for the brand’s successful launch.

A commerce graduate from Sri Venkateshwara College, Delhi University, he completed his MBA from Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute of Management and then went on to do a Future Leaders Program focused on Leadership, Project Management, Strategy, Business and Financial Acumen from Harvard Business Publishing.

Customer experience, that’s the only priority for him at Barista. On his move from the telecom industry to foodservices, he believes that in both industries, most KPIs, including customer service, ARPU, expansion parameters, etc are similar. Coming from telecom has helped him to be nimble footed and drive innovation. He also believes that leadership movement across industries will help managements get breath of fresh ideas and approach to their businesses.

When he is not working, he loves to do street photography.

On his role at Barista and his future plans of the brand, he says: “Being a CEO of Barista, my work entails operations, franchisee, marketing, brand development and a lot more. I plan to take the total count of the stores to 500 in next 2-2.5 years. The new outlets will be a mix of both company-owned and franchisee outlets across top 50-55 towns.”

Success strategy: The power of now. And, success comes only where one is 100 percent involved.

PUNEET UNPLUGGED

Most Relaxed When: My team is motivated and enthusiastic.
Most Comfortable Attire: I prefer semi-formals.
Go-to Fashion Destination: Frankly, my wife does most shopping for me
Favorite Holiday Destination: Maldives!
Last Holiday Destination: Kerala Backwaters
Favorite Restaurant and Cuisine: I crave contemporary twists on Indian cuisine…my favorite restaurant would be Indian Accent
Comfort Food: Homemade Stuffed Parathas
Last Book Read/ Reading: My quest to understand humans at a spiritual level has made me take up several books in that direction over the years. The most recent was Journey of Souls: Life Between Lives by Michael Newton
Guilty Pleasure: To spend my off days by not getting out of bed and Netflixing
One Life-changing Incident: It was a near death experience, when I was amidst a surprise attack by LTTE at Sri Lanka airport on July 24, 2001. During a layover, on a Singapore – Colombo – Delhi flight, our aircraft was bombed and all passengers at the airport were targeted by terrorists’ bullets. Made me realize that every moment is to be valued and we need to cherish it. And rise above silliness of people and situations. Joy is the only currency and life is precious.
Bollywood or Hollywood: A bit of both
Last Movie Watched: The Sky is Pink
Birthday: November 30

He lives in Gurugram with his parents, two children and wife Swati, who runs The Kitchen Workshop, a culinary training class and has also written a fiction: Punjabi Thali.