Senior level exits peak in consumer companies

Kolkata: Senior executive movement has peaked in consumer companies with the sector grappling with poor consumer spending forcing several companies to restructure businesses.

In retail, food and grocery chain Nature’s Basket chief executive officer Avani Davda has put in her papers, thereby moving out months after the business was acquired by Spencer’s Retail from the Godrej Group. Davda said the exit is due to personal reason.

Another senior executive from Spencer’s Retail, Vipin Bhandari who was the deputy CEO, has joined Max Hypermarkets India as its CEO in November. The company runs the SPAR Hypermarket chain. This was confirmed by Max Hypermarkets. Departmental chain,Shoppers Stop president for the beauty business Anupam Saxena exited in October.

In consumer electronics, India’s largest white goods makers LG Electronics India is going to see a change in top guard with new expat managing director taking over the role in January.

Existing MD Ki Wan Kim is going back after four years stint and will be replaced with the country head of LG Vietnam, two senior industry executives said.

There have been two more senior exits in LG India. Rajiv Jain, who was director for distribution business, has put in his papers. Rishi Tandon who was vice president for sales has quit and joined Chinese rival Hisense Group as the chief operating officer for the Indian operation. LG India did not respond to queries sent on these changes.

Saurabh Baishakhia has joined Usha International as president for the appliances business. He was earlier senior VP and business head at Orient Electric, as per his LinkedIn profile.

These CXO-level management changes come at a time when consumer facing companies are clamouring for growth and cutting cost, with consumers holding onto their spending right from soap and biscuit to discretionary purchases like televisions and cars.

Veteran HR professional YV Verma, who is now a consultant after a long stint as HR head at LG India, said for crucial roles the bar has gone up due to the slowdown. “The gap between expectation and deliverance has gone up. However, some exits are also due to scarcity of seasoned talent who are chased by companies even in bad times,” he said.

A couple of months back, Tata-owned Voltas Ltd’s COO for the durables business such Salil Kapoor moved out, while Bosch appointed Neeraj Bahl as CEO for the Indian durables business after erstwhile head Gunjan Srivastava moved to a global role.

India’s GDP growth rate plummeted to six years low in the July-September quarter at 4.5% from 5% in the June quarter. Some recovery is predicted next fiscal which may improve the job market and bring stability in the consumer organisations, analysts feel.


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