Bajaj Hindusthan honcho to head In Bev’s India ops
RAVI Jaipuria’s RJ Corp and beer giant InBev combine has roped in Raja Mukerji to spearhead its joint venture operations in India. InBev India International Ltd, in which RJ Corp holds 51% stake with InBev holding the rest, is expected to unveil brewery tie-ups in the coming weeks. When contacted, Mr Jaipuria confirmed the induction of Mr Mukerji who is expected to be designated as President. He joins from Bajaj Hindustan and has had previous stints with Radico Khaitan, Shaw Wallace and Coca Cola. ET had earlier reported about InBev’s plans to hit India with a German beer Lowenbrau to be followed by international beer s like Stella Artois and Beck’s. InBev is the world’s largest brewer by volume and the last among the Big Five global brewers to enter India. The JV has been on the prowl for top management with alcobev sector facing shortage of experienced senior executives even as the top global brewers foray into India’s booming beer consumption. Mr Mukerji comes with experience in handling country liquor and Indian Made Spirits in the north Indian markets. It may be mentioned that another brewing giant Carlsberg has already had trouble at the top with its India CEO Dasrath Raman, who came in from outside the sector, quitting very early. Incidentally, none of the invading brewers like Anheuser-Busch (A-B), InBev or Carlsberg have succeeded in disturbing the operational structure of the market leader United Breweries (UB), which has seen its top management remain intact for several years now. Heineken arm Asia pacific Breweries (APB) managed to bring on board a former UB and Shaw Wallace & Co honcho Ravi Kaza to head operations making it perhaps the only top-level induction directly from the brewing sector.